OK, people, the Percy Jackson movie is just 2 weeks away. The Lightning Thief (rated PG) is coming to theaters on February 12. Yay!! Between now and then, we will be bringing you interviews with some of the cast. . . starting with. . . Annabeth played by the 23-year-old actress, Alexandra Daddario. I know, Annabeth is only supposed to be 12-years-old in the book, but we have to remember what author, Rick Riordan says: “Try to enjoy the story without getting too worked up about any differences.” (For more on that subject, read our movie vs. book comparison.) So for right now, let’s meet Alex with an open mind, ok?
Q: Were you a fan of the Percy Jackson books before you were cast?
Alexandra: I actually had not heard of them before the audition. I read the first book before my screen test and loved it. I’m glad that I got introduced to them because they’re amazing.
Q: Do you have a favorite character besides your own in the books?
Alexandra: My character’s pretty great. I mean Percy is of course a great character. Poseidon is a great character as well. The gods are very interesting and the great thing about Greek mythology is the gods make mistakes, they’re more human. So they do mischievous things and they have arguments and get jealous. So some of the gods are very interesting, Ares especially. In the movie he’s a very fun character.
Q: What’s the best memory that you’re going to take away with you after this experience?
Alexandra: There’s a lot. This movie completely changed my life in a great way. It’s a once in a lifetime movie and working with some of the greatest people that you can work with. Chris Columbus [the director] is amazing. So many wonderful actors. Besides learning so much, from all the different people I got to work with, it was just a really fun experience. The sets are huge and epic, the visual effects are incredible and when you make a movie like this, the movie is so fun and we had so much fun making it just because we had so much wonderful stuff to work with.
Q: There are absolutely die hard fans of this. Did you feel any pressure about living up to their ideas of your character?
Alexandra: Not really. I hope — I take that back. I do in that I hope that I do the character justice. I love the character — I love Annabeth. I had a lot of fun playing her and I think that people will be happy when they see the movie even though it is different in some ways than the book. I think that Chris has made a really really great film even with the changes and I hope that I’ve done the character justice and I hope that people love her as much as I do.
Q: How would you describe Annabeth?
Alexandra: She is a great combination of strength and weakness I think which is interesting because what you see her as at first is just very tough and very strong, and you start to see that she has this sweetness and this weakness underneath that. Which I think everybody does. So even though she’s half god, she’s also very human and that makes her a lot of fun to play because you get to be really [tough] and do awesome sword fighting and jumping out of trees and archery, and then you also get to play the soft sweet side of her that misses her mother and is struggling to be happy just like everyone else.
Q: If you woke up one morning and you were a demigod, what would you do?
Alexandra: I don’t know. I guess I got to experience everything that a demigod would get to experience just by doing this movie — sword fighting and wearing armor and running through the woods and stuff like that. I can’t imagine. I mean I’d love to go to Olympus, to really see real Olympus. And meet the gods in person.
Q: Did you do a lot of your own stunts?
Alexandra: Yeah. When I first got there I sort of — I’m not that awesome in real life so you’re a little intimidated at first. “Can I pull all this off?” But once you get into it and the people that I got to work with, the stunt people were really incredible, you get exactly the right tips and tricks and I think I pulled it off. It becomes a lot of fun after a while.
Q: What was the most difficult scene to film?
Alexandra: A lot of times when you have an ensemble cast like this, there are scenes where the movie is so huge and there is so much other stuff going on as far as visual effects and sets and shot set-ups and things like that so sometimes there’s not much to do. Even if you’re in a scene you might not have lines or you might just be in the background. That’s actually the most difficult to do, just spend a day where you’re standing there or doing one thing and not really getting to do much.
Q: Was there a favorite scene or a favorite costume?
Alexandra: I loved doing the stunt stuff. We went up to Lake Alouette in Vancouver and we filmed right on the lake and it was just beautiful. It was a beautiful summer day and I had this scene where I basically fight off five guys and we’re all dressed in armor — of course in real life I never would have been able to win that particular fight but we choreographed it wonderfully and it was a lot of fun. You get to just dress up in this great armor and kick butt all day. So it was a lot of fun.
Q: How heavy was this armor?
Alexandra: Not that heavy. It didn’t have a lot of metal on it or anything. It was a little bit tight at times but it looked awesome.
Q: When you think of Brandon and Logan [the actors who play Grover and Percy], what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Alexandra: They’re funny. I actually am a very lucky girl. Working with Logan and Brandon was a lot of fun. They are great actors, very focused, very talented and they’re very lighthearted so they find humor in a lot of things. So it’s a very awesome experience to work with them.
Q: Is there an obstacle in your life that you have had to work to overcome?
Alexandra: Well there’s so many actually. I mean there’s just so many things. No matter how difficult something may seem at the time, if you stay positive and look forward and work hard, you will achieve whatever your dreams are I think. I worked very hard to be an actress and sometimes it was very hard and you get rejected a lot and you go for long periods of time without working and then all of a sudden something comes along that can really change your life that is exactly what you always wanted. It doesn’t mean that everything becomes perfect, but as long as you work hard and don’t get discouraged if there’s something you want or believe in. My nerves, I mean a million times I was so nervous I literally used to get panic attacks. Especially on screen tests. My first screen test I was seventeen and I flew out to L.A. and I went into the room to read for a TV pilot and it was like an audience of network executives and I had a panic attack and couldn’t breathe and I didn’t get the part, needless to say and I was very upset and very discouraged. Sometimes things happen that can teach you. You make a mistake and you learn from it and then you don’t make it the next time. And then my next screen test was a lot better, because you learn to think differently so that you don’t have a panic attack in the audition room.
Doesn’t she sound so nice? Completely humble and sweet. And I like that she totally respects how awesome Annabeth is. Age difference aside, I think she will make a great Annabeth. What do you think? Let me know in the Comments.
And be sure to come back next week ’cause we got interviews with Grover and Percy too!
— Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Interview by Marie Morreale
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox