Julian Dennison made his screen debut in 2013 feature Shopping, as the younger brother of a troubled teen. His performance netted him the New Zealand Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was only 11 at the time. After landing a role in Australian movie Paper Planes, Dennison co-starred opposite Kiwi acting legend Sam Neill in Kiwi box office champ Hunt for the Wilderpeople, as a 'troubled' child sent to stay in the backblocks. Dennison scored another local acting award. He'd first worked with director Taika Waititi in 2013, on a drug driving commercial. He also appears in movies Chronesthesia and Deadpool 2.
...finally, what makes Wilderpeople memorable is how attached audiences become to the characters, and as played by Dennison and [Sam] Neill, they are two fully realised, full of flaws but nonetheless oh-so loveable human beings. Boyd van Hoeij, in a Hollywood Reporter review of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 23 January 2016