Brenton Thwaites is an Australian actor who shot to a worldwide fame after playing in a new Fox8 Australian teen drama series Slide. His tryst with acting started back in Australia, during college, where he studied acting and in 2010, he made his debut with the independent film Charge over You. It gained him the much needed momentum and confidence and he made a move to Sydney to give his acting career a professional turn. After years of appearing in TV shows and independent films, came Oculus, a horror flick, which got him all the necessary credibility he required in Hollywood.
Brenton Thwaites was born on 10th August 1989 in Queensland, Australia. He finished his early schooling from Cairns State High School, graduated in 2006 and during all this time, he was never much interested in becoming an actor. However, he liked the idea of being on the screen someday, but becoming a policeman or a fire fighter was on the top of his priority list. Films on the life of fire fighters dominated his collection of movies.
However, being the adventurous kind, he always wanted to try different things with his career, and at the age of 16, he made his first performance as Romeo in front of a live audience in a rendition of the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Just like that, the acting bug caught him and he got enrolled in the Queensland University of Technology and studied acting, before graduating in 2010. Being an Australian, he admired Chris Hemsworth and Heath Ledger, fellow Australians who went on to make a big name for themselves in the most sparkling film industry in the world, Hollywood.
In November 2010, Thwaites, along with Adele Perovic, Ben Schumann, Emily Robins, and Gracie Gilbert, played the role of Luke in the popular Fox8 teen drama Slide. The show follows five Brisbane teenagers making their way to adulthood. Thwaites believes his character, Luke Gallagher, „stands back a bit. He watches. He’s struggling with family issues. He’s drawn in as it was a chance to find better friends and an opportunity to be part of a group. He’s a cool, accepted kid. Some friends he can love and help him mature.“
Thwaites studied acting at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for three years, before graduating in 2010. He then relocated to Sydney to join the long-running soap opera Home and Away for the role of Stu Henderson in the 24th season. Brenton called the show a great learning experience and said his co-stars were easy to work with. Thwaites made his first appearance as Stu, a member of the River Boys. Tristan Swanwick of The Courier-Mail said Thwaites was a „bit too pretty to be a bad-ass River Boy“ but that some fake tattoos would balance that impression. Of his character, Thwaites said, „Stu’s awesome, he has some fights, he gets the girls, it’s awesome fun.“
Before moving to the United States in 2011/12 to pursue his career in actings, he signed on to play the male lead in the 2012 television film Blue Lagoon: The Awakening opposite Australian actress Indiana Evans. The film received generally mixed reviews, with Zap2it praising both Thwaites and Evans‘ „(mostly) believable“ acting.
In 2013, Thwaites starred in the psychological/supernatural horror film Oculus, as the male lead Tim Russell. Production on the film began in October 2012 in Alabama, and was completed a few weeks later. The film was first released at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and received a worldwide theatrical release in April 2014. His performance as Russell was well received by Indiewire, which claimed that Thwaites maintained a „credibly frightened demeanor“ throughout the film.
In 2014, Thwaites briefly returned to Australia for the filming of crime thriller Son of a Gun – the directorial debut feature film from Julius Avery alongside Ewan McGregor and Alicia Vikander. Primarily shot in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Melbourne, Thwaites had to audition for the part of JR up to 10 times before landing the role. Regarding his character, Thwaites said, „I jumped at the opportunity to audition when this came up and I found the character was a very vulnerable kid amongst strange men that are in some way an inspiration. I just thought that was interesting as a young man myself.“ Thwaites received critical acclaim for his portrayal of JR, with Variety contending that he „makes a suitably keen-eyed, clean-scrubbed lead, retaining a kind of porous naivete even as the character gets his blood up“ and The Sydney Morning Herald praising his role as the embattled hero of the plot. The film premiered in Australia in October 2014.
Brenton appeared in Maleficent as Prince Phillip alongside Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. Additionally he starred in The Signal as the male lead, Nic Eastman, opposite Laurence Fishburne and Olivia Cooke. The film opened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, seven months after shooting on location in the desert of New Mexico. Thwaites received praise by The Plain Dealer, nothing that his performance in The Signal was „as a compelling presence in the driver’s seat as things get freakier and freakier around him.“
He also starred in The Giver as one of the male leads, Jonas, beside Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the „real“ world. Primarily filmed in South Africa, his portrayal was well received by the Huffington Post, who commended Thwaites‘ acting and by The Plain Dealer, which noted that the „fast-rising Thwaites… does a nice job with the lead role.“
I hadn’t read the book prior to being cast in The Giver, Brenton said. I read it after being offered the role. At first I was a little concerned that Jonas was too young for me to play him. Ultimately in the script rewrite, I saw he was older and felt it was an opportunity to play him. Having the chance to work on such incredible projects with a cast of such talent and experience presents an enormous potential to learn. It was wonderful and surreal and yes, of course I was continually picking up lessons and from all of those experiences, including Jeff and Meryl, whether they were intending it or not.
