12-year-old Daniel Kerr gets Bafta nod for Paul Ferris role in The Wee Man

Glaswegian is youngest recipient of Bafta New Talent Award

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The Independent Culture

A 12-year-old boy who played a Scottish gangster in The Wee Man has become the youngest person to scoop a Bafta New Talent Award.

Daniel Kerr, who played a young Paul Ferris, drew raves for his mature performance in a movie that otherwise earned mixed reviews from critics.

“It just felt fantastic to even be nominated, it was a night to remember. I must be doing something right to win a Bafta,” he said, after picking up his gong for Best Acting Performance. “I could relate to Paul Ferris as a young boy, getting up to mischief.”

The Glaswegian actor’s idol is James McAvoy, and he’s already mimicking the Shameless actor by mixing low budget indie fare with huge blockbusters. Kerr filmed Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and due out in 2014, over the summer.

His stepfather Iain Kerr said that the production was shrouded in secrecy. “We only got a certain section of script that he’s in,” he said. And while Mr Kerr was sure Daniel had been telling his friends he had tea with Jolie, he said their interaction was more limited: “I think he gave her a nod and a wink, he says she winked back.”

Kerr has been acting since the age of four, but he struggled to find an agent in Scotland. His current agent, Jess Bell, said she was astonished he hadn’t already been picked up when he travelled to Manchester for an audition three years ago.

“He was the sweetest little thing,” she said. “But when we said ‘be a bully’ he could do it, and he could be vulnerable too. He could turn it off and on, and cry too.”

Mr Kerr said Daniel is broadly unaware of his own talents and isn’t starry or affected.

“We keep him grounded, he still comes home and does his homework. You see these kids with [ideas above] their station but he’s got a good grounding in family life.”