Last year, Asa Butterfield moved to New Orleans with his mother and sister for 5 months to film Ender's Game, a decision that he refers to as "a big step in his career." And while Asa himself hadn't read the book until he found out they were casting for the movie, he is fully aware of the story's fan base and huge cult following: "It really meant a lot to me to be able to play that character who so many people love." And the role had other perks as well:
"I think I can speak for the large majority of teenage boys that the character of Ender is just a dream. I mean leading the human race and fighting in zero gravity with laser guns - what more could you want? I mean, that was the main sort of draw for me to want to play this role and then when I heard who else they were thinking of casting it was just like... it blew my mind, really. And I spoke with Gavin a lot of times on Skype about the character and we shared out thoughts. It really gave both of us I think an insight into how this was going to work. When I got the role I was over the moon."One reporter mentioned that Asa was not following the path of the typical child star and asked to what he attributes his success so far. The teenager assured the audience that a lot of it was just luck and that he's a perfectly normal 16-year-old boy who attends school when he's not filming. "This is like my other life," he laughed.
Like Batman, his super hero of choice. Because, unlike other super heroes, Batman is possible.
And it's clear Asa considers Ender's Game director Gavin Hood a bit of a super hero, as he spoke very animatedly about Hood's amazing work on the film and the hands-on techniques he used to inspire the young actors on set:
"Gavin is so enthusiastic and gives so much motivation to the actors. There are loads of kids on the set - extras and cast - and Gavin, partially because he wrote the screenplay, he knew the characters back to front. He knew exactly what he wanted, and when they needed some more 'oomph' to the scene, he was there to come on stage. And he gave it all, he gave more than the actors, he was sweating, he was there. It's inspirational, it really is, not just to me but to the other actors on set as well."Hopefully Asa will have the opportunity to work with Gavin again on future Ender projects. When asked about sequels, the young actor admitted that it probably depends on how well this film does in theaters. Which book they'll film, he isn't sure, as the linear sequel presents us with an Ender in his 30s: "Unless they want to wait 15 odd years, I dunno."
And what part of Ender's Game will we -- fans of the book -- be most excited about come November?
"Fans of the book? I think, I mean the story has stayed almost entirely true to the book apart from obviously they had to age the characters up for obvious reasons. I think it all depends on what they got out of the book. If they loved the Battle Room scenes then obviously that's going to appeal to them. But if they read the book for the stories and the... not the stories, the morals behind it and the themes, then... that's all still intact in the screenplay I think. It's a really deep story."Ender's Game is set to his US theaters November 1, 2013.