January 29, 2010

Meet Annabeth from The Lightning Thief Movie

Pjato_130 OK, people, the Percy Jackson movie is just 2 weeks away. The Lightning Thief (rated PG) is coming to theaters on February 12. Yay!! Between now and then, we will be bringing you interviews with some of the cast. . . starting with. . . Annabeth played by the 23-year-old actress, Alexandra Daddario. I know, Annabeth is only supposed to be 12-years-old in the book, but we have to remember what author, Rick Riordan says: “Try to enjoy the story without getting too worked up about any differences.” (For more on that subject, read our movie vs. book comparison.) So for right now, let’s meet Alex with an open mind, ok?

Q: Were you a fan of the Percy Jackson books before you were cast?

Alexandra: I actually had not heard of them before the audition. I read the first book before my screen test and loved it. I’m glad that I got introduced to them because they’re amazing.

Q: Do you have a favorite character besides your own in the books?

Alexandra: My character’s pretty great. I mean Percy is of course a great character. Poseidon is a great character as well. The gods are very interesting and the great thing about Greek mythology is the gods make mistakes, they’re more human. So they do mischievous things and they have arguments and get jealous. So some of the gods are very interesting, Ares especially. In the movie he’s a very fun character.

Q: What’s the best memory that you’re going to take away with you after this experience?

Alexandra: There’s a lot. This movie completely changed my life in a great way. It’s a once in a lifetime movie and working with some of the greatest people that you can work with. Chris Columbus [the director] is amazing. So many wonderful actors. Besides learning so much, from all the different people I got to work with, it was just a really fun experience. The sets are huge and epic, the visual effects are incredible and when you make a movie like this, the movie is so fun and we had so much fun making it just because we had so much wonderful stuff to work with.

Q: There are absolutely die hard fans of this. Did you feel any pressure about living up to their ideas of your character?

Alexandra: Not really. I hope — I take that back. I do in that I hope that I do the character justice. I love the character — I love Annabeth. I had a lot of fun playing her and I think that people will be happy when they see the movie even though it is different in some ways than the book. I think that Chris has made a really really great film even with the changes and I hope that I’ve done the character justice and I hope that people love her as much as I do.

Q: How would you describe Annabeth?

Alexandra: She is a great combination of strength and weakness I think which is interesting because what you see her as at first is just very tough and very strong, and you start to see that she has this sweetness and this weakness underneath that. Which I think everybody does. So even though she’s half god, she’s also very human and that makes her a lot of fun to play because you get to be really [tough] and do awesome sword fighting and jumping out of trees and archery, and then you also get to play the soft sweet side of her that misses her mother and is struggling to be happy just like everyone else.

Q: If you woke up one morning and you were a demigod, what would you do?
I don’t know. I guess I got to experience everything that a demigod would get to experience just by doing this movie — sword fighting and wearing armor and running through the woods and stuff like that. I can’t imagine. I mean I’d love to go to Olympus, to really see real Olympus. And meet the gods in person.

Percy_jackson_armor Q: Did you do a lot of your own stunts?

Alexandra: Yeah. When I first got there I sort of — I’m not that awesome in real life so you’re a little intimidated at first. “Can I pull all this off?” But once you get into it and the people that I got to work with, the stunt people were really incredible, you get exactly the right tips and tricks and I think I pulled it off. It becomes a lot of fun after a while.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to film?

Alexandra: A lot of times when you have an ensemble cast like this, there are scenes where the movie is so huge and there is so much other stuff going on as far as visual effects and sets and shot set-ups and things like that so sometimes there’s not much to do. Even if you’re in a scene you might not have lines or you might just be in the background. That’s actually the most difficult to do, just spend a day where you’re standing there or doing one thing and not really getting to do much.

Q: Was there a favorite scene or a favorite costume?

Alexandra: I loved doing the stunt stuff. We went up to Lake Alouette in Vancouver and we filmed right on the lake and it was just beautiful. It was a beautiful summer day and I had this scene where I basically fight off five guys and we’re all dressed in armor — of course in real life I never would have been able to win that particular fight but we choreographed it wonderfully and it was a lot of fun. You get to just dress up in this great armor and kick butt all day. So it was a lot of fun.

Q: How heavy was this armor?

Alexandra: Not that heavy. It didn’t have a lot of metal on it or anything. It was a little bit tight at times but it looked awesome.

Percy_jackson_group Q: When you think of Brandon and Logan [the actors who play Grover and Percy], what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Alexandra: They’re funny. I actually am a very lucky girl. Working with Logan and Brandon was a lot of fun. They are great actors, very focused, very talented and they’re very lighthearted so they find humor in a lot of things. So it’s a very awesome experience to work with them.

Q: Is there an obstacle in your life that you have had to work to overcome?

Alexandra: Well there’s so many actually. I mean there’s just so many things. No matter how difficult something may seem at the time, if you stay positive and look forward and work hard, you will achieve whatever your dreams are I think. I worked very hard to be an actress and sometimes it was very hard and you get rejected a lot and you go for long periods of time without working and then all of a sudden something comes along that can really change your life that is exactly what you always wanted. It doesn’t mean that everything becomes perfect, but as long as you work hard and don’t get discouraged if there’s something you want or believe in. My nerves, I mean a million times I was so nervous I literally used to get panic attacks. Especially on screen tests. My first screen test I was seventeen and I flew out to L.A. and I went into the room to read for a TV pilot and it was like an audience of network executives and I had a panic attack and couldn’t breathe and I didn’t get the part, needless to say and I was very upset and very discouraged. Sometimes things happen that can teach you. You make a mistake and you learn from it and then you don’t make it the next time. And then my next screen test was a lot better, because you learn to think differently so that you don’t have a panic attack in the audition room.

