The Welsh heartthrob Aneurin Barnard is Mariah Mundi in “The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box” , the lead character in the first film adaptation of GP Taylor's teen adventure trilogy, which would be his most high-profile role to date.
"I am playing the title role of Mariah Mundi, so I have to really drive through the movie. It's going to be fun, it's got a great cast," he said.
Barnard expounds on what attracted him to the role: “I read the script before I read the book and what captured my imagination was that it was a good, old-fashioned, action and adventure story. It took me straight back to my younger days, crowing up with action-adventure movies like INDIANA JONES or even the BOND films.
The one thing those films had that so few have today is they had a real story behind them. They weren’t just about people getting blown up or magic things happening. With MARIAH MUNDI, there’s an actual journey here; real people in heightened circumstances.”
For Barnard, Mariah was immediately appealing for his arc. “He’s a boy becoming a man in this era,” the 25-year-old Welshman explains. “He’s young, intelligent and a little bit naïve, but he’s also full of confidence and drive. He’s forced into a position where he has to put his life on the line to find his family, and as a result of that he has to become very brave. You’ve seen this teenage boy become a man.”
“We initially conceived the character to be much younger than he is in the film,” explains director Jonathan Newman. “He was going to be around 13 or 14, as he was written in the book. But we also wanted to remain open to the possibility of someone older, and Aneurin was recommended to us.”
Director Jonathan Newman went to see a film Barnard had done called HUNKY DORY. “I was immediately impressed not just by his acting ability but also by his on-screen charisma,” he says. “He’s mesmerizing to watch when he’s on screen and I knew then and there that I wanted him to be our Mariah.”
“These films stand or fall on the strength of their lead character,” insists Michael Sheen, Barnard’s fellow countryman, who plays the swashbuckling hero Will Charity. “And Aneurin is terrific. He looks wonderful as the character, and he’s got that strange gothic look about him. He’s a good-looking lad, but he’s also got a kind of oddness to him. And he’s got that great Welsh work ethic.”
“The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box” is released and distributed by Captive Cinema.SHOWING NATIONWIDE JANUARY 29.