A small but significant role is played by Walsall-born Joel Sheldon, as T-shirt Boy. An attendee of the Pauline Quirk Academy, he was chosen from a long-list of five hundred to play a zombie child whose actions cause a pivotal shift in the film's events.
Here's why we're talking about a zombie film in an ethical fashion and charity blog: when he was seven, Joel was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was supported through extensive chemo- and radiotherapy by the good folk at CLIC Sargent, the charity for young people with cancer. The procedures were successful, and he was able to chase his dream of movie stardom–a dream that has come one step closer with his role in The Girl With All The Gifts.
Joel is remarkably calm and collected about the whole thing, and has a clear view of his future. He says:
“I would love to be an actor when I grow up. I’ve just auditioned for a part in Game of Thrones, season six. I didn’t get the part, but I’ll be doing more auditions when I’m called up for them.”
Ironically, Joel will be unable to see the film in cinemas. It's 15-rated, so he's too young!
Stories like Joel's show just how important the work CLIC Sargent do can be, and how their support can help kids with cancer to not just survive, but beat the odds and follow their dreams.
For more on the story, check out the Walsall Express And Star:
The Girl With All The Gifts is in cinemas now.