At home with Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

There aren’t too many kids who can count Samuel L Jackson, Judi Dench and Tim Burton as pals.

But local 10-year-old twins Tom and Joe Odwell are not your average children.

In fact, you could say they are very peculiar children… in their Hollywood movie roles at least.

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The pair were catapulted to stardom as the creepy, masked twins in the huge US blockbuster Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.

But when Celebrate:MK caught up with Tom and Joe at home with their parents, we were relieved to find two very normal boys – with no spooky masks in sight.

Dad John, who was a media lecturer at MK College for 10 years before becoming a chaperone to young movie and theatre stars, explained the freakish sequence of events that led to the twins landing their roles.

“A friend messaged me to say an agency was looking for twins for a film and that if the boys were lucky enough they might get a part as extras standing in the background.

“So I sent the agency some pictures and filled in a couple of forms, then about an hour later they phoned us up and said production want the boys in tomorrow.

“They did well there and the next day we were informed that they were going to be cast as doubles for two key cast members in the film, so we were over the moon.

“But then as things progressed they were fortunate enough that the director Tim Burton really liked them and the situation came about that they were moved up to key cast. We couldn’t believe it.”

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The Odeon at Stadium:MK hosted a private screening for the twins’ family and friends when the film – which has just been released on DVD – was launched at cinemas across the country.

The boys and their parents have fond memories of their six months on set filming in Belgium, Blackpool and Cornwall – not least because of the Hollywood A-listers they were rubbing shoulders with.

John said: “Tim Burton worked really well with the children. I was expecting him to be crazy and wacky but he was just really nice.

“And Samuel L Jackson is brilliant. On set he was very funny, he made the kids laugh and he made them jump a few times!

“We had a midway celebration party in Blackpool and Samuel turned up and sat with the kids for about half an hour – he even took selfies with them (pictured).

“All of the main stars were personable but Samuel was just amazing. All the kids in the film are still in touch and speak to each other on Instagram.”

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The twins’ own celebrity status is confirmed by their 17,000 followers on Instagram, their move to the prestigious Sylvia Young talent agency in London, and the fact that they own toys of themselves (pictured).

Tom said: “We own about 100 ‘Pop!’ character toys so we were so excited when they released toys of us.

“But our friends still look at us as just ordinary people and not as film stars or anything. “It was mad at first but now we’ve got back to normality, which is nice, and we are concentrating on school.”

But their normal life may not last for long – if a sequel to the movie is announced.

Mum Stacey said: “The story is from a three-part trilogy of books, written by Ransom Riggs, so there may well be a sequel.

“Nothing has been decided yet but Tom and Joe would jump at the chance to do it.”

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You can follow the Odwell twins on Instagram at @theodwelltwins

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