Texan Noah Ringer became an actor almost by chance. He was intensely involved in martial arts, taekwondo in particular, from a young age. He often shaved his head to keep cool, and Eric Pechacek, his teacher at the American Taekwondo Association school, often remarked that Ringer resembled the main character, Aang, on the popular anime series "Avatar: The Last Airbender". When the A.T.A. sent out a notice to all instructors of an open call for M. Night Shyamalan's movie version of "The Last Airbender", Pechacek encouraged Ringer to try out, and the boy's parents agreed. After sending in a video of himself, dressed as the character and performing martial arts, Ringer was called to Philadelphia for a meeting with Shyamalan, and was eventually offered the role. He spent about a month intensely studying acting, and also learned several other martial arts forms in order to perform the complex fight choreography of the film. The film was considered a flop, but Ringer learned a lot on the set, and when the next opportunity came along he was ready. The next year, he co-starred with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in Jon Favreau's science fiction Western, "Cowboys & Aliens". Ringer played the young but stalwart Emmett, who spends much of the film looking for his grandfather, the sheriff (Keith Carradine), who has gone missing. On the set, Ringer developed an interest in magic when producer Roberto Orci showed him some tricks.