First he shared some stories about Space Camp in Huntsville (Alabama), most of the young actors attended last year in March. And it doesn't sound like so much fun in his words:
"It was painful. There was all sorts of marching, running. 'Left face, right face' where you turn in different directions. If one person in the group of about 100 extras, and 10 or so cast [members], made a mistake, everyone had to do 10 push-ups. And we'd be jogging and if one person fell behind, we'd have to do 10 push-ups. Then [the trainers would] extend it... because they're a bit mean [laughs]."But the training surely helped Asa handling his "most physically demanding role to date," especially the extended scenes in the Battle Room, strapped to a harness, floating freely to simulate Zero Gravity:
"You have to have your whole body completely tensed up so you're not completely flopped over and suspended by the waist. Meanwhile, you have to move smoothly. Meanwhile, you have to say your lines in an American accent!"According to Asa, director Gavin Hood has "a deep love for the source material," and I'm sure those of you who have followed the discussion in yesterday's Google+ Hangout will have noticed that as well. He is very passionate about the story and according to Asa "made changes only when necessary. He knew exactly what would be different in terms of things you could physically do when bringing something to screen."
"[The movie is] almost completely true to the original book, except for things like the age of the characters and the time in which the story happened."
When talking about Ender, Asa Butterfield showed that he really got into the lead characters head, with help and guidance from Gavin Hood he learned all the details of the morally very complex role. He said "Ender's way of leading and communicating with other people — not just children, but adults — is completely different. It's one of the things that makes him shine in the school." And when talking about his siblings, Valentine and Peter, and how the relationship to both of them characterizes Ender, he said:
"[Valentine is] completely selfless and open. Peter is the epitome of the worst human being. Ender knows he doesn't want to be Peter, but at times he can't help having his dark side shine through."While Asa has obviously read and - as he said many times already - loved Ender's Game, he doesn't seem to be very fond of the other books in Orson Scott Card's Enderverse. He couldn't even finish Speaker of the Dead.
"All of the other books in the series... none of them are particularly like Ender's Game. Speaker I started reading, but it's so different. It was a real shock to me how far it varied from the original book. So I didn't end up finishing that. It was too difficult for me to read."