Thirteen-year old actor William Ainscough is a rising child star who is making headlines starring as Milton alongside the distinguished and legendary Donald Sutherland in the feature film Milton’s Secret. Opening in select theatres throughout the United States, and On Demand/ Digital HD on Friday, September 30, 2016, Milton’s Secret will have its World Premiere as a Family Gala feature at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival.
The feature film Milton’s Secret, is an adaptation of Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman’s book of the same name. William plays 12 year-old Milton Adams, who is growing up in an uncertain world. Milton feels as if his whole world is in crisis – his parents are stressed about their careers and finances and Milton is being bullied at school. However, when his Grandpa Howard (Donald Sutherland) comes to visit, he discovers anxiety about the past and worrying about the future only make things worse and prevent him from finding true happiness moment to moment.
William initially auditioned on tape, followed by a Skype session for the role of Milton. Award-winning writer-director Barnet Bain, best known as producer of What Dreams May Come starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr., very quickly found himself blown away by the young man’s emotional openness. “It was so powerful that I kept forgetting it was over Skype. It felt like a live session.” The director wanted to see if this young performer could connect to the story. “I asked him if he had grandparents and something caught in his eye. I asked William what he was thinking of just then and he said, “Well yeah, I had a grandpa.” I asked him to tell me about him and – well, it was like a fire hydrant – an explosion of emotion and tears.” Bain relays what happened next. “I asked his parents if they would be comfortable if I did a scene with William from this place. And when we did, I’ve just never seen anything so powerful. It had so much energy – it was so raw, and it was so real. And I knew we had received a great gift: that’s our Milton.” William’s talent is definitely deep and beyond his years.
William began in the entertainment industry following his parent’s footsteps (Nicole Oliver, actress; Chris Ainscough, composer/film editor). It was after watching his mother in action during visits to the sets of some of her film projects that William’s interest in the acting world began. Nicole inspired him to try acting for himself and he began taking classes.
It was clear after booking his first two auditions that for William, acting was a path well chosen. William’s very first attempt at acting was a success, when he landed his first audition in an open casting call for the feature film Hidden. William was successful in landing the role of Joey, a slightly shy and soulful boy and close friend and neighbor of Zoe’s (Emily Alyn Lind). The feature film, which follows a family hiding in a bomb shelter after a mysterious outbreak devastates civilization, stars Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood, Battleship) and Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Made in Dagenham). The film Hidden was directed by The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things).
William soon followed that experience with playing Billy on the CW/City TV series Seed for two seasons. William received many award nominations for Seed including a Leo Award and UBCP/ACTRA nomination. William won the Joey Award in 2014 for best leading role youth actor (9 and under) in a TV series Comedy/Action. Other recent highlights for William include playing the iconic role of John Darling in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a major supporting role in Zapped the television feature for the Disney Channel starring the US pop music sensation and actor Zendaya, a guest star role in The Haunting Hour, and a supporting role in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original program The Christmas Secret. William is also the voice of Sean on the PBS Kids series Ready Jet Go, which has now been renewed for a second season.
William has just completed principal photography on Radu Mihaileanu’s sweeping epic, The History of Love, an adaptation of Nicole Krauss’ 2005 book of the same name. The movie will be the first English-language film for Radu Mihaileanu, a Bucharest-born French filmmaker whose previous film La Source des femmes competed at the Cannes film festival in 2011. William plays Bird Singer. He is a preoccupied, strangely serious child, concerned by the woes of the world; he is convinced he is a “lamed vovnik,” one of the thirty-six holy people, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and perhaps even the Messiah.
William is currently working on the second season of the PBS Kids hit animation series Ready Jet Go, providing the voice for the character Sean. The new season will feature 24 new episodes, an hour-long special and a collection of new web games and mobile apps, and is set to launch in late 2017. Since Ready Jet Go’s February premiere, the series has reached 22 million viewers, including 7.6 million kids on linear TV, and its content has been streamed more than 93 million times since January. In addition to airing on PBS stations, full-length segments from the show are available for streaming on pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video app on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The series is also on Amazon Prime Video.
Aside from acting, William is an accomplished drummer, loves soccer, Medieval combat and Parkour, and is a huge fan of the online game Minecraft.
For interviews, photos and more information please contact:
Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca | 604-726-5575
William Ainscough Links:
‘Milton’s Secret’ Links:
‘Milton’s Secret’ Theatrical Run – Friday September 30, 2016
Los Angeles – Arena Cinema
Denver – Westminster Promenade 24
Chicago – Streets of Woodfield 20
Houston – Willowbrook 24
Kansas City – Town Center 20
Philadelphia – Cherry Hill 24
Minneapolis-St. Paul – Iver Grove 16
Boston – Liberty Tree Mall 20
Seattle-Tacoma – Cascade Mall 14
San Franscio-Oak-San Jose – Deer Valley Stadium 16
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