Hold onto your tridents because the second movie in the Percy Jackson series is coming out on August 7 (just in time for Percy’s birthday on August 18)! Sea of Monsters (rated PG) will continue the adventures of Percy, Grover, and Annabeth as they explore more Ancient Greek legends in our modern world. We got interviews with 2 of the actors in the movie who play Annabeth and Clarisse, so here are Alexandra Daddario and Leven Rambin talking about what it was like to make this movie.
Q: Describe your character in Sea of Monsters.
Alexandra: I play Annabeth. My character is the daughter of Athena. I came back for the second film in sort of a different character. Same character but a little bit of a different side of her. You see a more vulnerable, sensitive side of Annabeth in this film, whereas in the first film, she was a lot tougher and more of a warrior. In this film you really see what makes her tick, and you see her sweetness and trength as well.
Leven: Clarisse is the daughter of the god of war. And she’s just like a big, fat, ugly bully. (laughter) And so that was something to try to incorporate into my physicality and into my attitude. I think she’s a really good counterpart to Annabeth in this movie. She kind of highlights Percy’s weaknesses. And she learns a lot about teamwork and accepting help from others.
Q: If you could be any of the characters in the Percy movies in real life, which would you pick?
Alexandra: I mean, I love playing Annabeth. I think Percy Jackson has the coolest powers, you know – the ability to control water. I think that some of the shots in the film where he’s controlling these walls of water and controlling the ocean are so epic and cool. I think that’s a really cool power.
Leven: I also like playing Clarisse, just because she’s somewhat of a normal girl, but she has an extraordinary ego and ability to be victorious. She’s just very able. Percy’s physical power with the water is really powerful. And I think that that would be the coolest thing to have.
Q: You filmed part of the movie at an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans. What was that like?
Alexandra: I thought that was insanely cool. I mean, I had never been to New Orleans before we went down to shoot there. It was so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. And it’s this whole amusement park that’s still standing, but it’s completely abandoned. It was filled with alligators before we went; they had to get rid of alligators and armadillos and bugs everywhere. It’s a really cool place to shoot because, you know, you don’t have to build the creepiness level. It’s already there. So you’re shooting a really cinematic, creepy place. There was a lot to explore. It’s going to look amazing on screen. We did some really incredible stunts on the roller coaster there. And it was a really, was a really interesting experience to be able to shoot there.
Leven: Yeah, it was. It had its challenges because it was so old and dingy and felt kind of haunted. But that was kind of good because it’s supposed to be this ominous place where all the action happens. It’s this cool backdrop of this old rickety thing. And then these amazing monsters are there and these epic fights happen against the backdrop of this crazy old, like, abandoned roller coaster. I agree it was, like, super beautiful on screen. It kind of had its own story, its own life to it. It’s like a big character in the movie.
Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot in this movie?
Alexandra: I love making these movies. I think the hardest parts for me were the night shoots in the park because you start late and then you’re sitting in the mud, and getting eaten by bugs. And it’s either too cold or too hot, depending what time of the year you’re shooting. It’s a great challenge, and I love my job. But I would say that posed the biggest challenge for me – just dealing with the elements.
Q: In what ways are you and your character alike?
Leven: I definitely think I’m a tomboy. I discovered that about myself a lot to play Clarisse. I was able to really transform physically to be something different than I’ve ever been. And I also related a lot to that side of myself. She’s definitely very prideful. I really don’t take myself that seriously. So it was fun playing up this side of myself that I don’t really have, but maybe I got a little bit from playing her.
Alexandra: Annabeth is a combination of strength and weakness like we all are. During some of my fight scenes, I get to bring out my inner tough girl. I don’t normally have sword fights where I beat people up. But that’s the pretty cool part of myself that I didn’t know I had, this very intense action hero type. And I think also, I’m weak just like anybody else, and I have my vulnerabilities. It’s interesting to play both her strengths and weaknesses, and find strengths within her weakness.
If you liked this interview, also read our interview with the Sea of Monsters actors, Logan Lerman and Brandon T. Jackson.
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Interview by Nicole Tocco
Movie Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox