Category Archives: Book to Big Screen

June 28, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

percyjackson2_130Meet Clarisse and Annabeth from Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters movie!

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.

Percy-Annabeth_PJ2

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

June 21, 2013

Asa Butterfield

Posted by at 11:51 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

AsaAsa Butterfield

If you saw the Hugo movie (rated PG) based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, then you will recognize the British actor Asa Butterfield. He is only 16-years-old but already, he has made a bunch of movies that were once books, like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (rated PG-13) and Ender’s Game (coming next November). Not only is he a great actor and a big reader, he’s got some other interests too. Read on.

Q: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Asa: Oh, this is a tough question. If I could change one thing in the world, I mean, the obvious thing is probably to end poverty. That would be the top of my list.

Q: I found out about Red Nose Day because of One Direction. Did you participate in that?
Asa: Yeah. I think pretty much everyone in the U.K. does that. My school, we have Non-School Uniform Day and everyone has to come in wearing something red and then you donate. So that was fun.

Q: I also read that you’re into writing music.
Asa: Music is such a big part of my life. I couldn’t live without it. I’m almost constantly listening to music when I’m not in school. When I’m doing work, I listen to music as well. But I like all sorts. I like dance music. I like hip hop. I like funk. I like jazz. It’s a really wide range of genres. I use Logic [software]. I really enjoy making house music, like old school house and garage, that sort of thing.

Just a typical British teenager – who happens to be a movie star!

April 12, 2013

SPONSORED BLOG POST: Epic

EPIC_blogpost_130x130Create an EPIC Caption!

This post is sponsored by 20th Century Fox.

In the new movie Epic, hitting theaters May 24th, you’ll experience an incredible world unlike any you’ve seen before! The movie is about a battle between the forces of good who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil who want to destroy it. When a teenage girl named M.K. is magically transported into this secret universe, she meets a crew of fun characters who do everything they can to save their world . . . and ours.
Amanda Seyfried plays M.K., Josh Hutcherson plays Nod, Pitbull plays a toad named Bufo, and Beyoncé Knowles plays the Queen of this special world. Pretty cool cast, huh?

To get you in an “epic” mood, fill in this caption. It’s M.K. and Mub the Slug. (Not to be confused with a snail. “I’m a sluuuug. No shell over here, baby.”) Mub is one funny slug. What do you think he is saying to M.K.?

Epic1

Fill in your caption in the Comments below!

This post is sponsored by 20th Century Fox.

August 10, 2012

Zach Gordon Interview

ZGordon-1You know him as Greg Heffley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies. I met him when he came to Scholastic for a Live Chat a couple of years ago before the 1st Wimpy Kid movie came out. He was hilarious and adorable in real life, much more than Greg would be. We now have a new interview with him after his 3rd Wimpy Kid movie. Read on for Zach’s current reflections on his life as an actor, his favorite books, and his hopes for the future.

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March 16, 2012

Josh Hutcherson Talks About Peeta

Posted by at 12:36 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

Hungergames_130Hunger Games Interview with Josh Hutcherson!

Some people disagree with me, but I think the most important character in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (for ages 12 and up) is Peeta. Therefore, I also think that the actor who plays Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) has the most important role in The Hunger Games movie (rated PG-13), in theaters March 23. In my eyes, for the movie to really work, Peeta has to be just right. That’s why I am so excited to read this interview with Josh talking about Peeta because it sounds like he really gets him. It makes me even more excited to see the movie!

Q: How did you prepare for the role of Peeta, a baker who becomes a fighter? Did you have to train in baking and fighting before the movie?

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March 9, 2012

Taylor Kitsch Interview

Posted by at 2:16 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

Taylor_kitschTaylor Kitsch Interview

Taylor Kitsch is a Canadian actor and former Abercrombie & Fitch model. You may recognize him from the X-Men: Wolverine movie (rated PG-13), the TV show Friday Night Lights, and most recently, the sci-fi, Martian Civil War movie, John Carter (rated PG-13). We interviewed Taylor to find out more about John Carter, Taylor's first date, his Swahili tattoo, and his charity work in Africa.

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February 24, 2012

Cymphonique Knows How To Rock

Posted by at 12:37 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

Cymphonique

 Fifteen-year-old Cymphonique Miller is the star of the new Nickelodeon show How To Rock. She comes from a family of rappers. Her brother is Lil' Romeo, and her father is Master P., so she has already had experience in the entertainment industry. And it shows in How to Rock

The show is based on the book How to Rock Glasses and Braces by Meg Hastin. Cymphonique plays the most popular and beautiful girl in school whose life is ruined when she gets glasses and braces. Her so-called friends reject her because she isn't perfect anymore, so she joins a band with some new friends who accept her for who she is.

Read our interview to find out more . . .

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