Austin Swift is no stranger to the spotlight. The 24-year-old has spent years attending red carpet events with his older sister Taylor, but the younger Swift is ready to break out on his own. Today, he makes his Hollywood debut in the new Pierce Brosnan-helmed thriller I.T., which follows the story of Mike Regan (played by Brosnan), a wealthy family man living in a high-tech smart house.
When he suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of his I.T. consultant Ed Porter (portrayed by James Frecheville), Mike and his family are in serious danger. Finding themselves stalked, the Regans quickly learn that there’s no such thing as privacy in today’s quick-to-go-viral world—and that's where Swift comes in.
He plays Lance, the “mostly just friends” but “sort of” boyfriend of Brosnan’s onscreen daughter Kaitlyn (Stefanie Scott). When super-creep Ed sets his sights on the popular teen, her whole life begins to crumble—and Swift’s character witnesses the fallout firsthand. “Lance allows you to see how people can be impacted by technology when it's used for the wrong reasons,” Swift exclusively tells InStyle. “He gets—or at least feels—betrayed in a major way.”
Lance remains mostly on the sidelines as the film’s horrifying plot unfolds, but the character is pivotal in Kaitlyn's realization that she’s being stalked. “My role is not a big part by any means,” says Swift. “But I saw it as an important one.” Plus, signing on for the film presented Swift with the dream opportunity of working alongside Brosnan, who also served as executive producer. “It was good to know someone with real firepower was anchoring everything,” said Swift. “I’d stick around set to watch Pierce do his scenes, and there was so much to learn.”
Off-camera, the presence of the former James Bond actor was just as exciting. “When we met, he was so incredibly nice and just genuinely excited about getting to practice the craft,” says Swift. “It was a great set—[director] John Moore is somebody who can bring a whole team together in a really powerful way.”
The final product they created is downright terrifying—but while the film may have audiences rethinking their reliance on technology, Swift has been skeptical about the matter for a while. “I've always been pretty wary of tech, probably from seeing the Terminator movies too many times as a kid,” he says. “But I definitely won't be moving into a smart house anytime soon.”
He will, however, be hitting the big screen again in the near future. Swift stars in Ben Affleck’s upcoming movie Live by Night alongside Zoë Saldana, Scott Eastwood, and Sienna Miller—and luckily, his superstar sister has already given him plenty of advice when it comes to taking Hollywood by storm. “Taylor has definitely helped me to be prepared for how the industry works,” says Swift.
And it should come as no surprise that the actor’s first major project has already received the T-Swift stamp of approval. In fact, she was among the first few to see I.T. “As soon as the cut was done, we watched the film as a family,” says Swift.
Check out the trailer for I.T. above, and catch the movie in theaters and on VOD today.