In the movie Antboy (rated PG) ordinary, overlooked, 12-year-old Pelle (played by Oscar Dietz) is transformed into a superhero after he is bitten by a super-ant. Overnight, he becomes the hero “Antboy.” With the help of his sidekick, Wilhelm, climbing walls, flipping cars, stopping robbers, and saving babies all become part of his new dream life. But all this changes when super-villain “The Flea” kidnaps a pretty girl from Pelle’s school. Antboy, Wilhelm, and the missing girl’s sister Ida must rescue the damsel in distress, save the town from a super-villain, and be home in time for dinner.
Here is the Antboy himself, Oscar Dietz, to tell you what it was like making this movie.
Q: Tell me about your character Pelle in Antboy.
Oscar: My character is a normal kid, so normal that no one notices him. I actually like this about him because you often hear about kids who are bullied for being different. But he is just a plain kid who doesn’t do anything special. But this all changes when he becomes a superhero.
Q: Are you similar to him in any ways? Do you have anything in common?
Oscar: I’m not very shy, so in that way I’m not like Pelle. But I know the feeling of being a small kid compared to my classmates. I like that he is so focused on using his skills as a superhero to save others and that in the end, what matters to him is finding a good friend. I think I would feel the same way if I were in his shoes. I can easily relate to that. He also is not all that into being famous and I like this side of Pelle because I also sometimes find this part challenging. I like that people like what I do, but sometimes I just get emails from girls who want me to be their boyfriend without even knowing me. That can be a little too much because I know that it’s not me they like, but Antboy that they want to date.
Q: If you had real superpowers, what powers would you want and why?
Oscar: I would like to be a flying superhero. That would be a cool superpower to have. Then I would also get to travel easily, which I like, and it would be easy to get around, which is important for a superhero if you want to keep up with the bad guys.
Q: Which scene was the most fun to shoot and why?
Oscar: I love to do scenes where I can improvise because it’s a lot like playing, even though you have to use your acting skills. The scene where I fight with my teddy bears turned out really well. At first, I thought a lot about what my friends would think when they saw me playing with teddy bears in a movie. They all think it’s the funniest scene though. Most kids think that my favorite scenes are the ones where I get to eat a lot of candy, but these are actually not as much fun to do as one might think. I mean, at first it’s great stuffing your head full of candy, but when you get to the fifth take, you really don’t feel hungry for sugar anymore.
Q: Did you have to do any scary stunts?
Oscar: I loved that I got to all my own stunts, as there aren’t that many stunt kids around. I wasn’t really scared because I had trained with a professional stuntman before the movie was shot. But sometimes when I had to go up somewhere really high, I have to admit I did feel a slight tickle in my stomach. Actually, I was most afraid of the Flea. He is a really nice guy off camera, but as soon as he turned into the Flea, he was actually quite scary to be fighting with. So when I look afraid in the movie, it’s not always pure acting.
Q: Any funny stories about working with your co-stars or shooting the film?
Oscar: When Wilhelm had to make the Antboy costume, he had to sit and work with a sewing machine. He got so caught up in the sewing that he was almost impossible to get away from the machine after the shoot. If he’s not going to be an actor, he might have a future as a designer! I hope he will forgive me for revealing that. Nicolas Bro who plays the Flea is the biggest superhero fan in real life and knows everything about the topic. He is probably the biggest kid on set. No maybe that is the director. He was so much fun to work with because he is like a kid himself, always jumping up and down with excitement from all the superhero shots. I think this is actually why the movie turned out so well. He is not just an adult trying to make a kid’s movie; he actually still remembers what it’s like to be 12 years old.
Q: Can you tell us anything about Antboy 2? How does your character change?
Oscar: In the next movie, Antboy is a year older, and he would like some romance in his life, as he starts to notice the girls around him. He also knows his superpowers better, and has more courage than in the first, which is good because he is fighting some nasty villains. But I can’t really tell you more. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Q: What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Oscar: I always feel like farting whenever I get nervous. Normally, it doesn’t happen for real but once while shooting Antboy, I actually farted during a shot. In real life, you might be able to just ignore it and hope no one noticed, or you could blame the person next to you. But when you’re on your own in a shot wearing a microphone, there’s really no way to run from the evidence.
Q: What is one thing you wish everyone would do to make the world a better place?
Oscar: When I was 11, my parents sent me to stay in an international CISV children’s village over the summer. There, I met kids from all over the world. I found out that they were all pretty much like me, with the same dreams and hopes for the future, and liked to play football like me, or just kid around even though we came from different cultural backgrounds. If every child was raised to discover how alike we all are, I know the world would be a better place. So it’s pretty much up to the parents to make sure they don’t teach the child that being from another country is something bad, but that in the end, we are all alike and have just as much right to be here.