Name: Glen Powell
SXSW project: Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood”
Notable past credits: “Hidden Figures” and “Scream Queens”
On getting to play Austin tour guide: “This festival has been in my backyard my entire life. As Austin evolves, grows and changes, it’s still fun to show Austin to people who haven’t been, and so I get to see it for the first time through other people’s eyes.”
What he loves about SXSW: “People root for each other here in a different way than any other festival,” he says. “When you premiere something at South By, it’s rowdy. It’s fun. It’s film lovers who are unashamed of loving movies and clapping for each other and cheering for each other.”
Powell, who grew up in Austin, stars in fellow Texas native Linklater’s animated feature “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood.” The movie, which was filmed live at Austin Studios on a green screen later animated using a rotoscoping style, was inspired by a childhood dream.
“When he was in second grade, [Linklater] had this dream that he was a part of the Apollo mission and sent into space,” Powell says. “And so he mixes real-life footage and real moments from the Apollo mission with the dream of a second grader going to the moon.”
Powell is excited to share the film, which will be released by Netflix, both with adults who grew up during the space-race era as well as kids. “Hopefully kids watch this movie and go, ‘Wow.’ What we can do with the power of brain. Not the power of celebrity, not the power of TikTok, not the power of fame or followers or any of that stuff, but the power of mind.”
The actor plays a NASA agent in the film, who recruits a 10-year-old boy for a space mission after building the capsule too small to fit an adult. “[My character] has to get saved by a kid,” says Powell, adding that he’s excited to be part of a legacy of movies in which the kids get to be the hero, despite being surrounded by adults. “I feel like that’s such a magical thing for kids to see on screen,” he adds.
Powell has another collaboration with Linklater in the works; the pair cowrote a script which they hope to shoot in the coming months.
“It’s a true Texas love story,” says Powell, who plans to produce and star in the film. “We found it in a Texas monthly article. It’s fun, it’s dark, it’s hilarious, it’s sexy. Rick and I are just so excited about it.”
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