Peachtree Ridge High graduate Cameron Gaskins, right, and his sister Lindsay, pose for a picture at the premiere for the movie “Ender’s Game” which is released this week. Gaskins plays Pol Slattery, the commander of the Leopard Army in the sci-fi action film. (Special Photo)
When the call came from Cameron Gaskins’ agent, Gaskins knew he had impressed the casting director. In that moment, his acting career took another step, and he made it on the silver screen.
“I was kind of fist-bumping around my house all day,” said Gaskins, a Peachtree Ridge High graduate and University of Georgia freshman. “Getting that call from your agent is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. I can’t describe how satisfying it is to see all the work I put in become a reality.”
That call meant Gaskins had been cast in the movie “Ender’s Game,” a science fiction action film where he plays Pol Slattery, the commander of the Leopard Army. The part was a bit of a long shot to begin with after casting calls for the part went across the country, and it was a late addition to the script.
“Thousands of boys auditioned for that role,” his father, Mike, said. “It was a shock because he auditions all the time. You’ve got to be used to being turned down, rejection, you can’t let that get to you. Hopefully one of these casting directors sees something in your talent or your look.”
Gaskins, a pre-business major at UGA, worked on the set in a vacant space shuttle assembly plant outside of New Orleans alongside the likes of Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Abigail Breslin for the movie that was released this week. The movie is based on the 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card.
Gaskins’ previous acting work was local commercials and on Nickelodeon. As a high school freshman, Gaskins played a role in the movie “The Greening of Whitney Brown,” which featured Brooke Shields and Kris Kristofferson.
“This was a completely new level of project to be a part of,” he said. “It was incredible to see how many different departments and aspects went into being a part of this film.”
His favorite part of filming was the stunt work using wires to replicate a zero gravity atmosphere. Gaskins said he had to utilize his athleticism after he did a week of stunt and military training to prepare. During filming, Gaskins said he spent three hours each day on wires to make it look like the actors floated in space.
“That was probably the most incredible part of the experience. We had to put together fight sequences with wires and stunts,” he said. “We probably put as much work into that as we did learning lines and character development stuff.”
Gaskins said the movie does a good job of staying true to the book and the original dialogue. A lot of work went into visuals and special effects, so the intricacy is very appealing to the audience.
“This movie is going to be one of the more visually astonishing films of the year,” he said.
Because movie projects are becoming more common in Georgia, Gaskins continues to audition with the help of his college roommate. While he enjoys the ride of the “Ender’s Game” project, including the red carpet premiere earlier this week, he has an eye on his next project.
“Everything for me is character-based,” Gaskins said. “If I feel like it will challenge me and be fun to play, I’ll go for it.”