• "Nitram" is inspired by a brutal incident that took place in Tasmania in the 1990s.

  • The film reveals Caleb Lancry Jones whose first leading role.

  • The thirty-year-old actor did not steal his interpretation prize at Cannes for his disturbing composition.

There is not much in common between Caleb Landry Jones as

20 Minutes

met him in Cannes last July and the disturbing character he plays in

Justin Kurzel's

Nitram .

The performance of the 32-year-old actor is all the more impressive when he slips into the role of the killer who won him an Interpretation Prize on the Croisette in 2021.

This disturbing film inspired by the Port-Arthur Massacre which occurred in Tasmania in 1996 is very surprising for an audience who has never heard of the tragedy.

“It was my case and the script froze me,” confides the actor to

20 Minutes


He is not the only one: the Cannes public remained in shock after the screening.

A form of empathy

In a very elegant suit, the young man with the face of an angel, with a soft voice and clear eyes, shows a soothing kindness that is a thousand miles from the crazy person he embodies.

"I was not afraid to embark on the adventure because I was sure I knew how to balance things between acting and life," he admits.

Nitram is a lost boy for whom, without excusing his actions, I tried to convey a form of empathy.


The spectator is torn between fear and tenderness for this boy who is unsuited to the world around him, to the point of sinking definitively when his main support, an older woman who took him under her wing, is taken away from him.

“It's a film that talks about difference and exclusion and not just about violent deaths.

That's what attracted me to the project,” insists Caleb Landry Jones, who is also a renowned musician.

He immersed himself in the archives on his subject to build his performance which he wished “never to make caricatural”.

A significant role

Justin Kurzel, director of

Crimes of Snowtown


Assassin's Creed

offered his first leading role to the actor who appeared in particular in

Get Out

by Jordan Peele.

“I didn't expect such a degree of involvement,” admits Caleb Landry Jones.

I was surprised by the impact this dive into the nightmare had on me.

“The character of Nitram (“Martin” in verlan) marked the actor in depth.

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“After filming, I needed lightness to the point that I locked myself away for several weeks watching cooking shows on TV.

I'm not sure I'll take on such an intense role anytime soon, but I'm proud of this film.

His performance haunts the public for a long time, which understands why the Spike Lee jury singled him out.

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