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What Jack Has Been Doing Since Room

Whether you're a true-blue cineaste or a casual moviegoer, the last decade has truly been one to remember, with the MCU obliterating box office records and genre fare transforming into prestige fare. Still, the indie realm has undoubtedly churned out some of the most powerful movies to make it to market in recent years, and no production house has done more to bolster the indie game than A24 Films.

The arthouse powerhouse made a name for itself in the early 2010s with offbeat releases like Spring Breakers and one of the most disturbing movies of the last decadeUnder the Skin. But it broke through to the fringes of the mainstream in 2015 with Alex Garland's Ex Machina. That year also found A24 becoming a major player on the awards circuit, with Garland's sci-fi masterpiece and the heartbreaking documentary Amy garnering love from Academy Awards voters. It was the studio's stark drama Room, however, that earned the most love at the Oscars that year. It boasted four nominations, including A24's first Best Picture nod.

That film tells the tale of a young woman (Brie Larson) kidnapped as a teen and held prisoner for years in a small room with Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the son she birthed in captivity by the man who imprisoned her. Equal parts pitch-black captivity chiller, pulse-pounding escape thriller, and emotionally-wrenching survival drama, Room not only proved A24 a mini-major to be reckoned with but also made a star and Oscar winner of Larson. It proved a breakout for her young co-star Tremblay, as well, who's carved out a seriously impressive career for himself in the years since. Here's what he's been up to since his Room breakthrough.

Jacob Tremblay talked some serious trash on The Last Man on Earth

Perhaps looking for a break from the dramatically taxing terrain he lingered in while playing Jack in Room, Jacob Tremblay took on some decidedly lighter material for one of his first follow-up roles: a one-off appearance on Fox's critically-adored but ratings-starved post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth.

During its four seasons on Fox, The Last Man on Earth was one of the best comedies on television. That's largely thanks to the efforts of its stars, Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte and the egregiously unheralded queen of comedy Kristen Schaal (Bill & Ted Face the Music), who anchored the madcap (yet often surprisingly emotional) adventures of the titular man trying to survive the end of days while also discovering he isn't exactly alone in the world.

As for how Jacob Tremblay fits into that narrative, well, he doesn't. Not exactly. Tremblay made his lone The Last Man on Earth appearance in season 2 as the younger version of Forte in a bottle episode focused on the return of the character's astronaut brother (Jason Sudekis) to Earth amid the deadly outbreak. He does so in hilarious fashion, too, essentially playing the astronaut's hallucination of his brother and hurling some seriously brutal insults. Those insults (and eventually much worse) come fast and furious as the astronaut struggles to find dry land after crashing into the ocean, and each line proves beyond doubt that Tremblay can play comedy every bit as effectively as drama.

Jacob Tremblay brought dreams to frightening life in Before I Wake

In 2016, Jacob Tremblay continued to feature his versatility by signing on to appear in a low-budget supernatural thriller from one of genre cinema's best auteurs on the rise. That director was none other than Mike Flanagan (OcculusThe Haunting of Hill HouseDoctor Sleep), who cast Tremblay for the lead role in a film that would eventually become a modest hit and wind up on our list of the creepiest Netflix movies you shouldn't watch alone.

That film is called Before I Wake. And due to some unfortunate behind-the-scenes issues (the bankruptcy of Relativity Media, who produced the film), it didn't actually make its debut until the early days of 2018. As it happens, Netflix rescued the film from post-production oblivion. If you discovered the film there since its release, you know what a fine bit of mercy that was, as Before I Wake is a marvel boasting some serious scares while exploring the central themes that drive much of Flanagan's best works (i.e. fractured families and emotionally scarred people consumed by grief, regret, and isolation).

At the center of Before I Wake is a grieving young couple (Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane) who, still struggling with the tragic loss of their young son, take in a gloomy foster child by the name of Cody (Tremblay). They soon discover Cody possesses a unique gift that enables his dreams and nightmares to become real for those around him. What Flanagan spins from that singular setup is nothing short of miraculous, pivoting from horrifying nightmare imagery to near magical hyper-realities with uncanny nimbleness and a genuine sense of awe. And yes, it's all anchored by a powerhouse turn from Tremblay.

Jacob Tremblay tangled with a killer alien in The Predator

Though The Predator premiered the same year as Before I Wake, fans of young Jacob Tremblay saw a very different actor when he turned up in that film. And indeed, The Predator found a slightly older version of Tremblay portraying an autistic youngster who gets in way over his head when he inadvertently becomes the target of alien-hunting beasts wreaking havoc on Earth.

That unfortunate turn of events unfolds after the kid's Army Ranger dad (Boyd Holbrook) serves on a mission that discovers a downed Predator ship and manages to subdue the creature inside enough to keep it in captivity. He also pinches some of the creature's armor and mails it off to his ex-wife hoping to prove the existence of aliens once and for all. Unfortunately, his son beats him to the punch by activating its programming while on a trick-or-treating adventure, thus making himself a target and setting in motion the film's action-packed narrative.

As intriguing as that setup is, most critics and viewers agreed The Predator provided more bluster than brains (Rotten Tomatoes). And unfortunately for Tremblay, many had issues with the way the film depicts autism — even though most agree the actor himself is very good in the role. In spite of the backlash, The Predator still managed to net north of $160 million in ticket sales (Box Office Mojo), making it one of the highest-grossing projects Tremblay has ever appeared in.

Jacob Tremblay broke very bad for Good Boys

As happens with every child actor in Hollywood, Jacob Tremblay is indeed growing up right before our very eyes — and fast, too. The actor is already well into his teenage years. Thankfully, it appears Tremblay is handling the transition to adult actor better than most. And if his raunchy 2019 comedy Good Boys is any indication, he's having a lot of fun doing it.

Produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express), and directed by The Office alum Gene Stupnitsky, the film follows a trio of pre-teen sixth graders (Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon) who ditch school in hopes of retrieving a clandestine lost drone, only to find themselves on an R-rated odyssey that takes them places they never could've anticipated. Understand that by "R-rated odyssey" we mean very R-rated, as Good Boys finds the trio breaking bad in the vulgar ways one might expect from a film by Rogen and Goldberg.

Good Boys is also a wickedly insightful, utterly hilarious, and often cringe-worthy story about youngsters confronting the emotional, social, and sexual forces that are rapidly devouring their adolescence. As raunchy as Good Boys is (Room fans will be shocked to see Tremblay throwing expletives around so freely), it's also an endearingly virtuous little movie that most agree depicts wayward suburban youth in a refreshingly open and honest fashion. Like Superbad and Booksmart before it, the coming-of-age movie should be required viewing for pre-teens — even if none of them are actually old enough to buy a ticket.