On August 7th, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will be released and we will get to see one of our favorite characters, Thalia Grace, come to life! PercyJacksonMovies.com was lucky enough to interview the talented Paloma Kwiatkowski who plays the daughter of Zeus.
PercyJacksonMovies.com: How did you get the part as Thalia Grace?
Thalia Grace and Paloma Kwiatkowski (Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters)Paloma Kwiatkowski: I was still in high school when I signed with my agent, and Thalia was literally my first audition. To try out for the role, I had to be at the film studio on a school day, so I missed class. I went in, did my thing, and about a week later I heard some news.
It turned out I was the only girl in Vancouver to get a callback, which obviously had me crazy excited. Soon I met the director and the producers, who all thought I did a great job. However, I then got some bad news. The studio had decided to go a different direction, which meant they didn’t want to cast me – they were going to look for someone else.
I was disappointed but things quickly changed because a week later I got asked to come in to do a screen test for Thalia. So I guess they never found that someone else. Then came several days of watching my phone non-stop waiting for a call from my agent. It felt like they were taking forever to make a decision! Then (finally) my agent phoned me while I was in History class, telling me I’d booked the role of Thalia Grace! I had to excuse myself from class and answer my phone in the girl’s washroom. But I had done it, I got the role! I can’t say I paid much attention for the rest of that History class…
PJM: Did you read the Percy Jackson books prior to getting the role or once you were cast?
Kwiatkowski: I loved the Percy Jackson books! I was so excited that my first audition was something I was familiar with, so I couldn’t wait to get in the room and audition. I was extremely honoured to have been cast as Thalia. As soon as I was officially cast I re-read the books as a way to prepare for the character.
PJM: How similar is the movie Thalia to the book Thalia?
Kwiatkowski: My intent when portraying Thalia is to be as true to the novel as possible. I think I was successful with at least my interpretation of Thalia Grace. So I would say movie Thalia is exactly like book Thalia with a little Paloma personality thrown in.
PJM: Did you sign on to play her in just this movie or will you play her in the following movies?
Kwiatkowski: I’m signed on to play Thalia in all the movies!
PJM: How did you first get started as an actress?
Kwiatkowski: All throughout high school I had been involved in theatre, improv, and film-making. I performed in several plays, wrote and put on some short pieces of my own, and I was highly involved in the Canadian Improv Games. I went to the National Improv tournament in Ottawa two years in a row. Originally, I had actually wanted to Paloma Kwiatkowski plays Thalia Grace in the Percy Jackson: Sea of Monstersbecome a film director/writer. I worked very hard and won many awards for writing and editing mostly. I was actually planning on going to university to get a degree in Directing. However, for my senior year of high school I changed schools, started an improv team, became heavily involved in the drama and film departments there and thus caught the eye of my Drama teacher. Who then got me a scholarship to a well-known acting program, Tarlington Training. I went every Sunday for practically the whole school year. After the first semester at Tarlington Training, I sent out a taping I had done in class to several agents in town. I then met with a handful of them who were interested in representing me. That’s how I met my incredible agent who got me the audition for Percy Jackson. I definitely owe a lot to the people who believed in me and helped me along the way. And I’m so thankful to have such an amazing team behind me now.
PJM: When you’re not acting, are there things you like to do? Like a hobby?
Kwiatkowski: Acting is truly my passion, so all my hobbies stem from it. Improvisation theatre is a huge part of my life. I coach my old high school improv team, I train in different ensembles, and I perform regularly in Vancouver. So that takes up a lot of my time. I also do quite a bit of writing when I’m inspired. I write short stories, scripts, poems even. And, like most people, I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family because when I’m working on a project I really get consumed in it and then don’t have the time.
PJM: What was it like to work with the Percy Jackson cast?
Kwiatkowski: Working with the Percy Jackson cast was almost shocking in a way. It was my first time on a real movie set and even on the very first day when we were just testing out hair/makeup/wardrobe/etc I got to meet all the lead actors. Here I was, just a regular high school kid and I was surrounded by – well movie stars! But after I had adjusted, calmed down, and realized they were all just regular people too – I really got to experience how incredible they all were. They were all super nice and very helpful. I’m so grateful that I got to work with them and share some laughs – it was all very fun.
PJM: Any funny stories of onset?
Paloma Kwiatkowski plays Thalia Grace in the Percy Jackson: Sea of MonstersKwiatkowski: On my very first day, I was trying on different coloured contacts, but they weren’t prescription strength – they were just coloured
(I normally wear glasses or contacts). I was walking around from the make-up trailer to the studio, unable to see where I was going and who was coming at me. It was very difficult but probably not as humiliating as I thought it was.
PJM: What other projects are you working on?
Kwiatkowski: I just recently finished working as the lead in a Canadian feature called ‘Sitting on the Edge of Marlene’. I play Sammie Bell, whose father had just been put in jail which causes her mom to go off her rocker, which then forces Sammie to try to keep her mom and herself together as they struggle through life. It’s a very touching story and an extremely difficult role. I had an extraordinary time and have gained a lot of confidence and knowledge as an actor!
PJM: If you could work with anyone in Hollywood, who would it be?
Kwiatkowski: I would want to work with some of the powerful actresses whose talent I envy. It would be a dream to work with someone such as Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron or Jennifer Lawrence. I would hope that just a little of their talent would rub off onto myself if we worked closely together.
You can see Paloma Kwiatkowski as Thalia Grace in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters August 7th, 2013!