Percy Jackson Interview articles
In the fantasy-adventure movie Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the son of Poseidon and his friends must work in tandem to save the world (again). The cast reveals that the best parts of making the movie included the opportunity to reunite with one another.
“It was like going back to summer camp a bit,” says Alexandra Daddario, who plays Percy’s crush, Annabeth. “It was great because you’re with your old friends so there’s a familiarity. You’re very comfortable around them and you have people to rely on and lean on if you’re having a bad day. Even if you’re having a good day you have someone to share it with.”
For the first movie, the cast had to go through “boot camp”, or a rigorous training course that prepared them for the extreme stunts. However, for this movie, the actors didn’t have to go through boot camp.
“On the first movie, it was our first time preparing for such a big action film, with all the wire work and fighting, so we did a lot of training,” says Logan Lerman, who plays Percy. “But getting into the second one felt pretty comfortable. It didn’t really need too much preliminary training but throughout the whole movie we’re constantly preparing for new fight scenes, wire scenes, flying scenes or water scenes.”
“We didn’t have to get wet, which was nice. But we were on the boat a lot and it was a pretty small boat. And it was really hot,” says Lerman. “It was in the summer time so it was just the heat. But other than that, it was beautiful.”
Daddario, laughing, adds that while filming, she learned she was prone to seasickness. Nevertheless, the cast had great fun revitalizing their characters even off-set. “In our downtime we learned a lot of the choreography. Our training before really helped us jump back into it,” Daddario says.
Hold on to your hats (or helmets, shields, and swords) and get swept away by the waves of adventure in this movie. Be prepared for all the action and mythological pandemonium in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, coming to theaters August 7!
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Fans of the popular Percy Jackson book series by author Rick Riordan will not be disappointed by the on-screen sequel. For starters, Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters incorporates Percy’s aggravating, but indispensable rival Clarisse, whose absence in the first movie riled many fans. In the movie, Percy’s frenemies, Clarisse and Annabeth are far from girly-girls. Even though the cast turned out to be a bit mismatched (blondie Leven Rambin plays brunette Clarisse, and brunette Alexandra Daddario plays blondie Annabeth), the two characters are tough fighters who kick-butt – and ever so often, one-up Percy.
“I put on that wig and changed my physicality a lot,” says Leven Rambin, who did not have to dye her hair, unlike co-star Daddario. “I felt a lot less inhibited and I felt down enough to be brash, powerful, strong. I kind of hid behind all this brown hair. It gave me the power and confidence to verbally rip [Percy].”
On the other hand, Daddario’s character shows her gentler, more sensitive facet in this movie. Daddario missed the aggressive nature of Annabeth. “In the first movie, Annabeth is very tough. I really loved doing that in the first movie and I’ve never done anything like that,” Daddario notes. “I think people are a combination of strength and weakness, but I loved that warrior side of her.”
Rambin discovered that even the daughter of war god Ares has her own vulnerable moments. “There were certain parts of the movie that Clarisse had soft spots for certain characters. In the end, she finally found the good in them and she saw their value as human beings – or half-bloods,” says Rambin. “I really enjoyed playing Clarisse. She’s kind of the reluctant team player here. There’s comedy in that she’s trying so hard to convince herself and everyone else that she knows what she’s doing when she doesn’t. I think that I would like to see Clarisse have a friend, or a love interest, or someone who finds her attractive, sweet and girly.”
But for now, Clarisse is still the feisty and gutsy competition that fans embraced from the book. In fact, Rambin read the book to understand her character on a deeper level. “I picked up the second book in which Clarisse is described as pigfaced, size XXL, and disgusting,” laughed Rambin. “So I tried to incorporate that. I wasn’t concerned about vanity and I wasn’t super body-conscious. I let myself fall into that because I didn’t want to feel like a pretty girl. I shut my eyes at certain parts, but reading did help me understand what the diehard fans are looking for.”
And fans won’t be disheartened.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters mixes Greek mythology with modern-day life. A team of demigods (human god hybrids) battle flesh-eating monsters and evil Titans in this epic sequel. Our half-blood protagonist, Percy, takes on a quest to rescue his friends and protect the place he loves the most – Camp Half-Blood.
Surprisingly, Percy has his own insecurities as well. “At the end of the first movie, we left with him being the hero and now, he’s not the hero anymore,” says Logan Lerman, who plays Percy. “He’s thinking that maybe it was just luck, it was just one time, so let me accept being an average demigod. And it’s human. That’s where we find him at the beginning of this film. He’s kind of down on himself.”
However, the characters’ doubts and flaws make the movie relevant to kids of all ages. “I think that it’s really, really hard to be a kid and it’s hard to grow up – we all know that’s true,” says Alexandra Daddario, who plays Annabeth. “The series shows that no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re struggling with, you can still succeed. You have amazing powers and you have amazing abilities despite all your weaknesses. I think that’s one of the reasons people love the series – it’s just a really relatable inspiring story.”
ME & BRANDON T. JACKSON, WHO LEFT HIS SATYR LEGS AT HOME
The fans are part of a generation that looks for good in the world around them. “I think young kids these days – it’s a cynical generation – need something good to believe in,” says Brandon T. Jackson, who portrays Grover, the satyr. “You don’t see too many books and films that have underlying tones and positive messages. To have the positive force that readers can take from this movie is inspiring and great for this generation because they really need it.”
Regarding the movie’s X-factor that draws such a large fan base, Lerman says, “There’s something really appealing. It’s about young people in extraordinary situations dealing with human issues. Problems. Flawed characters as well — none of our characters are perfect, but I guess that it’s the extraordinary situation and being young. Kids got to save the world. That’s crazy. That’s fun.”
Director Thor Freudenthal set character development as his number one priority. “I wanted to make sure that we put characters and actors first – otherwise they become spectators of spectacular window dressing. But the story is really about them,” he says. “Audiences can expect tons of fun, to laugh with the characters, to feel with the characters, to be emotionally involved and have a rip-roaring adventure spectacle that I think appeals to most audiences and varying age groups.”
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