Talitha Bateman may only be fifteen, but she’s already established herself in Hollywood’s film industry. The young actress recently starred in the drama flick So B. It, which made its debut this past April premiering at LA Film Festival, and appeared in science fiction blockbuster The 5th Wave last year.
“So B. It is about a young girl who is raised by her neighbor because her mother is mentally ill and only says twenty-one words. My neighbor is also handicapped because she has agoraphobia, so she can’t go outside of her apartment.” Bateman portrays the protagonist, Heidi, who goes on a journey to find her father and grandparents. So B. It was her favorite project to film. She recalls the film as “the one that helped [her] grow the most as an actress.” The movie is based off of the novel of the same name by Sarah Weeks. So B. It is opening in New York and Los Angeles on October 6th, with a regional roll out to follow.
So B. It was one of Bateman’s first major film performances, but stellar nonetheless. She credits her skills to playing with her eight siblings growing up. “When we were little, we kind of messed around, doing different plays, different characters, and trying out different things after we watched movies.” Though it was an essential part of her childhood, it wasn’t until Bateman was older that she began to professionally act. “My sister started acting and she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue it. Then her agent looked into me and my little brother.”
Now, after several film and television roles, Bateman has developed her passion for acting into a full-time career. In addition to that responsibility, she finds time to complete her education. “I’m homeschooled, so that makes it a lot less difficult. I get to go on set and do three hours of school online, which is what I do at home anyway.” Bateman juggles her duties of working and schooling well, but admits that there are some downsides. Being a child actor isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, and it’ can be frustrating for Bateman. “I feel that because I do look even younger than I am, people are condescending to me.” Bateman is often underestimated in the industry, even though she’s extremely accomplished for her age, “I get annoyed when people baby me a lot.”
Bateman never knows what’s next in store as her schedule is constantly changing. “Sometimes, I’ll have two auditions in one day. They [can] be at six or two p.m. or eleven a.m., so I don’t have an exact routine.” The same goes for her career. When it comes to acting, Bateman has tried her hand at everything, from science fiction to drama to comedy.
In August, Bateman will make her horror debut in Annabelle: Creation. The film is a prequel to the 2014 hit, Annabelle, and is the fourth film in The Conjuring series, “I loved doing that, it was definitely very different from most of the other films I’ve done.” On set, Bateman had to completely alter her persona to assume a different identity. “With every project, I take a minute and get into character. With Annabelle: Creation, I had to feel fear, so I did have to take a minute to pull out of myself. That was definitely unique from any other project I’ve done.”
Bateman’s following role was a sharp contrast to hers in Annabelle: Creation. In April, she wrapped up filming for comedy-drama film Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Bateman portrays Nora, the protagonist’s younger sister, “My character is very bubbly and extremely awkward and does stumble over herself. She’s always goofing around with her brother and making fun of him.” Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, and Miles Heizer. It is set to be released in March 2018.
Bateman’s career probably seems overwhelming to most, but she remains grounded despite it all. Her priorities lie in her family, who are her best friends, “All my siblings are a different part of me. They’ve taught me a lot of different things about life.” Bateman leans on her parents and siblings for balance amongst the chaos of the cutthroat film industry. She may spend her time auditioning, rather than going to the mall, but deep down, Talitha Bateman is a normal teenager. She’s goofy, sassy, and loves her family more than anything.
PHOTOS MAARTEN DE BOER
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CREATIVE DIRECTION ANNA ZHANG
STORY SARAH KEARNS
Originally published in Volume II, Issue No. 003 – Summer 2017.Like this