The Indigenous boy who broke Australia’s hearts in harrowing footage is set to hit the big screen alongside one of the world’s biggest stars as his own film career takes off.
Quaden Bayles, 12, is still in high school but is already thriving 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 mother Yarraka posted a heartbreaking video of him sobbing and asking for a “rope” to kill himself after he was bullied at school for his dwarfism.
Big names around the world and at home have flocked to 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 terrifying heroine, Furiosa, who was played by Charlize Theron in the earlier film.
Quaden will star alongside Australian Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth and actress Anya Taylor-Joy when the action blockbuster hits theaters in May 2024.
Quaden Bayles (pictured on the red carpet in August) starred in his latest film alongside Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy
Quaden’s new career move follows successful forays into Instagram and TikTok. He recently met Indigenous rapper The Kid Laroi
“I can’t wait to watch the big screen next year,” Quaden told his 273,000 Instagram followers on Monday.
He was quickly inundated with messages of support.
“This is going to be an epic movie bro you absolutely rocked your role,” commented one follower.
Another added: “Congratulations Quaden. You are such a wonderful young man. I can’t wait to see it for myself.”
Filmed in New South Wales, Furiosa would become the biggest film ever shot in Australia. Filming ended in September.
Furiosa won’t be Quaden’s first appearance on the big screen.
He made his acting debut alongside Hollywood heavyweights Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in Miller’s latest film Three Thousand Years of Longing.
Quaden Byales (pictured with mom Yarraka) celebrated his 12th birthday in December
At the premiere in August, Quaden stole the show on the red carpet.
“I love acting, I want to do a lot,” 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 mind.
“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 experienced.
“Like everyone else, I saw the footage his mother uploaded. I was incredibly moved by it,” Miller said.
“And I was like, ‘If something good can come out of bullying’… and we offered him a small part in the film. It is wonderful to work with him.”
“It was good for us and it was good for him,” Miller said. “And he did such a good job that he has a small role in Furiosa.”
It’s been less than three years since footage of a distressed Quaden made headlines around the world
Quaden was born with achondroplasia, a form 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 yelled
He was then trolled again over the viral video and falsely accused of being an 18-year-old actor who lied about his age as part of a money-raising scam.
Quaden was just nine years old at the time.
He looked happy and carefree as he celebrated his 12th birthday last month.
“I can’t believe my little boy is 12 and starting high school next month,” his mom wrote.
Rapper The Kid Laroi (left) is among many of Quaden’s high profile fans