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Down's actor lands a star role in new film
IF YOU don’t know this face already, you probably soon will.
Actor and comedian Otto Baxter, who has Down’s Syndrome, gained national notoriety in 2009 when his quest to lose his virginity was the subject of BBC3 documentary Love, Lust and Las Vegas.
Now the star from Steventon is down to the final two in auditions for a new BBC drama and has just finished shooting his latest film Ups & Downs.
He is sworn to secrecy about the BBC production but is excited about Ups & Downs.
Originally given the working title Brotherhood, the independent film by London director Stuart Fryer portrays a day in the life of two brothers, one of whom has Down’s Syndrome. Otto’s character Josh and his bullying on-screen brother Harry, played by Bobby Lockwood, star of CBBC’s Wolfblood drama series, throw a house party together, but a drunken Harry tells Josh to stay upstairs in his room.
When Harry ends up lying on the floor vomitting it his Josh who comes to help him.
In Otto’s words, “Harry gets very sick, puking everywhere, and I have to come to the rescue.”
Otto, 26, who also has Tourette’s Syndrome, is going to introduce the film at its premiere at Covent Garden’s Hospital Club, on October 3.
Mr Fryer said: “When I first met him, I was quite scared.
“He is so full-on. I wondered if I could get a performance out of him, especially with his Tourette’s.
“But he is a little star — when you say ‘action’ he takes direction.
“I am incredibly fond of him. He’s got a little magic to him and the rest of the cast all loved him.”
Mr Fryer has now entered the film in 31 international film festivals and counting, including Sundance in Utah, Berlin and Toronto.
Otto is confident in his director: “Of course I think it’s a good film.”
Otto’s mum Lucy Baxter said: “He keeps being offered things. He doesn’t apply for any of them.”
Lucy is Otto’s adoptive mother. As well as Otto has brought up his brothers, James, 31, Titus, 17, and 10-year-old Rafi. All have Down’s Syndrome.
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