February 5, 2010

Percy Jackson! The Lightning Thief Movie Cast!

Pjato_130 Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief hits theaters February 12th. Last week we brought you an interview with Alexandra Daddario who plays Annabeth. Some of you are less than pleased with the ways the movie will be different from the book. But for those of you who are still really excited about the movie anyway. . . here's some more! We chatted with Logan Lerman who plays Percy, and Brandon T. Jackson who plays Grover. First let's hear from Logan. . .

Q: Were you a fan of the Percy Jackson books before you were cast in the movie?
Logan Logan:
No, I actually didn't know anything about them and then I asked around to my younger cousins, and I guess it is a huge thing for the younger generation. Because Harry Potter is more for the older teens now, and the younger kids want to find something for themselves.
[Ratha: Interesting. I never thought of it that way.]

Q: Did you read any of them after you got the part?
Yeah I read the first one. I didn't invest any time in the other four yet, because I hate to read them and get so attached to them if we're not doing the sequel. So once they greenlight number two, I'll be reading all of them!

Q: Describe Percy. What's he like?
An unlikely hero. You don't expect the hero to be some teenager in Brooklyn, and he ends up saving the world.
[Ratha: Hmm. . . my Spidey senses are tingling. Except I think that was Queens.]

Logan_2 Q: What do you think kids can learn from Percy?
It's that you can be anyone and make a difference. It doesn't matter how old you are or what you look like — you can make a difference in any situation.

Q: Did you get to do any of your own stunts?
Oh I did all of them. Our goal was to try to use the actual actors as much as possible. [With the lightning bolt shooting parts] we're actually flying around on wires in this huge stage in a 360 green-screen stage and doing all this stuff, and they're just adding in the effects later. So when you're watching and you're thinking, "Oh is that really them?" It really is us.
[Ratha: Now you can add "Lightning Bolt Battle" to your resume!]

Q: Is this the first really big action film that you've done?
Yeah, yeah it is. I've done a few other films but nothing as grand as this. Not as much green-screen involved and insane action sequences. This is an amazing movie. I haven't read any script as action packed as this one.

Q: Do you have a “favorite” god or goddess?
I've gotten this a few times. I'm still sticking with Poseidon, and Percy's the coolest too. To be able control the seas and horses — I just think that's awesome.

Q: Is there any other character in this book that you would have liked to play also?
I think Grover is just a lot of fun. There's so much you can do with that character, that it's just a playground for any actor. Brandon T. Jackson makes that character come alive in such a cool way.

[Ratha: What a perfect way to segue into Part II of our interview with. . . none other than Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Grover. We started with the same question. Notice the similarity in answers.]

Q: Were you a fan of the Percy Jackson books before you were cast in the movie?
You know I didn't even know about the Percy Jackson books at first until my little sister had it at the house and I'm like, “What is this Percy Jackson book?” and then when I found out they were doing a movie, I went back and I read the books and I was like, “Whoah.”

Q: Did you have to train before starting the film?
Yeah they put me, Logan and Alex [who plays Annabeth] through a three-week boot camp. We learned sword fighting and dagger work. We had to lift weights and get in shape. I have crutches in the film, so I had to learn how to fight with my crutches.
[Ratha: Wow sword fighting boot camp? One of the perks of being an actor!]

Q: They CGI your legs later on in the film?
Yeah, it's CGI but it looks so cool. It looks so real. People are gonna flip when they see it.

Q: Is there any other character you would have liked to portray other than Grover?
Uh-uh. I couldn't have. Grover is so me. If it wasn't Grover, I just would have been a fan of the books and the movie.

Q: What do you think about the comparisons to Harry Potter?
I guess I'm Rupert [the actor plays Ron]. [laughs] It is like Harry Potter but not really. It's done well, like the first Harry Potter movie was done really well. Chris Columbus has a habit of doing things really well.
[Ratha: Chris Columbus is the director of The Lightning Thief, and also directed the first Harry Potter movie.]
Brandon: Of course you can compare it in a way but at the same time, Percy Jackson is its own story. There's a different movie, different sound, different adventure. It takes place in present day, and it's not British.

