Continuing our report on Latino-Review’s set visit for BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, check out our next interview with Thomas Mann, who plays the part of Link in the film.
Link in the book is the comic relief. Are you taking that role in the movie?
Yeah, definitely. I think in order for this movie not to take itself too seriously, it has to kind of poke fun at itself, and I think Link is a good balance because he’s Ethan’s best friend. He’s going through a crazy time in his life, and Link is such a good presence for him and a good positive energy for him to have around, which is probably why he’s so easy to corrupt.
Have you read the books?
No, I haven’t, not that I don’t plan to, but once I read Richard’s script, I didn’t want to confuse any notions I had with my initial reactions to the script. I just wanted to keep my head clearer. I do know some of the things, and Richard’s take is a little bit different. There are some major differences, and I didn’t want to get the two confused by trying to handle too much.
So you’re from Texas. Do you find a South Carolinan accent to be easier or harder?
It’s interesting: neither of my parents have accents, and my dad grew up in Texas. My mom moved around a lot, but growing up no one ever really had an accent, so I never really had a sort of twang. So I was basically starting from scratch with Rick Lipton, who’s the dialect coach, and he’s been so easy to work with. I’ve just been watching youtube videos of this kid talking about baseball and he’s from South Carolina. So now I’ve kind of memorized everything he’s said. And he’s a younger guy, so I feel like the energy that he has in the video was good for me. So I use that as a resource.
I’m curious to know what it’s like to work with Emma Thompson.
It was a little scary at first. But we did an Oscar count the other day of all the Oscars that have been involved with the people, collectively with nominations and stuff. Emma is the most open, nicest, most fascinating woman I’ve ever met. She’s so insightful, so smart, and it’s been a pleasure watching her work, along with Jeremy and Viola—well, I just worked with her—but yeah. It’s incredible.
What kind of advice has Emma given you along the way?
She just gives you advice on everything. I have the most in-depth conversations with her than I’ve had my entire life. She’s just so [knowledgable] about philosophy and politics and she can bring it out of you.
You kind of look like her, you could pass as her son. That’s really good casting! I’m sure you get that a lot.
Well, thank you! I’m still surprised that I’m playing her son, that’s still sinking in for me. I’m very grateful.
What can you learn from watching her work? What have you seen her do that other actors don’t really do?
I guess just her energy, overall. When we did the table read, she completely stole the show. Even if it was a bit over the top, to have that energy sets the bar for everyone else. So she’s kind of taken on a leadership role of the cast. So yeah I think that brings out the best for everyone.
Something we talked about with a few of the cast members is the fan aspect of this. Was that something that you were aware of?
I try not to think about that. We’re just trying to make the movie right now, we don’t even know how we feel about it. We’re just trying to make the best movie possible, so any comparisons to whatever…it’s sort of irrelevant to us at this point, and we’re just here, in New Orleans, hopefully making something that people will love, and hopefully the fans will enjoy it as well as people who never read the books.
Were you aware of the fan reaction to your casting?
A little bit. Just some things that I’ve heard, but I try to keep away from it, because it’s weird. It’s overwhelming, that’s the best way to put it, so I just try not to think about it.
Have you done the bewitching scenes with Emmy yet?
I’ve done one of them. And Emmy is a very giving actress, and she’s hilarious. She’s very easy to work with. She’s another person who’s got so much energy. The women on this cast…I really lucked out.
Are there any scenes you’re looking forward to shooting that you haven’t gotten to yet?
The rest of the Ridley scenes. I’ve been getting winks from everyone and they’re like “heeeey” and I’m like “alright, alright, I’m trying to be professional. Leave me alone.”
Your IMDB page is blowing up. In the next year, you have a lot coming out.
Yeah, actually, it’s really exciting. I just can’t believe how fast this all sort of happened, but at the same time I’ve been so busy too. So I’m really excited to see everything I’ve been working on.
Is it a result of the success of Project X?
A lot of it happened even before Project X. People knew about Project X before it came out. And then since it’s come out, it’s only helped me, and I’m so happy it did. It’s such an exciting time. So now I’m sort of in limbo, a transition phase, waiting for these movies to come out.
Project X went from a movie off people’s radar to a sleeper hit almost overnight. How did it feel to you sort of from the inside?
We did a press tour, and went around to all these different colleges. The reaction from them, I mean, the turnaround…we shot that August of 2010, and this came out at the beginning of 2012. So in our minds it was just this little movie. We had NO idea what was going to come of it. And so finally, after 2 years, seeing it all come to fruition, it’s the best feeling. We’re all really proud of it. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a film. It’s the most unique experience. I hope it goes down in history as a great party movie.
Is it a remarkably different scale of production?
Getting to work with the high-caliber people that are in this movie, and then also I’ve already had some sort of fan following, so you know a lot of people are going to see the movie right off the bat, as opposed to Project X, where you’re like crossing your fingers as you are with any movie. And so it’s different and now I’m just trying to live up to that.
Is there a set piece that you’re particularly impressed with or looking forward to see?
I’ve seen sort of the construction of the Ravenwood mansion, the inside of it, and it’s coming along really nicely, and that’s all I can say about it. There’s a lot I still haven’t seen yet. There’s a lot I’m excited to see. The Greenbriar ruins, that’s supposedly really cool. I’ve seen them building it on stage, but we haven’t shot it for the movie yet.
Do you find that you had the liberty to improv a little bit on this?
Yeah, Richard’s actually very open to it. On the first day, I came to him with some alternate lines, and he was so open to it. He was like, “Yeah I love it! Let’s do it!” and it was like, no questions asked. And a couple other times he just asks us to improv. It’s liberating. It’s very natural. A lot of the scenes we’ve been reading since the audition process, and so it’s good to change it up a bit.