It makes him happy to be recognized.
Eight-year-old Isaiah Tootoosis was the centre of attention at the North Battleford premiere of The Revenant Friday at the Capitol Theatre. Isaiah, from the Poundmaker Cree Nation, is the younger of two actors who play Hawk, the son of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, in the critically-acclaimed film.
It all started for Isaiah with an audition in Edmonton.
“First, I didn’t want to. Then, my cousin led me to be in one,” he said.
His father, Jaired Tootoosis, explains Isaiah made a short list of fifty actors.
“Then they went down to Calgary. Five got selected from the top fifty and he was one of the five,” he said. “The producers told him to wait in the lobby, and it looked like he got the part right away.”
“He told me stuff,” Isaiah said about his relationship with DiCaprio during filming in Alberta. He says he started to like the work once they first met.
Acting is in Isaiah’s blood. His great-grandfather was the late acclaimed actor Gordon Tootoosis. (Another great-grandfather is former NHL player Fred Sasakamoose.) Isaiah is already looking forward to working on another film.
“He has an agent, and he’s already looking pretty good in his future,” said Jaired, who was at Isaiah’s side Friday evening along with his mother Rachel Berland.
The Revenant is described as a “frontier revenge” story, and also stars Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson. The movie has already won three Golden Globes, and is nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Isaiah is hoping to be there when the Oscars are presented, but his parents say that’s yet to be determined. He’s already made four trips to Hollywood, his father said.