“The Art of Getting By” opens June 17. Check out the trailer below.

By Lyanne Alfaro

We may remember him by the name of Charlie Bucket in “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory” in 2005. Yet, Freddie Highmore says his acting career really took off with “Finding Neverland.” Today, Highmore is 19 and plays the role of George, a “disillusioned and bitter” teenager who falls in love in a coming-of-age film, “The Art of Getting By.” He stars opposite Emma Roberts, and a diverse supporting cast includes Alicia Silverstone and Blair Underwood. Highmore recently spoke with The Mash about the movie.

What made you want to do this film?
I think what stood out to me about this film was the fact that it came across as incredibly real to me.

What were some of the best parts of working on the film?
One reason why it was so great to work on the film was getting to know and talk with some fantastic actors. The thing that I enjoyed the most was playing George and working on getting a real development in his character. I said before that he was disillusioned and bitter and a bit of a fatalist but I think that is really near the start of the film. What was really exciting was (seeing) how he changed throughout. It was interesting to try and get a real change in the character throughout the film.

What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
… Not only will (audiences) recognize the problems but also figure their way out. I think the film is quite honest about meeting other people as they are coming of age. … I think they will enjoy the honesty and accessibility that the film has.

How does your personality differ from the character you play in the movie?
The main difference between George and I is the way that we deal with the emotions that everyone goes through. What is great about “The Act of Getting By” is that it does encompass things that pretty much everyone feels. They are wanting to succeed and having that pressure to succeed. All of those are things that we all have to deal with and in that way I can relate to George.

How did you get into acting?
I started off doing small parts for this one show on television and (a) few little films now and then, but nothing really big until “Finding Neverland.” After that, we filmed it pretty well and it became my ticket to other parts. I think that was my first big break, and after that things took off a little bit.

What was it like growing up in a showbiz family in London?
I never really thought so much that I grew up in much of a showbiz family. I always felt that I distanced myself quite a lot from it, to be honest. My mom is an agent but to me, she is (just) my mom.

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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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