From director Joe Wright comes “Pan,” a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly.
Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan. Stars Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Levi Miller, director Joe Wright, screenwriter Jason Fuchs all attended the film’s premiere. Read what the cast had to say below:
What are the challenges when you have to create a fantastic universe for the film?
Joe Wright: Well it just takes a lot – it’s just scaling up what I’ve done before really, so we created the biggest set that had ever been built in the UK indoors and that was thrilling and exciting, you know. Thrilling being the flip side of frightening. But really the biggest challenge was to maintain the importance of the central story, the narrative, and I think the characters. And it’s a very moving story as well as being a big action adventure.
So Peter became Peter Pan in the movie so how would this inspire younger generations to find themselves?
JW: Well you know, I think a lot of these fairy tales and a lot of these stories, the idea is that we reflect the kids’ fears and then show them through the course of the story how they can overcome them with courage and imagination and belief. So I think that’s the idea of all of these stories really.
How did you envision it from the script?
JW: I wanted to put myself in the place of an 11 year old kid and imagine the story from his point of view.
How did you go about directing the action scenes and the two song scenes?
JW: Well we worked very hard in preparing the action scenes. I love action and I love the idea that action is pure cinema, that it can’t be done in any other art form, other than maybe sports coverage. So we worked very very hard in trying to create a unique and visceral experience.
Did Hook or other Peter Pan installments affect how you portrayed your character?
Levi Miller: Not influenced me. I mean I loved it and the 2003 version of Peter Pan but it didn’t exactly influence me in this character because it’s something that’s never been seen before—it’s an origin story so, no, it didn’t exactly influence me but it was lots of fun to shoot.
This is your first feature film as the main character, so how was it like filming?
LM: It was crazy. They built all of these sets. They were magnificent.
Your character also has a lot of stunts so what was the best/scariest part of that?
LM: It wasn’t exactly scary, there weren’t any scary parts but there was lots of crazy, lots of crazy stuff.
Tell me about your character.
Nonso Anozie: I play Bishop, who is the right hand man of Blackbeard. He is the guy who goes on this ship, The Ranger, kidnaps some kids and brings them back to the main ship, The Revenge, where they have to mind for pixum. Pixum is this dust that keeps Blackbeard young because he’s actually very old. And no one knows why they’re mining for it but they know they have to work for Blackbeard. So this movie is kinda set before the Peter Pan that we know. And it’s almost kind of like a prequel to the story we know now and it’s an amazing film that people are going to really love.
So how’s it like playing the bad guy in the film?
NA: The bad guy, I mean for me, it is quite unusual because I don’t know, I think I have a round face so it was nice to get my teeth into playing a bad guy. You know, I got to go grab kids in the middle of the night, it was fun to play. This whole movie is really all fun but, sometimes it’s true what they say, that bad guys have the most fun. It was a lot of fun playing this role. Hopefully you can tell I’m enjoying myself in the movie.
Your character has some fierce shows of force but also sympathy in other scenes. How was it like playing both sides of the character?
NA: I think most characters have to have two sides. No one is totally bad and no one is totally good. Everyone is born and you grow up with different life experiences which leads you to where you are. So I look for that within every character I’m playing, whether it’s a kids’ movie or a Mike Lee movie or whether it’s Steven Spielberg. So it’s something that I love doing and it’s a lot of fun.
And how was it like working on actual real life ships?
NA: It was an actual real ship and they put them on these huge gimbals that would movie at different angles at the touch of a button that felt like you were really on a ship. You felt like you were really flying through the air. An amazing experience.
Tell me about playing Smee.
Adeel Akhtar: Well I play a character called Smee, whose full name is Sam Smeegle and he works in the mines with Hook and Peter and then they eventually escape through my assistance. So I help them escape and then it gets all chaotic and adventurous after that.
Did you watch Hoskins play Smee to give you an idea for playing Smee?
AA: You know what? Not really but I watched it again after I did this, and he’s amazing in it. Don’t you think? He’s wicked. No I didn’t but he’s amazing.
Your character is somewhat of a traitor, so how was it like playing that kind of character?
AA: It feels good. At one level it’s just sort of doing the job, isn’t it? But talking about the character specifically, he has to survive. It’s a survival mechanism. So he’s gotta try to do what he needs to do to look after himself, especially when there’s kids working.
How was it like acting on real life ships?
AA: It feels good. There were these ships on hydraulics or pistons, so they would turn 90 degrees and then turn 180. So yea, that was really excellent, because you’re on a ship which is doing all of this amazing stuff. You’re not really acting, you’re on this ship, enjoying the ride, being on the boat, with these fans blowing in your face. That was very exciting.
And what about the tram scene?
AA: They had built these massive massive fans in a cable car and it’s blowing in your face and it’s sort of not much acting involved because there’s 100 miles per hour winds and you’re just trying to breathe you know.
The film opens nationwide on Friday, October 9, 2015. It will be shown in RealD 3D and 2D.