Doesn’t she sound so nice? Completely humble and sweet. And I like that she totally respects how awesome Annabeth is. Age difference aside, I think she will make a great Annabeth. What do you think? Let me know in the Comments.

And be sure to come back next week ’cause we got interviews with Grover and Percy too!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Marie Morreale
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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  1. Victoria

    23 years old?! Oh, so they think a 12 year old couldn’t do all those stunts? And they could at least put a blond wig on her!! Come on! And are they going to have a teen play Nico, who is SUPPOSED to be ten? If they make Nico that old, ugh!!!

  2. Rachel

    I am really looking forward to this movie, although I had hopes that they would recast Annabeth and Grover. They just don’t seem like they fit the character very well. When I read the books, i had a vision in my mind. I knew that they couldn’t fit the characters to my visual of them, but they should have at least followed the books descriptions! Annabeth is supposed to be 12 YEARS OLD, not 23!! She also has brunette hair instead of blonde, I am disappointed in the casting directors, and hopefully they change that if they make a 2nd movie.

  3. s

    I can’t wait to see the movie. I’m reading the book in language arts, it is so cool. I’m really not into reading much but this book got me thinking.

  4. lilyfan101

    okay i was a little upset about her not having blond hair but i think she’ll do great as annabeth. I mean seriously she may be 23 but she looks 15. I just hope her and percy dont kiss in this movie cuz their not supposed to kiss till the forth book! Other than that everything is good and i cant wait to see the movie!

  5. Jessy

    I liked the books…Really…I love the books but the cast…Just dissapointing..Sorry but it’s true…I just agree with Leslie…

  6. AJ

    I hope their going to make a sequel all the kids at my school hope so too but there angry at the choice of actors. I mean, it was a great choice but maybe they can make it a little more like the book. But i’m cool with it. ***POSSIBLE SPOILER***: And BTW Annabeth and Percy aren’t supposed to go out until like the 4th or 5th book.

  7. Dani

    I’ve never read the books but now I feel rlly left out! I haven’t read that great of books since I finished the Harry Potter series! I want to read the book before I see the movie because it seems REALLY good!

  8. wolfsong11

    she doesn’t look 23 anyway and also the harry potter peoples are older too ( i know not as much) but who cares???? complain about how bad it is compared to the book after you see the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thats my rant for today thank you very much

  9. carissa

    Annabeth looks nothing like you in the books and that is nothing like Grover I have read all the books I maen people should read the sieres before the make the movie I bet the movie will stink

  10. manga eyes

    before i thought alex was a horrible choice for annabeth but after reading this i think she is way more than a perfect fit for this part she could even be annabeth in real life!!!

  11. Stephanie

    At first I was like, “Annabeth is 12 and Alexandra is 23? Whats up with that?” But I realize that Alex fits the part: Sweet, Smooth, and very much human on the inside. And for everyone who cares about what color her hair is? I think she looks better as a Brunette anyways. Who cares about her age? It’s not like she’s PLAYING a 23 year old, she only is one. Overall, there are just a few chhanges from the book.

  12. PercyJacksonLover!

    Well its A bad Idea To Have Older Character For the role…. dont get me wrong i love logan and brandon and maybe alexadra but what if they make the 2nd or the third movie ! they will even look more older and i dont think the story plot will fit to the book you kno

  13. Dana

    There are so many things “wrong” with this movie.
    I don’t want to be mean.
    I personally think the book is so much better, because you can imagine Percy or Annabeth.
    In the movie the characters are already “made” for you.
    It’s like saying; “Here you go, here’s your characters imagine them like this.”.
    I also think that these actors are a little bit to old. But you’re not going to have a 12 year old play in a movie like this. I’m pretty sure no 12 year old has the potential to act at such age.But otherwise, I think the movie will be HUGE!

  14. awesomeness

    first of all the characters in the book and movie, they have different ages. in the movie they’re 16 so actually the actors’ ages are just fine… as for her hair… do you think she’d look good blonde? and it doesn’t matter at all it will still be awesome! :D

  15. Rachel :)

    When books turn into a movie, that means they are truly great books right? If The Lighning Thief was such a good book, why is there ANY need to change it? I would really like to know Chris Columbus. I would really like to know.

  16. M.S.champ3

    I am only on the second book and I LOVE!!! this serise! but annabethis supost to be blond, grover dosen’t look like I pictured him in the book, they are all supost to be in grade going to grade seven. I think the books will be alot better then the movie.last year, when i was in grade five we leaned about the gods, It was so fun!!!I wish I could be the child of a god!Ok back to the movie, I think they keep making the books into movies(even though the books are ALOT better)with the right characters with the right looks and ages.

  17. Dustfingers fire

    Who cares about the age difference if it doesn’t show in the movie? I seiriously think you guys should give her a chance, she seems really nice and its cool how she respects the character she’s playing. :) I’m soo excited!

  18. Dustfingers fire

    Woah, at first I wasn’t too happy with her playing Annabeth but after this interview she seems really nice and I think she’ll make a great Annabeth!

  19. d

    the people who are saying things because the girl who plays anabeth is to old ( who is extremly pretty) will do fine. the movie will be better when their older.