Brenton Thwaites on leading ‘The Signal’ and ‘The Giver’

LOS ANGELES – If you didn't know who Brenton Thwaites was before, you should know him by now.

The young Aussie actor is now pulling double duty in promoting “The Signal” — the sci-fi was first seen at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is headed to theaters on Friday.

In a dystopia of a different manner, he leads “The Giver.” His perfect Prince Phillip played second fiddle only to Angelina Jolie's cheekbones in “Maleficent,” and he and Karen Gillan got scary for “Oculus.”

It was actually a billboard for the latter film that kinda indicated to Thwaites he's starting to hit the big-time. In an interview with HitFix, Thwaites explained that his cabbie in Los Angeles recognized him just by looking up at the advertisement. “That's so cool…”

His projects have put him up against some strong actors, too. He said that for “The Signal,” Laurence Fishburne was a source of strength. The legendary “Matrix” actor taught Thwaites “the importance of relaxing before you go on camera” and was “such a nice guy.”

The intensity in “The Signal” certainly gives Thwaites a need to relax sometimes. His character Nic, a hacker and engineer, is caught up in a space-age conspiracy. He's mysteriously hospitalized after “contact” with the origin of The Signal, after he's already undergone a number of traumas in his personal life.

“Oculus” places hiim in the same damaged goods category and “The Giver” certainly gives us the impression Thwaites' Jonas is on a bumpy path too.

Watch our whole interview above for more on all these films and what makes “The Giver” very different from “The Signal's” sci-fi.