George Miller cast the 11-year-old in a small role in the movie Furiosa, which is a prequel to his 2015 post-apocalyptic blockbuster.
Quaden Bayles, an indigenous boy from Australia, went viral in 2020 after his mom, Yarraka Bayles, went live on social media. She talked about how hurt and dejected he was to be bullied in school by his peers.
Bayles was born with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and after the video was shared and reshared, he won the hearts of people around the globe, including celebrities, who wished him well.
One such celebrity who was deeply impacted by the video of the then 9-year-old Bayles was George Miller, acclaimed director of Mad Max: Fury Road and the upcoming Three Thousand Years of Longing, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Now, the Oscar-winning director has cast the 11-year-old in a small role in the movie Furiosa, which is a prequel to his 2015 post-apocalyptic blockbuster, reports CNN. During an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, he spoke about how he was disturbed when he learned that News Corp columnist Miranda Devine accused the mother of teaching her son to pretend being hurt and labelled it as a scam.
Quaden Bayles, an indigenous Australian boy who won the support of celebrities and well-wishers around the globe after being bullied because of his disability, has landed a role in the new "Mad Max" movie. https://t.co/PbmdSuYMDQ— CNN (@CNN) August 22, 2022
He figured that as a director who had also been a doctor, he could recognize acting, but what the little one did was not acting. “I thought, ‘What the hell would she know about that?’ ” he said. “That really fired me up.”
Eventually, Miller invited Quaden to play a small part in Three Thousand Years. “It was good for us and it was good for him,” he said. “And he did such a good job that he’s got a small role in Furiosa.”
In the viral video that has since been deleted, the little boy can be seen crying and pleading that he doesn't want to live anymore and wants to die, with Yarraka explaining the context in the background. “I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people [to] know, parents, educators teachers, this is the effects that bullying has, this is what bullying does,” she said. "Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?"
Among the several celebs that came out in support of the child was Australian actor Hugh Jackman, who posted a video message on Twitter telling Bayles: "No matter what, you've got a friend in me."
"Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate," Jackman said. "Everyone, let's just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | ABC News In-depth