Courageous Chris Has Lisa Wilkinson Shedding A Tear On The Sunday Project
Chris Bunton is living proof that having Down Syndrome doesn't mean you can't dream big.
He’s a gold-medal winning gymnast, coach, university student, and now Chris Bunton can add actor to his ever-growing list of achievements. And while the 25-year-old may have been born with Down Syndrome, he’s never once let his condition come in the way of accomplishing his dreams.
Speaking to Lisa Wilkinson on The Sunday Project, Chris spoke about his latest role in the film in Kairos in which he stars as Danny, a young man with Down Syndrome who wants to be a boxer.
He is trying to explore his own identity in the community and wants to fit in. Achieving that dream that you have, that's what it film is about. I dream Danny wants to be a boxer - but is it right for him? That's what I want people to think. 'You have a dream, is that dream suitable for your abilities?'
It’s a sentiment that Chris hopes can serve as inspiration to others born with disabilities, as well as prove to the world that people with disabilities can have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else.
Just showing the world that somebody with a disability can achieve big dreams. People will think that we just are kids who don't understand things… Come on, we are not kids. We are somebody who wants to be heard and understood. Also with Danny too, he wants to be understood and heard and seen.
He adds, “I can try to be anything I want. I wanted to do my HSC exams. I did it. and then I said I want to go to university, and I did! And then acting... It took a lot of years but now I feel awesome.”
His girlfriend, Audrey O'Connor who also stars in the film as Chris's love interest, gushed to Lisa about her ambitious partner, saying, “He is thoughtful and kind and a little bit cute… I am very proud of him”
After speaking about how happy he was to make his mum proud, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house with Lisa -- as well as viewers -- shedding a tear as Chris reminisced on the feeling of competing in his first world games back in 1997.
“I kept on dreaming, did my HSC exams and entrance, and in 2011 I went to the Commonwealth Games,” he said, with Lisa adding, “You just kept achieving didn't you?”
As for what’s next on courageous Chris’s bucket list?
“I want to work with Steven Spielberg, Mel Gibson, Vin Diesel and The Rock because I am are athletic… I could take them on!”
A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to raise money to complete the film and can be found here.
Catch The Project from Sunday to Friday at 6.30pm on Ten and on Tenplay.