Tye Sheridan credits Led Zeppelin for getting him his role in “Joe.” ¶ The newcomer wanted to dress cool to audition to play Nicolas Cage’s younger counterpart in the drama opening this weekend. ¶ “The [Zep] shirt was my mom’s and she found it at a thrift store,” says the 17-year-old Sheridan. “I took it and put holes in it to make it look better. My mom got so mad at me for putting holes in it.” ¶ The Elkhart, Texas, wunderkind is amassing an impressive resume. He starred opposite Matthew McConaughey in “Mud” and Brad Pitt in “The Tree of Life,” where he played the youngest son of Jessica Chastain and Pitt. In “Joe,” he plays teen Gary, who is befriended by an ex-con (Cage) who becomes an unlikely role model for him.
Q. What was the appeal of “Joe”?
A. I grew up in the South and I read this script and immediately fell in love with it with the stories and the characters. So I auditioned for it. I kept getting called back and finally met Nicolas Cage.
Q. You’ve worked with Brad, Matthew and now Nic. Do you ever get nervous meeting these heavy-hitters?
A. I wouldn’t say nervous. I would say I’m more aware of who is who and what is going on when these guys walk in the first time. But then you spend times with these guys and it’s no big deal.
Q. Nicolas Cage seems like he’d surprise you during a scene. How do you handle that during the shoot?
A. I had a good idea what I wanted to do with the character. I spent some time with Nic trying to figure him out. Once I was on the set, we totally got each other and it was fun.
Q. Didn’t you just fall into acting?
A. I never really wanted to act. I did fall into it. I was just living a regular kid’s childhood and then some casting people came into my school and said that there were auditions for “Tree of Life.” They auditioned about 10,000 kids, and I got cast. It was amazing. I was so young and it was fun to go to a set and hang out with Brad Pitt. He was so cool.
Q. Pretty soon you’ll star in “Dark Places” and “Scouts v. Zombies.” Is acting your lifelong goal now?
A. I think I want to stay in this industry. I don’t know if acting is particularly what I want to do in it. But I love making movies. I’ll figure it out.