The star of ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ is making history as the first actor with Down syndrome to get a major role in a movie produced by Disney.
Noah Matthews Matofsky, 15, will play Lost Boys leader Slightly in the 2023 live-action feature, which will premiere on Disney+ on April 28.
The ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ film is a much-anticipated remake of the 1953 animated Disney classic, which tells the narrative of Peter Pan, a flying kid who refuses to grow up, and his adventures in Neverland with a fairy and a gang of lost children.
Jude Law also appears in the Peter Pan and Wendy film as the villainous Captain Hook, a role previously played by Jason Isaacs in the 2003 live-action adaptation.
‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ Trailer
Matofsky told The Sun that Law made sure the kids had a good time on set, even offering them ice cream as a gift. “One of my favorite days was when Jude hired an ice cream van and brought it on set, then served us ice creams himself,” he explained, adding, “It was an incredible experience. I had my own caravan and made lots of fantastic friends.” We all learned sword fighting, which I thoroughly enjoyed.”
He went on to say that, despite having to memorize numerous lines rapidly, it was a great experience: “I had lots of lines to learn very quickly, but it was exciting, and I really enjoyed it.”
The British kid told the source that he was completely immersed in the production and really enjoyed filming the action scenes, such as the one in which the pirate ship is overturned. Matofsky told The Sun that he found out about the ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ film’s casting through Zebedee, an inclusive talent agency.
He subsequently sent in an audition tape before meeting with the ‘Peter Pan & Wendy’ film’s director, David Lowery, with whom Matofksy shared a love of Lord of the Flies. Matofsky shot the film in Vancouver with his mother, leaving his father and sister at home in the UK.
The kid has great plans, telling reporters that one of them wants to attend drama college and become a role model for other individuals with Down syndrome. Matofsky claimed that his illness should not limit or hold anyone back, reminding them that “you can do anything” and that they should “always dream big.”
Lowery told Collider in 2021, when the film’s production had just finished 91 days of filming, that Peter Pan and Wendy was his favorite project to work on yet. “I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever made, which I hadn’t expected going into it, but it is.” I’ve never been so taken with a film as I am with this one. We just have a few weeks left, and I absolutely adore this film. “It’s the most personal piece I’ve ever created,” he says.
“It is, ironically, the most adult movie I’ve ever made. I went into it thinking that my entryway into this movie was that I’ve got a classic case of Peter Pan syndrome […] And I thought that was what was going to appeal to me about it, but in making it, in writing it, and now directing it and seeing it come to life, I’ve realized that this is a movie about me letting go of that […] it’s the first movie I’ve made from an adult perspective, if that makes any sense,” he added.