Jacob Tremblay insists Hollywood fame hasn't changed the 9-year-old a year after he and co-star Brie Larson screened Lenny Abrahamson's Room, which would go on to become an awards darling, at the Toronto Film Festival.
But he has changed; he's gotten older. "I don't think I really changed. I mean, I changed in age. But I think I was just really excited to come back here again," Tremblay on Thursday said during a Burn Your Maps press conference at the Toronto Film Festival a year after Room earned the People's Choice Award here.
The Canadian actor won a Critics' Choice Award and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his breakout performance in Room. The 2015 awards season also allowed Tremblay to rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
"I don't feel like a different person. But I'm really excited to do this and celebrate, and do all this press for our new movie," Tremblay said. He is promoting Burn Your Maps, directed by Jordan Roberts and also starring Vera Farmiga and Virginia Madsen.
Tremblay plays an 8-year-old American convinced he's a Mongolian goat herder. He played with goats and horses during the film shoot, which had Canada's Alberta province doubling as Mongolia.
"Goats are really cute, especially little ones. But they do smell a little bit," the young actor told the Toronto presser. Tremblay also recounted riding a horse without a saddle. "If you do that, it kind of hurts, if you know what I'm saying," he told reporters.
Co-star Farmiga said connecting on the Burn Your Maps set with Tremblay was easy. "He's a very open little dude. He just wants to have a good time," she explained. "He's a very savvy young actor, very deep, in touch with his emotions," Farmiga added.
Director Foster paid tribute to Tremblay for not cutting corners when time constraints meant the low-budget indie needed to speed up production. "To his unbelievable quality, he was not capable of phoning it in. When I was running out of time and I needed him to do it, he wouldn't [phone it in]," Foster recalled.
The Toronto Film Festival continues through Sept. 18.