The new 3D adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (rated PG) begins when seventeen-year-old Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Unable to stop him from tracking the signal to its source, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest that will take them first to the South Pacific, and then to a place few people have ever seen . . . or lived to tell about.
Josh Hutcherson was here to tell us a bit more about the movie. (PS. He also talked about his role as Peeta in The Hunger Games, but you will have to wait until March to read that part of the interview!)
Q: Tell me about Sean in Journey 2. How did you prepare for the role?
Josh: Well Sean, I understand, he’s very similar to the same character that was in Journey to the Center of the Earth. But this kind of furthers Sean. He’s a little more adventurous; he’s grown up some. Basically, he’s kind of trapped in this life in Dayton, Ohio, living with his step-dad and his mom. And he wants to be out exploring like he did before. Basically, he gets this radio signal from what he believes to be his grandfather from this place called “the Mysterious Island.” He and his grandfather go there to explore what it’s all about.
Q: The character is adventurous. Do you relate to that part of him?
Josh: Very much so. Sean is very much an extension of who I am. He’s a little more, kind of, gung-ho and younger than I am, but I think that he and I are very much the same in the adventurous aspect. I’m always down to go and try to find some new uncharted place or go backpacking in the mountains or something like that. I’m very much up for an adventure as well.
Q: Did you have to do stunts?
Josh: Yeah, there were quite a few stunts. I mean, almost every day was us having to run through a jungle, or run away from creatures, or find a way to climb down some cliff, or something. There was a lot of physicality involved with this movie.
Q: What is your favorite scene from the movie?
Josh: When we first crash land on the Mysterious Island, the way it was shot was sort of ominous looking and mysterious, and we didn’t really know what was going on. I like the way that was done a lot, and I actually saw it cut together. It looks really cool. That was definitely my favorite scene.
Q: What would your dream trip or vacation be?
Josh: Oh man. . . About a year and a half ago, I actually took a road trip across the country with my friends, and we just sort of took our time and went camping actually the whole way across. That was really great, but I’m all about trying to find something that nobody’s every really found before. So, any kind of hiking, backpacking sort of trip is definitely something that I’m up for.
Q: Did you know your costar, Vanessa Hudgens, before the film?
Josh: No. I had met her a couple of times at random events, but I never actually hung out with her before. But we hit it off right away. We’re super close and we’re virtually the same person. We’re both very outgoing and adventurous. We’re both always down to have a good time and make the best out of any situation. So, we got along very well.
Q: Do you have any tricks to establishing a rapport with your co-stars, particularly when it’s going to be a romantic angle?
Josh: Not really, I just sort of fly by the seat of my pants. I always try to be myself as much as possible. That’s one of my core beliefs as a person. I think that’s what transcends into my friendships. If you’re really straightforward and honest and genuine with people . . . Those are the people I usually gravitate towards, so I figured if I’m like that, hopefully, they’ll return the favor and be genuine and real with me too.
Q: Why do you think people are going to like this movie?
Josh: It’s a really fun adventure. From start to finish, you’re always wondering what’s going to happen next. There’s a little bit of peril; you’re rooting for these characters to make it through. Also the character arcs some of the characters take are really great. Especially Sean and his stepfather, because when they first go on the trip, they are kind of butting heads and they’re at odds. By the end, they really come together, and I think that that’s a story people will be able to relate to very well.
It sounds totally fun and adventure-y! Leave a Comment to tell us what you think. AND, come back here on March 23 to read Josh’s thoughts about being Peeta!
Interview by Marie Morreale