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What’s It Like Watching Your Child Become a Netflix Star? Ask Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White

What’s It Like Watching Your Child Become a Netflix Star? Ask Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White

Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White are no strangers to the world of film and television, but watching their son rise to fame is uncharted territory for them.

White and Hynes have collaborated on several major projects — Be Black, Crackie And Small dogto name a few – but their most fruitful shared credit is their role as parents to Percy Hynes White.

They’ve seen his career take off in recent years with roles in Marvel’s The giftedbut he entered the streaming market with Netflix’s big hit Wednesday, with multiple episodes directed by Tim Burton.

“What did Tim Burton say about him? Do you remember that?” Hynes asks with a raspy laugh.

“Yeah, Tim Burton described him as naturally nice and untrustworthy,” White laughed.

Netflix

Hynes, 21, had been on Netflix’s radar for several years, after screen testing for Strange things when he was a teenager. He didn’t get the part — he was a few years older than the rest of the cast — but his parents now see it for what it was.

“It’s a blessing he didn’t experience that then,” Hynes said.

Wednesday – an adjustment of The Addams Family — had the most successful launch of any series in Netflix history, surpassing the records set by Strange thingsaccording to the streaming service. Hynes White plays Xavier Thorpe, a young painter who is in the class of the series’ title character.

Since the series started, Hynes White’s social media following has exploded.

“The day before it launched, he was at—” White began.

“A hundred thousand?” Hynes interrupted.

“Not even — 76,000. And now he’s at 2.4 (million).”

“Sherry’s watching,” Hynes laughed.

LISTEN: Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White talk to Krissy Holmes about St. John’s Morning Show:

Shooting during Romanian lockdown

While everyone in the family has a wealth of experience on film and TV sets, nothing compares to the experience their son had filming Wednesday. Most of the filming took place in Romania, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The country had a mandatory curfew and the actors spent a lot of time in their apartment building.

White and Hynes took turns visiting their son and helping him settle down on his own for the first time for an extended period.

“When I got there, Percy only had a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge,” his mother said.

“It’s not always easy,” his father said. “He’s there for seven or eight days in between work days, in an apartment in a foreign country with a curfew. I just went over and bought him a toaster and kitchen knives and made his apartment more livable.”

They say all that attention hasn’t changed their son. He grew up in the industry and knows that the business can be full of ups and downs and that fame can be fleeting.

Hynes and White said their son is now filming a romantic comedy with Wednesday star Jenna Ortega, which is filming in Utah.

White said the couple became good friends while filming in Romania, the first project Hynes White worked with people his own age.

“He’s made some great friends,” Hynes said. “Real, good, solid foundational friendships on this show (and) that’s never happened before.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador