In “Wonder,” Jacob Tremblay plays Auggie Pullman. “What better character could you be?” Jacob said. “He’s brave, he’s confident, he’s true to himself, and he’s kind.” Julia Roberts plays Auggie’s mom in the movie. (Dale Robinette)

Jacob Tremblay hadn’t read “Wonder” when he got a call about playing the lead role in the movie based on the 2012 middle-grade bestseller. But after he got to know the character — Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old whose face looks different from that of most kids — Jacob didn’t need convincing.

“The thing that mostly drew me to wanting to do the part of Auggie is the message. I thought it was very important,” the 11-year-old actor told KidsPost.

In the story, Auggie starts fifth grade at a private school after years of home-schooling and has to make friends — and deal with bullies.

“What better character could you be than Auggie?” Jacob said. “He’s brave, he’s confident, he’s true to himself, and he’s kind.”

It’s a good thing Jacob wanted the part, because he was director Stephen Chbosky’s first and only choice after seeing Jacob’s breakthrough performance in “Room,” a 2015 drama that earned 20 awards for him and a best-actress Academy Award for Brie Larson, who played the mother of Jacob’s character.

“There was no need for an audition. The combination of seeing him in ‘Room’ with meeting him and his parents and seeing what a lovely Canadian family they were made it clear he was the right kid,” Chbosky told KidsPost. “Jacob’s a mischievous, curious kid who’s so funny, so charming. Since we knew we wanted Auggie to always be a hero, never be a victim, Jacob was a perfect fit.”

Jacob, who is from the Canadian city of Vancouver and has been acting since he was 5, said some aspects of portraying Auggie came naturally to him. “I have lots of things in common with Auggie. We both love ‘Star Wars.’ We have awesome families, and we love our pets.”