Kodi Smit-McPhee is nominated for his first Academy Award for Power of the Dog

Everything To Know About Power Of The Dog Star Kodi Smit-McPhee

Prepare to see him everywhere.

by Ani Bundel
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Fans might not have heard of Kodi Smit-McPhee before the release of Power of the Dog, but the Australian actor was a child star before landing the role that earned him an Oscar nomination in 2022. The actor stunned on the red carpet in a baby blue Bottega Veneta suit, catching everyone’s attention. So who is he, and where might fans have seen him before? Here are some facts about Kodi Smit-McPhee as he breaks onto the A-list.

Kodi Smit-McPhee has had a year. His big break in Power of the Dog shot him onto the Hollywood stage for the 2022 awards season. He’s already won one statuette for his role as Peter Gordon for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the (non-televised) Golden Globes. He also has taken home about a dozen-and-a-half film critic and journalist awards over the run-up to the Oscars.

Smit-McPhee did not come into the ceremony favored to win. (Oscar odds are on Troy Kotsur’s performance in CODA as Frank Rossi.) However, it’s no small thing to be in a category with such long-time heavy hitters and near-living legends like Ciarán Hinds, Jesse Plemons, and J. K. Simmons. But Power of the Dog was far from Smit-McPhee’s first role.

1. Smit-McPhee Was Born In Australia

Smit-McPhee was born in 1996 in the city of Adelaide in Southern Australia. His dad, Andy McPhee, is also an actor and a former professional wrestler. His sister, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, is famous in their home country for playing Bree Timmins on the long-running popular Australian soap opera Neighbours.

2. He Co-Starred With Chloë Grace Moretz

Smit-McPhee first gained the attention of Hollywood critics when he starred in 2009’s The Road, where he co-starred with Viggo Mortensen. The two played father and his son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The awards-bait film was well received by critics but overshadowed at the Oscars; however, it did land a few BAFTA nods. It also led to his second big-screen role in Let Me In, a remake of Let The Right One In. Another critical darling that premiered on the 2010 film festival circuit in hopes of awards love, Smit-McPhee co-starred as the boyfriend of Chloë Grace Moretz’s vampire character.

3. Smit-McPhee Is Norman in ParaNorman

Fans of animation are probably familiar with ParaNorman, the 2012 stop-motion animated film from Laika Studios (who also were the studio behind Coraline). Smit-McPhee is the voice of the lead character, Norman Babcock, the kid who can speak to the dead. His co-stars were a laundry list of A-listers, almost a who’s who of Hollywood, including Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Alex Borstein, and John Goodman.

4. He’s Also Been One Of The X-Men

But Smit-McPhee’s most prominent role, before co-starring in Power of the Dog, was as one of the X-Men. He was the younger recast version of Nightcrawler in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, taking over the role previously played by Alan Cumming. He then reprised the role in 2019’s Dark Phoenix. Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expected to recast all the X-Men eventually, the current multiverse madness has fans hoping for a cameo reprise.

5. He’s Been Dating Rebecca Phillipou Since 2014

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One more thing about Smit-McPhee before you start daydreaming: He’s taken. The actor has been in a long-term relationship with Rebecca Phillipou for going on eight years now. Phillipou is not an actor or a celebrity, and keeps a low profile on social media, but Smit-McPhee brings her to most of his red carpet appearances. Awwww.

The Power of the Dog is streaming on Netflix.