Noah Matthews Matofsky, a 15-year-old British actor with Down syndrome, has made history by becoming the first to secure a significant role in a Disney feature film.
Noah landed the role of Slightly, the leader of the Lost Boys in the upcoming live-action movie Peter Pan & Wendy, after being selected by thousands of young actors.
Filmed in Vancouver and Newfoundland over six months, Noah’s parents accompanied him on the trip, which he described as “an amazing experience.”
Despite being his first acting job, Noah impressed his co-stars with his quick line-learning skills and even took part in sword-fighting training. He was also thrilled to have his trailer by the set and make new friends, including Jude Law, who plays Captain Hook in the film.
Noah’s inclusion in the film was made possible through the inclusive talent agency Zebedee, where he was registered as a model. The agency’s ethos is to push its talent forward, regardless of whether the role is for a disabled person.
Noah’s parents expressed their pride in his achievement and hope that he will inspire other young people with Down syndrome to pursue their dreams. “As captain of the Lost Boys, Noah’s character Slightly shows that Down syndrome never needs to hold you back,” said his mother, Kathryn. “It’s not a learning difficulty – a learning difference, and we should embrace differences.”