Look out for a young teen actor in "Shadows in the Sun" which is finally released in June. It's young star, Toby Marlow (Abacus) made the film when he was was 12. Now 14, Toby will also play the young Messala, Ben-Hur’s best friend, in the new remake of Ben-Hur, which is being made as a TV series by an American company.
This will be the seventh role for Toby, who has never had an acting lesson but cut his teeth in Miss Marple when he was nine.
His parents, property developers Andy and Helma, say he is a “natural”. Mrs Marlow, a former professional singer, said: “He used to perform in school plays and with drama groups. People kept telling us that he should do it professionally.
“We spoke to someone who recommended some agents to us and he got work immediately. We are really proud of him.”
Toby, a pupil at Abingdon School, has appeared in two other TV series, Egypt and Silent Witness as well as two films, Senseless and Mistress Of Spices.
He plays the lead in Shadows In The Sun, which will be released on June 5.
He will travel to Morocco for 10 days later this month to film Ben-Hur, which originally starred Charlton Heston.
“I’ll be learning how to ride a chariot on the second day,” he said. “Acting means you get to go to lots of places and meet some great people.” He met Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden on the set of Miss Marple. “She was lovely,” said Toby. “She invited me and another actor to play cards in her caravan.”
His parents are selective about the roles he accepts.
Mrs Marlow said: “We won’t let him do adverts, soaps or the stage because it is too much of a commitment. In a big production, Toby could be away for months. He is still at school and we run a business and have a family.”
Toby’s brother Jasper, 16, is more interested in sport and plays for Henley Cricket Club. Sister Annabel, 10, who goes to Rupert House School in Henley, has just signed up to the same agent as Toby.
The young actor, who plays the piano, guitar and flute, would like to become a professional musician.
He said: “I am doing acting now to get some experience. I am still at school, so I am getting contacts for later life.
“I don’t think I want to be an actor because there is only a small chance I could make it. I would love to be like Will Smith, who acts and plays music, or Damien Rice.”