Dolphin-Rescuing Boy Grows Up In 'Dolphin Tale 2'

Sep 24, 2014
Teen actor Nathan Gamble first played the role of Sawyer Nelson in 2011's “Dolphin Tale,” for which he received a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Feature Film.

In Warner Bros. Pictures' highly anticipated sequel, “Dolphin Tale 2,” Sawyer is facing another difficult decision. Returning in the role, Gamble explains, “Sawyer has learned a lot over the years, thanks to his work at Clearwater. He has been offered the chance of a lifetime—to spend a semester at sea in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean, studying and swimming with wild dolphins. Everyone is telling him what a fantastic opportunity it is, but it will mean leaving dolphin Winter when she needs him most. He’s conflicted about what to do.”

No longer the shy, withdrawn boy he was when he found Winter on the beach, Sawyer is a teenager now and “has definitely grown up,” says Gamble. “The last three years at the Aquarium have been so great for him; it’s given him a purpose and many friends, so he struggles with whether or not he should go.”

“Nathan Gamble is an extraordinary young man,” director Charles Martin Smith states. “He brought a natural sensitivity to the character of Sawyer. You can also feel the strength of his bond with Winter, and it is a genuine bond. I’m convinced of it. When Nathan, as Sawyer, is talking to Winter and she responds directly to him, that’s absolute gold.”
“People always ask if she remembered me,” Gamble relates, “and I admit I wasn’t sure. But then I had this amazing moment where I was just playing around with her, and I did this little head tilt and she immediately submarined to the bottom. I asked one of her trainers, Abby, why she did that, and she said, ‘Don’t you remember that signal? We did it on the other film, but she hasn’t done it in a really long time.’ I honestly didn’t recall, but it meant that she remembered me doing that from three years earlier. It gave me chills,” he smiles.

Another moment that gave Gamble the chills was his one-on-one scene with Freeman—in which the latter's character, Dr. McCarthy, imparts to Sawyer an important life lesson. “It’s not only my favorite scene in the movie, it’s my favorite scene I’ve ever done,” he attests. “It was an amazing privilege to work alongside a legendary actor like Morgan Freeman. I kept saying to myself, ‘Remember this scene; remember this moment,’ because it was definitely a highlight of not only this movie but of my life.”
Gamble made his feature film debut as the young son of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s characters in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s acclaimed 2006 drama “Babel,” winning the role over thousands of other young actors in a nationwide talent search. Gamble earned his first Young Artist Award nomination for his performance in the film. He has also received Young Artist Award nominations for his work in the thriller “The Mist,” for director Frank Darabont, and “Marley & Me,” in which he co-starred with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, under the direction of David Frankel.

In 2008, Gamble appeared as Commissioner Gordon’s son in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “The Dark Knight,” with Gary Oldman and Christian Bale. His other film credits include starring roles in Joe Dante’s adventure thriller “The Hole” and the independent film “25 Hill.”
Opening across the Philippines on Oct. 08, 2014, “Dolphin Tale 2” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

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