Roman Griffin Davis burst onto the scene in 2019 with his incredible lead performance in the satirical comedy-drama film Jojo Rabbit. Despite his young age, Davis displayed a maturity and talent far beyond his years and quickly won over audiences. So what is it that makes people love Roman Griffin Davis so much?
Endearing Personality On and Off Screen
Part of Davis’ widespread appeal stems from his charming, goofy, and humble off-screen personality. He comes across as a polite, intelligent, fun-loving kid in interviews who can’t quite believe his success. This makes him immensely likable and relatable.
His personality also shines through in his acclaimed performance in Jojo Rabbit. As the young German boy Jojo who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl during WWII, Davis balances humor, drama, and emotional complexity with an endearing innocence and charm. He makes the character extremely sympathetic even as Jojo hold reprehensible Nazi beliefs.
Memorable Breakout Performance at a Young Age
For many, Davis’ breakout lead performance in Jojo Rabbit is what first captured people’s love and attention:
|Age During Filming
|10 years old
|First Acting Role
|Jojo Rabbit was his first professional role
|Nominated for a Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, SAG Award, and BAFTA Rising Star Award
At just 10 years old during filming, Davis carried the weight of a major studio film and complex lead role entirely on his shoulders. His genuine, emotional, and hilarious performance earned him critical acclaim and several major award nominations rarely seen for a child actor’s debut role.
Rave Reviews Praising His Talent
Reviews for Jojo Rabbit were glowing when it came to Davis, further fueling the love fest:
|Expert Review Snippets on Davis
|Reviewer Names & Publications
|“astonishing debut performance”
|Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
|“nothing short of a revelation”
|Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
|“exceptional lead performance”
|David Erhlich, IndieWire
|“one of the best performances of the year”
|Chris Bumbray, JoBlo’s Movie Emporium
As the snippets above demonstrate, top critics were blown away by Davis’ acting skills, with many naming his performance among 2019’s very best. It’s rare for a seasoned adult actor to receive such effusive praise, let alone an untested child actor in his first role. This stunned reception underscored Davis’ prodigious gifts.
Talent that Suggests a Bright Future
Of course, the main reason people have fallen in love with Davis is that infectious debut performance itself, which hinted at major talent and star quality belying his years.
Comedic Timing & Emotional Range
Two aspects of Davis’ acting skillset that especially amazed were his honed comedic timing and his emotional range:
|Impeccable sense of humor that got some of the biggest laughs
|Moved seamlessly between slapstick comedy, naive innocence, ideological indoctrination, tragedy, and moral awakening
|Knew precisely how long to hold a punchline for maximum effect
|Conveyed hidden depths beneath Jojo’s initial Hitler Youth fanaticism
|Comedic interplay with Scarlett Johansson demonstrated sharp wit and listening
|Powerfully expressed anguish, betrayal, and moral struggle upon discovering his mother’s secret
Very few experienced adult actors can go toe-to-toe with comedy chops like Scarlett Johansson. But Davis kept pace with her step for step, suggesting major comedic potential. And he nimbly navigated Jojo Rabbit’s tonal shifts, conveying profound emotional growth.
Effortless Naturalism On Screen
Davis also demonstrated an advanced ability to inhabit his character and behave on screen with an effortless naturalism per these examples:
|Inhabiting His Character
|Childlike fidgeting & restless energy
|Embodied Jojo’s mix of Hitler Youth ideological zeal and boyish innocence
|Natural interactions with other young actors
|Fluidly spoke German dialogue and adopted German mannerisms/style
|Easy tears when overwhelmed with emotion
|Subtly suggested when Jojo began questioning his beliefs through small facial cues
Davis never seemed like he was acting. He fully inhabited his scenes and character without apparent effort, showing instincts far beyond his years. The advanced skills highlighted above point to a potentially great actor in the making.
Great Role Model For Young People
On top of his obvious talent that wowed audiences everywhere, Roman Griffin Davis stands out as a great role model for children and teenagers getting into acting. Beyond giving them inspiration through the quality of his performance, the way he has handled his early success provides a blueprint for kid actors balancing work, life, and school:
Balancing Acting & Normal Life
- Despite his early fame, Davis continues going to school full time rather than turning to homeschooling
- His parents only allowed him to pursue acting if it did not interfere with his education
- He remains grounded with good family support and friends outside the film industry
Displaying Maturity & Work Ethic On Set
- Impressed the Jojo Rabbit crew by memorizing all his lines & everyone else’s
- Stunned director Taika Waititi with insightful notes & suggestions about his character
- Showed up eager to work hard every day without “diva” behavior often expected from child stars
Davis proves child actors can achieve acclaimed performances without sacrificing school or a balanced life. And he demonstrates a sterling work ethic and humble maturity that should inspire other kids following in his footsteps.
What’s Next After Jojo Rabbit?
With critics buzzing about his talent and audiences eager to see more after falling in love with his performance, anticipation is high for what roles Roman Griffin Davis takes on next.
More Comedic Roles Would Showcase Strengths
Comedy appears tailored to Davis’ strengths. Impeccable timing, witty line delivery, and potential for physical comedy suggest more comedic roles could be the best next move for him to continue showcasing his talents.
But Range ofDramatic Talent Provides Many Options
That said, Davis revealed surprisingly mature dramatic acting chops for his age as well. Portraying more emotionally complex characters reckoning with serious themes could be a pathway to evolving into a uniquely versatile actor if that is his preference.
Davis Has Hollywood’s Attention
Regardless of which direction he goes in, Hollywood surely now has eyes laser focused on Roman Griffin Davis moving forward. He has ignited industry buzz that actors three times his age would envy. Expect casting agents to clamor offering him hot scripts.