Twelve-year-old Vancouver actor Alex Ferris misses a lot of school to be on set, but says it’s just a matter of substituting the conventional classroom for a non-traditional alternative.

Ferris said his seasoned co-stars — including Jon Voight, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels — have become his teachers when he isn’t in school.

“Robin Williams gave me a leather-bound book with his signature inside,” said Ferris, whose latest film, The Time Traveler’s Wife starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, will be in theatres on Aug. 14.

“It’s tough to be nervous after you’ve met them because they’re really nice. They like to give me tips about (acting) and life. I’ve been told to stay in school and have a normal childhood.”

His film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and the yet-to-be-released Battlestar Galactica movie, as well as locally filmed TV shows Smallville and The L Word.

He said he loves being able to become a new person through his characters and “have an adventure that a normal student wouldn’t.

“Like waking up at two in the morning and driving to Burnaby and working. It makes life really unpredictable.”