The Moray siblings are stars of screen and stage landing film and Eden Court panto roles

Brothers Moray Huck and Hanalei Whittle take the screen and stage by storm.

In 2020, the couple were cast in the independent film Jessie and the Elf Boy, which is based on the ancient legend of Ghillie Dhu.

Twelve-year-old Huck plays the lead role of boy elf Ghillie Dhu, a magical forest elf who helps Jessie, a teenage girl he met in the woods as a little girl, become a successful hairdresser.

Her 10-year-old sister Hanalei plays a young Jessie in the film, which was produced by independent Scottish company Fellowship Film.

The film was made possible by a Crowdfunder, which helped pay for special effects, music and sound design.

Mom Samara thought the kids would be perfect for the movie. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Mum Samara Shah saw a casting call for the film at a “perfect time” when the children’s scheduled performances were put on hold due to the pandemic.

She said: “They had an illustration of an elf boy and I read the description and thought ‘oh my God, this is perfect for my son’.”

Huck was selected from over 100 boys for the role of Ghillie Dhu, and Hanalei was cast after mentioning her during a conversation with the casting team.

family affair

Jessie and the Elf Boy was filmed in eerie conditions during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop the siblings from having fun.

Ms Shah said: β€œThe whole experience has been amazing, we have never done anything like this before. We were all in masks, the performers less but the team, and we were all super nervous about not having Covid.

“Some of the days on set were just beautiful, they were running together in the woods. It shows beautifully in the film, but on that day they really lived that part of the carefree run and the fun.

Huck and Halanei love to play. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

She even got involved in the filming herself to reduce the number of households on set.

“Everyone helped, so I ended up helping with things that I probably wouldn’t have helped with as a parent on set, including the fact that I got to be a supporting actor,” she added.

“There’s a scene where someone is holding Hanalei’s hand and they’re like, ‘OK, we can put a blonde wig on you and you can do it’.”

Eyes fixed on the stage

When it came to seeing their faces on the big screen, Ms Shah said the children took it in their stride.

“They’re very laid back about it, more laid back than Jamie and I as parents, because they’re so young that they go with the flow and are pretty laid back about it.”

Huck and Hanalei have been involved in local theater groups for years, taking part in musical theater classes online and even in London.

Huck is one of three children currently playing John Darling in Eden Court’s Peter Pan, and his sister is a stand-in.

Huck currently plays John Darling in Eden Court’s Peter Pan panto. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Their mother said she expected to see them both on stage many times in the future because it’s “where they want to be.”

Jessie and the Elf Boy has just been released on DVD in the UK and can be streamed on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.

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