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Norwich schoolboy is the Prince of Persia

PUBLISHED: 11:27 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 01 July 2010

William Foster

William Foster

Matthew Sparkes

A Norwich schoolboy was dragged into the adventure of a lifetime when he was chosen to play the lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster, the Prince of Persia.

A Norwich schoolboy was dragged into the adventure of a lifetime when he was chosen to play the lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster.

And remarkably he had never even acted in a school play.

Will Foster, 13, is studying at Framingham Earl High School but spends all his free time practising parkour with his friends.

This graceful discipline originated in France and involves getting from one place to another while expending as little energy as possible - often by leaping over obstacles or gliding through small gaps.

He responded to a Disney advert looking for young parkour stars and submitted a video of himself vaulting various Norwich landmarks.

Much to his surprise Will, who lives with his parents in Trowse Millgate, was chosen based on his video to play the rogue prince Dastan in the new Prince of Persia film released today .

The character is played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who rose to fame following 2001's Donnie Darko, but Will plays him as a younger man in early scenes.

Disney was hunting for someone with parkour skills as the movie sees the young prince in a dramatic chase scene across rooftops.

Shooting for the film took the cast and crew to a mountain village called Oukaïmeden, 8,200 feet up in the High Atlas Mountains, and into blazing 124 degree heat in Morocco.

Will said: “We were out in morocco for three weeks doing most of the acting and then got back to London and did some of the parkour for a week.”

“I found it quite stressful at first but I got used to it and found it fun,” he said.

“I never really did any theatre or acting. I was really excited.”

Will is on-screen for around seven minutes during the film's opening scenes, where he is chased by soldiers.

“I see someone getting beaten up by one of the soldiers and I throw an apple at him so he chases me over the roof tops and stuff.”

“It's been really good and I'm in some of the adverts now,” he said.

“I would really love to follow up acting if the opportunity came, but at the moment I haven't done anything else.”

He is still part of a parkour club of more than 40 which regularly practices at the Castle Mall, outside Next or at Ten Bells Court behind St Benedicts Street.

“It's about efficient movement and being able to get from one place to another really quickly. If there was a wall you'd climb over it because it's faster,” he said.

“It's quite acrobatic. I did quite a lot of gymnastics when I was younger and that does help.”

He admitted that some of his friends were slightly jealous, but that they were all behind him for his big-screen debut.

For more information on parkour in the city visit www.norwich-parkour.co.uk.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was released in cinemas today under a 12A certificate.

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