While Callan McAuliffe plays a talented computer hacker in the modern-day drama Anonymous, which is making its US theatrical debut this weekend, Australian audiences can see him in cinemas now as 19th Century bushranger Daniel Ryan in The Legend of Ben Hall.
"I think it will be educational for a lot of people," McAuliffe tells WHO of Matthew Holmes's screen version of the real life of Ben Hall, who roamed with his gang across New South Wales in the mid-1800's.
"I of course knew of Ned Kelly, and you'd hear the name of Ben Hall here and there, but I didn't know the extend to which Ben Hall and his gang were prolific throughout Australian history and how grand his story was. I'm proud to be part of one of the first really public adventures involving him."
The Los Angeles-based McAuliffe, originally from Sydney, was glad to return home for the part when writer-director Holmes reached out to him a few months before shooting began. "I'm always grateful whenever someone extends a offer like that," he says, "and I've always wanted to shoot in the Aussie outback, which I've not done very much of.
"So this was one of those dream come true situations." In between horse riding and gunfights, McAuliffe says he did get a bit of teasing by his fellow castmates Jack Martin, Jamie Coffa and William Lee.
"I just went to the premiere in Forbes and Jack introduced me to people as Big Shot," McAuliffe says with a laugh. "So that was kind of funny. I love working with people that are my age or thereabouts, 10 years either side, because it's kind of like a summer camp."
McAuliffe began his career as a child actor on shows such as Packed to the Rafters before breaking through internationally in the 2010 Rob Reiner rom-com Flipped. That led to the 2011 sci-fi film I Am Number Four and the part of young Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 epic The Great Gatsby.
Now at the age of 21, McAuliffe says, "They have me going in these days to audition for characters that are anything from 16 through 26. Someone told me the other day they thought I was 30. I don't know how I felt about that! I don't know whether to take that as a character compliment or an aesthetic offence."
To read an interview with McAuliffe's co-star Jack Martin, who plays Ben Hall, pick up this week's WHO on newsstands now.