WeGotThisCovered.com intervied the cast and the director of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters! Read it below.
Logan Lerman returns this summer as the young demigod on a journey to fulfill his destiny in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. The film is a sequel to Chris Columbus’ Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and reuniting with Lerman are Brandon T. Jackson as Grover Underwood and Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase.
Together, the three of them travel through the uncharted waters of the Sea of Monsters (aka the Bermuda Triangle) in an effort to find the magical Golden Fleece. Also starring in this sequel is Leven Rambin who portrays Clarisse La Rue, the demigod daughter of Ares and the one who doesn’t hesitate to get in Percy’s face whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Recently, we were invited to a press conference held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. Lerman, Jackson, Daddario and Rambin were there to talk about what it was like to make the film, and they were joined by their director, Thor Freudenthal.
Check out what they had to say below.
We Got This Covered: For the actors coming back to this franchise, did you manage to fall back into character with no problems or did you have to re-introduce yourself to your character?
Alexandra Daddario: I think there was a little bit of that. It has been a few years but it was kind of like going back to summer camp. It was great because you’re with your old friends and there’s a familiarity so you’re very comfortable around them. You have people to rely on and lean on if you’re having a bad day, or even if you’re having a good day you have someone to share with. That was a really great part of it and I think that really helped us fall back into the character. Now we know how to do green screen, we’re in different places in our lives and careers than we were in the first movie, so it was a really exciting, cool adventure.
Brandon T. Jackson: That sums it up for me (laughs).
Logan Lerman: It was jumping back into the old shoes. It was a lot of fun.
We Got This Covered: Thor, we saw that the new element being added to this franchise in this installment is the water. As a filmmaker how was the process of working with the water for you, and for the actors did it involve any additional work on your part?
Thor Freudenthal: Well the water definitely is an added difficulty. There are scenes in the movie that take place on boats, specifically a lifeboat that crosses through the “Sea of Monsters” of the title. We didn’t want to do it in green screen we wanted to do it in reality so what that meant was being on a barge with a small crew and our actors and going back and forth on the lake all day. Logistically, it makes keeping the scene alive and not losing spontaneity that much more difficult because you have this technical apparatus around you that provides you with the setting of the sea in the background. But it went through without any hiccups thanks to our cast, and they kept it alive for me.
Alexandra Daddario: You do learn if you’re seasick or not though (laughs).
Logan Lerman: We didn’t have to get wet which was nice, but we were on the boat a lot. It was a pretty small boat and it was really hot. We were in New Orleans and it was the summer time, so it was just the heat that was difficult to work with, but other than that it was beautiful and fun.
We Got This Covered: You have been a part of this franchise for several years now. Do you have any thoughts on why this book series and the movies resonate with people?
Alexandra Daddario: I think that it’s really, really hard to be a kid and it’s really hard to grow up from personal experience; I think we all know that’s true. This series shows that no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re struggling with or what is difficult for you, you can still succeed. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be who you want to be or that you have amazing powers or abilities despite all your weaknesses. I think that’s something that’s really relatable and really inspiring and it’s really cool to be part of that, and that’s one of the reasons why people love it; it’s just such a relatable, inspiring story.
Brandon T. Jackson: I think young kids these days are part of a cynical generation, so this gives them something good to believe in. You don’t see too many books or films that, unless you’re a reader, have underlining tones that have positive messages that can be for kids because kids are doing their own thing on the Internet. So to have the positive force is really, really inspiring and great for this generation because they definitely need it.
We Got This Covered: Musicians often say that they’re only as good as their last performance. Is Percy suffering from this when the movie begins?
Logan Lerman: Yeah that’s a good way to put it. At the end of the first one we ended it with him being the hero, and now he’s not the hero anymore. He has that similar thought in his mind of “maybe it was just luck that one time. That’s just my thing to be known for, let me just accept being an average demigod if I can.” It’s human, you know what I mean? That’s where we find him at the beginning the film; he’s doubting himself.
We Got This Covered: Leven, is it fun to be a brunette and kick butt, or have you enjoyed changing your personality a little bit in going for that more?
Leven Rambin: Yeah, I was really lucky that Thor was able to see me as a brunette with this blonde hair (laughs). That’s not typically the first thing that comes to mind when you look at me I think. When I put on that wig (I wore a wig, I did not dye my hair) and changed my physicality a lot, I felt a lot less inhibited and I just felt down to being a little more brash and powerful and strong. I kind of hid behind all this brown hair and it gave me the power and confidence to verbally rip on Percy.
We Got This Covered: Thor, how did you want to push the sequel forward cinematically but also keep it in tune with the first film?
Thor Freudenthal: I felt that the first film did a great job of doing sort of the footwork of establishing the world. When I read the book Sea of Monsters, I felt that there was a lot of life in the camp and places that we hadn’t necessarily seen in the first movie. Whenever we show the camp, I wanted to show different aspects of it than we had seen in movie one. That was just a great way to sort of expand the world as a whole and the visual vocabulary of it. Also, obviously this movie takes place at sea which is of vast scope and very wide, so dealing with that was fun. Aside from that, I just visually shoot the way I shoot and I don’t really consciously think about it. I can’t consciously say “okay I’m trying to stay within what Chris Columbus established in the first movie.” It’s just kind of my own sense of pacing and rhythm and editing speed and so forth. The material of the movie supported that. I think the books are rather funny, they are kind of irreverent and quirky, they don’t always take themselves all that seriously, and at times he wanted to do that in the film.
We Got This Covered: It seems nowadays that there’s nothing that can’t be done visually, but were there any mythical creatures that proved to be far too difficult to put in this movie?
Thor Freudenthal: Um… no. You can do anything, but the difficulty is not like you think it and then there it is, you make it. There’s a lot of thinking and designing and revising of your ideas that go into creating a monster. Pixels are pixels to a certain extent; you just have to use them wisely and also you can’t fully rely on them. More on this movie then in others films I did, I wanted to make sure that we put characters/actors first above everything else because otherwise they become spectators of spectacular window dressing. The story is really about them more than anything else. While we were able to create a bunch of cool, new creatures, what really compels me as a viewer is seen how these guys deal with them.
We Got This Covered: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is coming out on August 7th, so it will be bringing up the rear of the summer movie season. What do you want the audiences to know that will help distinguish this film and set it apart from all the others?
Thor Freudenthal: Very good question. I think it’s the material itself and the idea of kids feeling themselves to be underdogs and succeeding despite that; that’s a great thing. The new story that compelled me to take this movie on was Percy learning of the existence of a half-brother that he has and that relationship carrying you through the movie and going to places that you don’t expect.
I think what audiences can expect is hopefully to have tons of fun, to laugh with the characters, to feel with the characters and be emotionally involved with them, and have a rip-roaring adventure spectacle. I think that appeals to most audiences I like to think. I made the movie as I wanted to see it mostly with the desire do see something makes me laugh or makes me feel, so I think that’s all in there and hopefully that comes across.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank everyone for talking with us. Be sure to check out Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters when it hits theatres on August 7th.