Apr. 1st, 1997
Asa Butterfield's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2011 - Hugo Cabret
2010 - Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
2010 - The Wolfman
2008 - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
2007 - Son of Rambow
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Asa Maxwell Thornton Farr Butterfield (born 1 April 1997) is an English actor known for starring in the Holocaust film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), playing Norman in the 2010 film Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, and taking the title role in Martin Scorsese's 2011 fantasy Hugo. He will also be portraying Ender Wiggin in the upcoming film adaptation of the science fiction novel Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
Life and career Asa Butterfield was born in Islington, London, the son of Jacqueline Farr and Sam Butterfield. He has an older brother, Morgan, who is a drummer for the English bands Oats and Underneath the Tallest Tree, and two younger sisters, Loxie and Marlie. Asa has said that he is just as happy reading a book as playing computer games and tries not to let his acting dominate his whole life.
Butterfield first started acting at the age of 7 on Friday afternoons after school at the Young Actors' Theatre, in his hometown. Later, he secured minor roles in the 2006 television drama After Thomas and the 2007 film Son of Rambow. In 2008 he also had a guest role playing Donny in Ashes to Ashes.
In that same year, aged 10, he played the lead role in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Director Mark Herman said that they came across Butterfield early on in the audition process. He was on the first audition tape he received and he was the third hopeful he met in person. Herman thought Butterfield's performance was outstanding, but only decided to cast him after auditioning hundreds of other boys, "so no stone was left unturned".
Producer David Heyman and director Mark Herman were looking for someone who was able to portray the main character's innocence, so they asked each of the children what they knew about the Holocaust. Butterfield's knowledge was slim and it was purposely kept that way throughout filming so it would be easier for him to convey his character's innocence. The final scenes of the film were shot at the end of the production period to prepare both him and Jack Scanlon for the dramatic ending of the film. He beat hundreds of boys to the role and also successfully passed the auditions for a role in Mr. Nobody for which he auditioned at the same time. He chose not to pursue the latter role.