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Iain Armitage as Ziggy Chapman in HBO’s adaptation of Big Little Lies.

Credit
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO

Name Iain Armitage

Age 8

Hometown Arlington, Va.

Now Lives In an 1800s brick house in Arlington with his parents, the actor Euan Morton and the theater producer Lee Armitage.

Claim to Fame Despite being grade school age, Iain made a name for himself as a theater critic through his popular YouTube channel, IainLovesTheatre, where he offers reviews of productions including “Othello” and “Cats.” He’s also an actor, and will appear on HBO’s new series, “Big Little Lies.”

Big Break Jamie Pillet, an agent from New York, saw IainLovesTheatre on her Facebook feed, and reached out to Iain’s parents about a possible acting career. His mother needed convincing, but was eventually persuaded to meet with Ms. Pillet during a preplanned trip to New York in 2014 (to see theater, naturally). Iain, who was dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, was signed.

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Shailene Woodley and Iain Armitage as Jane and Ziggy Chapman in HBO’s adaptation of Big Little Lies.

Credit
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO

Latest Project Iain plays a kindergarten outcast in HBO’s “Big Little Lies” alongside Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley (who plays his mother). “My main tool is my imagination,” he said, when asked how he prepared for the role. “I love playing. Things like Transformers. Movies is basically just playing, but bigger, and people watching.”

Next Ms. Pillet, who is with Abrams Artists Agency, has lots of roles lined up for Iain this year, including in “I’m Not Here,” “The Glass Castle” and “Our Souls at Night,” a Netflix-produced film starring Jane Fonda. “I get so happy just saying her name,” he said of Ms. Fonda, who plays his grandmother. “I mentioned I liked fishing but I don’t want to hurt any fish. She said, ‘Well, there’s a thing called fly fishing with bent hooks so it doesn’t hurt the fish.’” The next day, she booked a fly-fishing trip for the two of them. Meanwhile, Iain continues to do theater reviews, about once a month. “For now I’m happy doing both,” he said. “The good thing about being a kid, you don’t have to be like ‘O.K., this is going to be my job.’”

Stage or Screen? Iain has enjoyed seeing firsthand how movies and television shows are made, but he still prefers the stage and praises the immersive nature of theater. “You get so lost in it, you actually think it’s a reality,” he said. “And it’s much better, in my opinion, than television or movies because they’re actually right in front of you.”

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