Interview: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, and Jake Abel (PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF)

by: John Mulhern
January 22nd, 2010

Last Monday I got to interview the main cast members of PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF about their upcoming movie. I was lucky enough to sit down with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth Chase), and Jake Abel (Luke Castallen). I have to say, this cast has wonderful chemistry with each other. You can see it in the movie, but you can really see it in real life. They were all wonderful and are extremely talented actors.

The interview was conducted with myself and John P. Meyer of Pegasus News. You can check out the highlights from the interview and some thoughts on footage they showed us after the jump!

We got to see about twenty minutes from the movie - it looks really good. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was Uma Thurman's performance as Medusa. She looked amazing in the role, but it felt a little Poison Ivy(ish). However, that is such a small part of the whole scope of the film, and the rest looks incredible.

GATW: What really sets this film apart from movies people might consider similar, like CHRONICLES OF NARNIA or HARRY POTTER?

Lerman: Well, it takes place in modern day. I guess that's the main difference. Aside from that, it touches the base of a lot of problems that teenagers are having nowadays and kind of teaches you how to deal with it.

GATW: How would you say your film is better?

Jackson: He's asking the juicy questions! (laughs) If you can enjoy HARRY POTTER and all those other movies, you definitely can enjoy our movie.

Abel: I think the thing is, when people see Chris Columbus...it's like, he directed the first two HARRY POTTERs, he's not going to do the same thing twice. He has never repeated himself, he never has, he never will. So I think this is going to be something completely different because he's a talented filmmaker, and he's always trying to do something new. I think he achieved his goal in this one and I think that is a huge difference.

Jackson: The fact that he can make the movie in the same genre and make this movie different, not many people can do that.

GATW: Yeah. I thought it was very creative that you guys actually kind of pull off bringing in iPods, because so many movies try to do that and it doesn't work.

Lerman: Yeah, you gotta do it in a subtle way, not just make it an advertisement.

Abel: It's not like (smugly), "this is what's paying for this scene!"

Daddario: I think it's also part of bringing it into the modern world.

Abel: It has to be handled with a certain delicacy so it doesn't come off being cheesy or in your face.

Lerman: Jake was saying earlier, it's tricking the kids into learning the actual myths. The iPod is really the shield.

Abel: In the original myth, you could look at Medusa's reflection without being turned to stone and he uses the shield.

Lerman: And yeah, that was the iPod.

GATW: I'm just glad there wasn't the obligatory Apple logo shot.

Lerman: (laughs) You know, it's a movie. We're more focused on making a ride. Making a story that you can lose yourself in and have a good time watching.

Jackson: And you know, the movie is bigger than one character. It is about everybody, no one stands out more. We all did a great job on the film. Everybody had a great share of great moments, and that's where the ride comes in.

Abel: I think the reason Rick Riordan (the author of the book)...in the book he had blue Coca-Cola and he was very proud of his Lunchables. In the book he did that because the goal is to get kids to go, maybe I'm a demigod. You know, I go to school with Lunchables every day. It's like, I live with a single parent, maybe my dad is a god. I think that's the magic we are trying to bring back to kids, is their sense of imagination.

Jackson: You don't get that much in these movies.

Abel: And possibility, because they can be anything.

Daddario: I mean, it's sort of this sense of something - you know, when you're a kid, you use your imagination, there's a sense there's something else going on in the world than what you see. I think that's why I love fantasy films and it plays into-

Jackson: That's why I love Susan Boyle! (Everyone laughs, Jackson sings). I dreamed a dream!

Daddario: Exactly! But that's why people love Susan Boyle, because it sort of, no matter who you are or what you are or where you are, you can be anything and do amazing things. I think that is one of the reasons kids relate to the story.

Pegasus News: So, there are four more books, would you guys be interested in doing another one?

Jackson: Yeah, Ii the fans like it, that would be great!

Abel: These films are so fun to make, it's not even work. There's work involved-

Lerman: It's playtime.

Daddario: It's not like you go to work every day and (groan), I have to hang out with Jake, Logan, and Brandon. It's really awesome.

Jackson: They would make a really good environment for us, they would bring us smoothies and stuff...there's certain films you go on that you get treated bad and they treated us very well. That's what I'm saying.

GATW: What would you guys like to see come from the sequel, what direction would you like to see the sequels take?

Lerman: We're just gonna amp it up every time.

Jackson: Maybe make it edgier, make it darker.

GATW: That's what I was curious about. From the synopsis of the books, it seems they get progressively darker.

Lerman: Yeah, you know, as the characters get older - the audience, they'll mature with the characters.

Abel: Yeah, Luke gets his body taken over through Kronos and kinda becomes the ultimate evil. I'm really curious as to how that will play out.

GATW: So we are probably going to have a college-aged Percy around the last one?

Lerman: Mmm-hmm.

Abel: (laughs) A scholarly Percy Jackson.

Jackson: That would be pretty cool!

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF was directed by Chris Columbus and will strike theaters with Zeus' lightning bolt on February 12, 2010.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI08-pCFJj0[/youtube]

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