Aden Young

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Aden Young
Aden Young 2012 AACTA Awards - cropped.jpg
Aden Young in 2012
Born 1972
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active 1991–present
Partner(s) Loene Carmen
  • Dutch
  • Chester

Aden Young (born 1972) is an Australian-Canadian actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Daniel Holden in the SundanceTV drama Rectify.


As an actor[edit]

Young's first role was in Bruce Beresford's acclaimed film Black Robe (1991). They later teamed up for the third time with Mao's Last Dancer, based on the best-selling autobiography of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin. Young portrays the Texan playboy who helps Li's defection to the West. Beresford stated that "he hasn't changed that much, he is a very accomplished actor... We picked up just where we left off. We always got along well; he's a very cooperative and thoughtful actor. Most of the actors who are well known and do lots of roles are incredibly good to work with".[1]

Metal Skin, Geoffrey Wright's 1994 examination of suburban hopelessness and revhead subculture, saw Young win an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for a "powerful, brooding performance" as social misfit Psycho Joe whose "edgy, simmering personality threatens to boil over into madness ... Young's depiction of this unsettling metamorphosis is central to the film's success".[2]

Young attracted further attention for his performance in 1998's Under Heaven (aka In a Private Garden) starring Joely Richardson as a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.[3]

Young played Cate Blanchett's tortured lover Ejlert Lovborg in Andrew Upton's adaptation of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. After a 2005 debut season at the Sydney Theatre Company, the production was invited to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. The process of restaging the production in New York was filmed for the acclaimed documentary In the Company of Actors (2007).[4]

In period Australian bush western Lucky Country, released 2009, Young "spent a lot of time...chained inside a little wood locker"[5] as unlucky landholder Nat, who as the film begins has suffered the recent loss of his wife in childbirth and must attempt to protect his home and children and survive the arrival of three gold hungry strangers, while fighting the debilitating onset of tetanus.

Young appeared as Charlotte Gainsbourg's husband on French/Australian/Italian co-production from director Julie Bertucelli, The Tree (2010) – the story of 8-year-old Simone who believes her dead father's spirit has taken up residence in a Moreton Bay fig tree on the family property.[6] The film was adapted from the book Our Father Who Art in the Tree by Australian author Judy Pascoe, and made its premiere on the closing night of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2011 Young mimed Australian female indie supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper's hit song "Even Though I'm A Woman" in the music video directed by Natalie Van Dungen, and featured in the Jason Statham/Robert De Niro action film Killer Elite as American techno geek Meyer.

Young portrayed Dr. Frankenstein in the 2014 film adaptation of graphic novel I, Frankenstein.

In June 2012 Young was announced as the lead role of Daniel Holden in Rectify, the highly anticipated first scripted drama series for the Sundance Channel, created and written by actor Ray McKinnon. The series follows the Holden's life after he is released from 19 years on Death Row for the brutal rape and murder of his girlfriend as a teenager after DNA evidence casts doubts on his guilt.[7] The first season of the series was broadcast on television in 2013.

As a director[edit]

Directing was a "natural progression" for Young. Acclaimed short film The Rose of Ba Ziz, "a beautifully simple fable narrated by Hugo Weaving" (Andrew Urban),[3] is about a much-loved king who leaves his kingdom because he has an allergy and does not want the flowers that set it off to be destroyed. The film was made over five days on a shoestring budget of $700. "It's basically like a folk-fairytale parable", said St Kilda Film Festival director Paul Harris, "a series of stills that look like coloured postcards from the turn of the century... It has a very haunting quality to it. Conceptually, it's very unique and very endearing. I think it's got the ability to inspire filmmakers who are suffering from some kind of block about 'How do I go out and make films, how do I go out and compete with the big guys?' If you think just outside of the square you can really surprise and delight audiences.[3]

Young described his first film The Order as being "about a soldier who returns from the Vietnam War with the news that his best friend has died during the war and he chooses to inform the man's widow. By doing this onerous task he becomes haunted by an action that happened in his childhood and he believes that it might have started the course towards his friend's death".

Young has assisted veteran independent Australian filmmaker Paul Cox in various capacities since starring in Cox's film Exile in 1994.

He has also created music videos for Australian singer Loene Carmen.

Personal life[edit]

Young was born in Toronto, Canada. His mother is from Newcastle, where she trained as a nurse. His family left Toronto for Australia in 1981 when he was 9. The next decade was spent moving from town to town in New South Wales in search of the best medical care for his father Chip, who had contracted a mysterious lupus-like disease. Young attended Galston High and Australian Theatre For Young People as a teenager.[8]

Young adapted The Rose of Ba Ziz from the children's book written by his father Chip, a well-known CBC broadcaster in Canada and a children's author. "I was about to have my first son and thought that it would be a wonderful love letter from his grandfather". Aden has two sons, Dutch Bon (born 2007) and Chester Van (born 2011) with his longtime partner, actress/singer Loene Carmen.

A portrait of Young by artist James Powditch (entitled Once Upon A Time in the Inner West) was an Archibald Prize 2008 finalist, and he also features in 2012 Powditch artwork 'Beserk Warriors'.[3]


Filmography as director[edit]

  • The Rose of Ba Ziz (2007) Writer/Director/Editor... Featuring Roy Billing. Narrated by Hugo Weaving
  • Loene Carmen Nashville High music video (2007)
  • The Order (1998) Writer/Director

Filmography as editor[edit]

  • Waste Not (2011) documentary Dir: Ruth Hessey
  • Kalaupapa Heaven (2009) documentary Dir: Paul Cox
  • Salvation (2009) feature film Dir: Paul Cox
  • Mimic The Rain (2009) Loene Carmen music video
  • Nashville High (2007) Loene Carmen music video

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Director Bruce Beresford on "Mao's Last Dancer" | Culture". Mindfood. 2009-09-07. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  2. ^ "Movie Review - Metal Skin". eFilmCritic. 1994-01-01. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ "In The Company of Actors". 
  5. ^ Time Out Sydney, No 59/ Preview: Lucky Country by Nick Dent
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Steve Dow, Journalist". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 


  • [2] "Killer Elite article"
  • ["Lights Brighter Behind Camera" The Australian by Sandy George, Film writer | August 14, 2007]
  • "Making A Short Film – Aden Young" by Dov Kornits, Film Writer 05/16/99
  • [3] "Archibald Finalists 2008"
  • [4]"Loene Carmen's Parallel Universe"
  • [5]"To The Point on Point" Senses of Cinema, Issue 53, Paul Cox dossier | 28 December 2009"
  • [6] "The Young And Restless" The Sunday Age by Peter Wilmoth | 24 April 1994]

External links[edit]