He was awarded the Australians in Film „Breakthrough Award“ for this role in The Giver and could not contain his excitement when he took to the stage to accept the award, as he threw his hands up in elation. He spoke with enthusiasm as he accepted the prestigious award which he was presented with by host Natalie Morales. He smiled at the audience as he spoke, winning over even more dedicated fans outside of Australia. The Aussie heartthrob wore a simple but classic outfit to the event with his new award making the perfect accessory.
Thwaites starred in Gods of Egypt, alongside Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush. He played Bek, a human thief. Principal photography on the film began on 20 March 2014 at the Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, and the film was released worldwide on 26 February 2016.
Also Brenton starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which was released in 2017. Thwaites portrays Henry Turner (the son of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s characters), opposite Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem. Shooting of the film commenced in February 2015, on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia.
Following Pirates, Thwaites had a leading role in the 2017 Christian film, An Interview with God, portraying a young journalist, Paul Asher. In this role, he will star opposite Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn.
And then came the casting in Titans – a new DC comic book series from „Arrow“ and „The Flash“ creator Greg Berlanti, in which young upstart heroes from all corners of the DC Universe form a new crime-fighting group.
Titans originally gained something of an infamous reputation before it even aired thanks to its initial trailer. In it, Brenton Thwaites character disowned Batman before brutally attacking criminals. While the final product turned out far better, it none the less set the stage for the rocky relationship that Dick Grayson had with his adoptive father. But, as Brenton tells it, he originally thought he was being cast as something else altogether.
Brenton revealed that originally he didn’t think that he signed on for the Titans show. Rather he thought that he had signed on to the solo Nightwing film and how he was inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy:
“When I signed on to Nightwing, I was inquiring about the film. I was originally inspired by Nolan’s Batman, and, in my brain, I imagined doing this amazing Nightwing film. There was a film floating around Warner Bros. for a while, but it was to be Ben Affleck’s Nightwing.”
Although Brenton finally became Nightwing in Titans season two, the star doesn’t think his version of Dick Grayson will make it into The Batman opposite Robert Pattinson. His version of the hero is a disenchanted vigilante who leaves Iain Glen’s Batman behind to form his own team, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be joining forces with Robert Pattinson in The Batman any time soon. During an interview he explained that although Matt Reeves has the perfect opportunity to unite the worlds of DC television and the movies, he doesn’t think Titans is the right place to do so. Given that Reeves is creating a prequel series set in the same universe as Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, clearly the filmmaker has some ideas on how to create a coherent universe that spans between film and TV. But unfortunately, it seems Thwaites won’t be reprising his Titans role on the big screen any time soon.
“I think the DC TV and movie worlds are still quite separate. This might be a chance for Matt Reeves, the director, and DC Films to integrate that somehow. I would love to do it, but I don’t think Titans is that property.”, Thwaites said.
Meanwhile Titans is getting back into gear! The superhero series will return for its third season, which will take it from its original home on DC Universe over to HBO Max. With production starting on new Titans episodes, star Brenton Thwaites shared a photo of a new look that he „pitched“ for his character in Season 3. If Thwaites had his way with his suggestion, then fans would have been in for a Dick Grayson with a very different look!
Thwaites also explained how his new costume builds on what worked before as Robin, stating:
“We pitched a few ideas to change the suit in a way that we can still use the outline of the original suit because they are so time-consuming and expensive to make. It’s better for us to enhance the one we’ve already got. We’re working on different ways for Nightwing to have more gadgets.”
In addition to Nightwing, we’re going to see Curran Walters’ Jason Todd as the gun-toting antihero Red Hood, a new take on ex-Batgirl Barbara Gordon who’s followed in her father’s footsteps and become the Gotham City Police Commissioner, the return of Donna Troy and more Iain Glen as Batman. One element that I think sounds particularly cool is the show’s Scarecrow, who appears to have been recruited by the GCPD to profile other supervillains in a Hannibal-style twist.
Titans‘ third season will likely air in October 2021, so there’s quite a wait yet. Still, fans can be reassured that season 4 is apparently already greenlit, so right now it looks like the series has a bright future on HBO Max.
In private Brenton Thwaites started dating Chloe Pacey in 2015, while he was shooting for Pirates of the Caribbean in Australia. The two has been in a long term relationship since then and Chloe gave birth to his daughter in 2016.
Prior to Pacey, his relationship with singer Taylor Swift garnered a lot of media attention as the two were seen hanging out in Los Angeles clubs quite a lot of times.
Brenton has claimed openly that he is a bisexual and has dated a few men back in the day. He also sparked a lot of gossip by saying that upon his arrival in Los Angeles the first time, he looked for work in gay bars as a bartender.
And that’s why we love Brenton Thwaites.