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.