The Indigenous boy who broke Australia’s hearts in distressing footage will hit the big screen alongside one of the world’s biggest stars as his own movie career takes off.
Quaden Bayles, 12, is yet to start high school but already has a thriving life as a movie star and influencer, less than three years after he was bullied so badly he wanted to die.
The Queensland boy made headlines in early 2020 when his mum Yarraka posted a heartbreaking video of him sobbing and asking for ‘rope’ to kill himself after being bullied at school due to his dwarfism.
High-profile names around the world and back home rallied around Quaden, including Oscar-winning filmmaker George Miller, who gave him a role in his latest blockbuster Furiosa, the fifth film in the Mad Max franchise.
It will tell the backstory of Fury Road’s fearsome heroine Furiosa, played in an earlier movie by Charlize Theron.
Quaden will star alongside Australian Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth and actress Anya Taylor-Joy when the action blockbuster hits the cinemas in May 2024.
‘Can’t wait to watch on the big screen next year,’ Quaden told his 273,000 Instagram followers on Monday.
He was quickly inundated with message of support.
‘Going to be an epic film my bro, you absolutely rocked your role,’ a follower commented.
Another added: ‘Congrats Quaden. You are such a wonderful young man. Can’t wait to see this myself.
Furiosa was filmed in New South Wales and was expected to become the biggest movie ever to be made in Australia. Filming wrapped up in September.
Furiosa won’t be Quaden’s first appearance on the big screen.
His acting debut was an extra alongside Hollywood heavyweights Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in Miller’s most recent film Three Thousand Years of Longing.
At the premiere in August, Quaden stole the show on the red carpet.
‘I love acting, I want to do heaps,’ Quaden told NITV News at the time.
‘I can’t believe I’m in Mad Max. I never knew what it was, my brother was the one who showed me what it was and it blew my eyes.
‘I was like ”wow that’s crazy”, and I love working with George Miller.
‘It’s a really great job for me because of what I’ve been through.’
The filmmaker described his young star as ‘very film savvy’ and skilled.
‘Like everyone else, I saw the footage that his mother put up. I was incredibly moved by it,’ Miller said.
‘And I thought, ”If one good thing can happen out of bullying”… and we offered him a little part in the movie. He’s wonderful to work with.’
‘It was good for us and it was good for him,’ Miller said. ‘And he did such a good job that’s he’s got a small role in Furiosa.’
Quaden was born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism.
In 2020, harrowing footage was shared of Quaden sobbing uncontrollably and asking for a knife to kill himself after being bullied at school.
‘I just want to stab myself in the heart… I want someone to kill me,’ he cried
He was then trolled again over the viral video, being falsely accused of being an 18-year-old actor who had lied about his age as part of a scam to raise money.
Quaden was just nine-years old-at the time.
He was pictured looking happy and care-free as he celebrated his 12th birthday last month.
‘Can’t believe my baby boy is 12 years old and off to high school next month,’ his mum wrote.