Actor with Nanaimo roots plays character in Disney’s The BFG

NANAIMO - Daniel Bacon, who grew up in Cedar, stars in Disney's The BFG and the film Brain on Fire.

Daniel Bacon plays Bonecruncher in the Disney movie The BFG.

Daniel Bacon plays Bonecruncher in the Disney movie The BFG.

Bonecruncher is evil.

He snakes his hands through children’s windows at night and tugs them out of bed to become his dinner.

He’s part of a motley crew of giants with a voracious appetite for human flesh.

To become Bonecruncher on the big screen, in Disney’s The BFG, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, actor Daniel Bacon had to go to giant camp.

The camp was led by Terry Notary, an actor, stunt coordinator and movement coach.

In his youth, growing up in Nanaimo, Bacon got a few injuries, and while they didn’t bother him when he was younger, Bacon said now in his 40s it’s more noticeable. He has one side that bothers him more than the other and Notary noticed that and worked with it to help construct the physicality of Bonecruncher.

“My character had one side of his body that was powerful and one that was deficient,” said Bacon.

On set he ended up wearing 11 kilogram weights on his wrist and ankle to emphasize the difference.

“It really helped to distinguish the giants. Each of the actors had a different trait or identity,” he said.

Bacon’s facial expressions and movements were recorded by numerous cameras surrounding the actor, who wore a motion-capture suit.

The cameras only record the actors in the suits, so crew members were free to roam around and between the actors to film scenes.

Bacon said the technology can capture even the slightest facial movements to bring life to a character.

When he originally auditioned for the role, Bacon said he didn’t know which of the giants he was trying out for.

“I went in and kind of went for it and had fun and embraced the play aspect,” said Bacon.

He can also be seen as Dr. Han in the film Brain on Fire, based on the memoir of Susannah Cahalan. He acts alongside Chloë Grace Moretz. The film tells the story of a young woman who wakes up in a hospital room unable to speak or move and with no memory of what’s happened.

Bacon said he has never played a character based on a real person before.

“I had a little bit of deep-seated pressure because I thought, I want to do this justice,” said Bacon.

Bacon moved to Cedar from England with his family when he was seven. He attended Cedar Junior Secondary School and then Nanaimo District Secondary School. He attended Malaspina College, now Vancouver Island University, for two years and then moved to Vancouver.

He attended a commercial audition with a friend and landed the spot.

“That’s basically what sparked the journey into acting,” said Bacon.

The job led to a few other commercials and he decided to pursue acting. Bacon said he didn’t believe growing up he would have the opportunity to pursue an acting career, but it is possible.

“If you want to do it, then do it,” said Bacon.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com