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Ryder Allen as Sam
Source: Apple TV+

Talented Child Star Ryder Allen Makes Acting Debut Opposite Justin Timberlake

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Jan. 28 2021, Published 5:00 p.m. ET

Justin Timberlake may have brought sexy back two decades ago, but now he’s bringing humanity back with his latest acting turn in Apple TV+’s Palmer. Unlike his music, not a lot of Justin’s acting roles have earned him accolades, but his role in Palmer is proving that he has the acting chops to bring depth to a story like this. 

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While Justin gives a strong performance in Palmer as the titular Eddie Palmer, it’s his young co-star Ryder Allen who really steals the show. 

Bringing a natural childlike innocence to the role of Sam, Ryder has captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike, which has many wondering about Ryder Allen's age. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about the young actor.

ryder allen age
Source: Apple TV+

Ryder Allen as Sam

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How old is Ryder Allen?

In Palmer, Justin Timberlake plays Eddie Palmer, a former college football star who had everything going for him but whose life takes an unexpected turn when he lands himself in prison for 12 years. When he gets out, Eddie goes to live with his grandmother (June Squibb) and tries to get his life back on track, all while dealing with the stigma that follows incarcerated men.

Eddie’s grandmother also happens to let a young woman named Shelly (Juno Temple) keep her RV home on her property and often babysits Shelly’s young son, Sam. 

However, after Shelly disappears one day, Sam comes to live at the house with Eddie and his grandmother.

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Eddie is at first put off by Sam’s effeminate ways and tries to get Sam to stop watching cartoons about fairy princesses and change the way he presents himself. But it’s adorable Sam and his never-ending confidence that begins to teach Eddie some life lessons, which leads to Eddie becoming one of Sam's biggest champions in a town where everyone wants him to put down the dolls and act like a boy.

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Stealing every scene that he’s in, which is a tall order when you’re acting across from veterans like June Squibb, Ryder gives an amazing performance as Sam. 

Ryder’s acting is even more impressive keeping in mind that this is the young actor’s first feature film role and that he was just 7 when he shot the movie back in 2019.

He first learned that he had been cast in the movie while at the Topanga mall Gucci store in Los Angeles with his parents. “I literally just started dancing inside the Gucci store,” he said describing the happy moment. “And they were all clapping for me and stuff. It was crazy.”

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But while Ryder was excited to be cast in the movie, it was his mother who was really excited about who Ryder's co-star would be. Ryder didn’t even know who Justin Timberlake was, which makes sense for someone born in 2012, but his mother soon educated him, having Ryder listen to all of Justin’s music, for “practice.”

Eventually, though, he and Justin became pretty much like “best friend[s]” and Ryder said that “when it came time for the reading with Justin, it was just so easy and so much fun.” 

In fact, young Ryder enjoyed his time on set with Justin so much that when asked what future job he would love to work on, the actor said, “You know what I really want? What would be the best thing ever? A sequel! Every time I see Cheryl [Guerriero] I’m like, ‘Write it down!’”

Palmer premieres on Jan. 29, 2021, on Apple TV+.

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