Percy_jackson_hand Q: Is there a character from any other book that you would like to play?
Besides Grover I can't think of one, because fantasy is my thing. I love fantasy movies, I love magical movies and it's weird because being African American has different literature. You have African American literature you learn about in school, you have your mainstream or whatever. And I went to a multi-racial school so I would learn about everything. I never understand. Man, why don't I ever see a brother, a black man in fantasy? So I'm writing my own children's fantasy book. It's an African American story but at the same time it's for everybody.
[Ratha: That's so exciting. I'll definitely be watching out for it.]
Brandon: Certain fantasy movies, African Americans are there, but we're not there. Like if you watch Harry Potter we're there, but not the leads. We don't drive the story. But you know it's life. It's nothing to complain about, I'm just telling you it's fact. So I'm excited to break that barrier. Will Smith did it with the aliens. But I wanna be the first with the magical lane which is pretty tough to do.

Personally, I think I'm going to have nightmares about Medusa's hair. What about you guys? Planning to see the movie? Big fan of the books? Let me know in the Comments! Until next time, may the gods look favorably upon you!

— Ratha, Stacks Writer

Interview by Marie Morreale
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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  1. amberdragon

    I am a huge fan of these books, so are all my friends, so I really hope the movie does it justice… and from the interview, I am not sure if it will, when on earth is there a “Lightning Bolt Battle?”

  2. Xx.prettyinpink.xX

    I think this movie looks OK… probably something I will not go see unless I hear the reviews are absolutely fantastic.

  3. superkyut

    Yeah, I know. Percy Jackson is the coolest character I’ve ever heard of. I do hope my parents will allow me to watch it. It’s just SO cool.

  4. Shelby

    Hello, Beckandorf! He is an African American guy and he is like the coolest camper at camp half blood. Ya know, other than Thalia and Nico, but they aren’t really at camp, so yeah.

  5. chidi

    I was wathching t.v. and then I saw this ad for the movie, I was like is’nt that a book, and since the movie looked so good I got the book this week. And I finnished it tonight. cant wait to wathch the movie.

  6. Ben

    I like LOVE IT! Dude these books are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. manga eyes

    im so excited!!!!!omg!!!imma go w/ one of my old elementary school friends, she’s the one who got me reading the PJ books!!!!!GO PERCY!!!!

  8. Plushdragon

    OMG!!!! Yes! The movie is coming out so soon! I am a huuuge fan, and I can’t wait! But ther is so many changes in the movie, I wonder how the author, Rick Riordan, felt……

  9. Laura

    Me and my friend Kyle have been planning on seeing it, but my little sister was like “Laura your to old to see it!” But I know plenty 14 year olds who’ve read the whole series! AND Harry Potter! And twilight and inkheart and cathy’s books and the hunger games… whoa thats a bit ahead of myself there! Can’t wait for the movie!

  10. Brooke

    I love the Lighting Thrief. It makes me fell like I am in a whole new world. If you haven’t read The Lighting Thief you’re missing out!

  11. Courtney

    I LOVE the books! My teacher is reading the book aloud in class and now everyone wants to read them! My class agreed we should all meet up and go see the midnight release! GO PERCY!!!!!

  12. katniss_everdeen01

    I am SO EXCITED!!!! I am definitely going to see the movie opening day or that Saturday! Logan Lerman and Brandon Jackson sound like great actors to play two of the main characters. I have only read the first book in the series but I am POITIVELY going to read ALL other books I can find by Rick Riordan!!!! :)

    1. Dns

      “It’s one of my favorite chtacarers ever and I’m a huge fan of the series,”I looked him up to make a joke that he’s too young to know that Spidey was a comic before it was a movie (he was 10 when the first one came out) only to find that he once played a character named Robin . So there’s that.

  13. julian511

    OMG I really like the cast. I think it’s great that the actors have so many good things to say about the movie.

  14. Crystal

    Okay… some of it looks kinda cool. I still think they should have gotten age appropriate actors. I’m still mad.
    I love the books, though!!!!
    Brooklyn? I thought Percy lived in Manhattan?…

  15. Marytonga

    Well, I’d say Lee Jordan’s one of the more important characters in 7. Or should I say River? I just can’t believe how long I put off reading this! Got it on hold at the library though!

  16. A Major Bibliophile

    I am SO EXCITED for the movie, and I am a gigantic fan of the books! My sister, my friends, and I are all going to the midnight release for the movie! GO PERCY!!!