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. Devynl

    O.M.G! I’M SEEING TOMORROW!!!!!!!! I’M SO,SO,So, exited about it!!! I read the book & it is totally,totally,totally, AUSOME!!!!

  2. Dustfingers fire

    CANT WAIT!!!! My 2 best friends and I are going to see it opening night, but i dont have school that day so i have to tell my self not to see it in the day, lol! Night will be cooler anyways!

  3. mirialin_moon_knight4789

    Okay… First, let me say this: I love the books, love the series, love the add-ons such as the guide and essay book, but this is crazy! I found seven mistakes in just the commercial! That’s right people, seven. And just for good measure… What is that fire-thing! It had-like- seven heads! (And it wasn’t a hydra. I’m also pretty sure Cerberus has three heads, and that the Underworld doesn’t have columns)
    The pictures up there? Unrealistic. I mean, come on. It’s like giving away the entire movie. Who has an unintentional tattoo of a trident? And, that water-swirl thing and the part where the water tower breaks? And the part when they are at Olympus? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look like that except in The Last Olympian. Though, I have to say, I’m curious as to who will be Lady Hestia…

  4. 80's my little pony

    I can’t wait to see this movie! The things in that book never get old! and i also LOVE horses as well! :P

  5. Gylfie97

    I have read ALL the books and so have my 2 best friends and sisters I obsessed over the books and I don’t care what age the characters are can’t wait to see the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Victoria

    I finished the last Percy Jackson book like a month ago! And I saved up my money for the Ultimate Guide! I don’t like the cast very much…isn’t Percy supposed to be 11 or 12 in the book? And doesn’t Annabeth have blond hair?! Percy Jackson may be better than Harry Potter, I’m not sure, but I read both series! Who would win in a battle, Percy, or Harry?

  7. pupluvr

    I love the lightning thief! It is the best book ever! One of my friends thought it was horrible, i couldn’t believe it!! It is awesome and I can’t wait until the movie comes out! It looks really good, although they could’ve dyed Annabeth’s hair blonde, or gave her a wig. It still looks really good though so i’m gonna watch it anyway!!

  8. Whitney

    I am UBER excited. Logan is super cute and annabeth looks like TOUGH! I cant believe its only 5 days away!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Krishna

    The movie is so awesome. I read the book. Percy is the Son of the sea god posiedan. The greek gods are real. There are fire breathing dragons like the chimera that looks like a Chihuahua at 1st but then becames a lion sized dragon. very entertaining

  10. (= Marilyn =)

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the best book series tha i’ve ever read and i can’t wait for the movie!!!!!