“He’s out of his depth”

Asa But­ter­field is Jake

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - The Flash -

“Shes a very cool and ec­cen­tric char­ac­ter” “I wanted to play the badass!”

What was it about Ja­cob that leapt off the page for you? Ja­cob is the nor­mal one in this wacky world. He’s the pil­lar of nor­mal­ity when ev­ery­thing else is chaotic. He’s the one that the au­di­ence are go­ing to re­late to, the one they’re go­ing to sym­pa­thise with, be­cause he’s taken out of his com­fort zone and thrown into this to­tally alien world. He’s out of his depth and that’s some­thing we can all re­late to.

Do you think ac­tors should be out­siders? I think the best ac­tors are out­siders, def­i­nitely. You have to be able to em­pathise to­tally with other peo­ple, other char­ac­ters. If you can’t do that then you can’t to­tally put your­self in their shoes, and you can’t feel what it would be like to be them. Be­ing an out­sider makes you able to ap­pre­ci­ate and ac­knowl­edge when other peo­ple are out­siders. It just makes it so much eas­ier to get into their head, fig­ure them out.

Were you jeal­ous of any­one else’s pow­ers? The birds, the Ym­brynes, they can sort of ma­nip­u­late time. And I thought oh, that’s un­fair, that’s just cheat­ing, you can just beat any­one! So that would prob­a­bly be the coolest power to have. How did Tim sell this to you? He just said, “Read this book and tell me what you think. And if you like it, maybe you could be in it.” I could play any­thing for Tim – I could play a tree, a broom, any­thing [laughs]. It’s a bird in this movie. It was such a gor­geous story, and a very cool and ec­cen­tric char­ac­ter.

How close is the film to be book? It’s a bit dif­fer­ent, I would say. The old pho­to­graphs in the book are ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful – spooky, and haunt­ing. You’re like, “Oh my god, of course Tim is go­ing to di­rect it.” Only Tim could di­rect this, ac­tu­ally. He al­ways brings emo­tion and po­etry, and it’s al­ways very del­i­cate. It is unique. He has such a great vi­sion.

This isn’t a typ­i­cal su­per­hero movie, is it? I think in the out­side world these abil­i­ties would be seen as a hand­i­cap and these chil­dren would be per­se­cuted be­cause of that. But on this is­land, they’re kind of cel­e­brated for be­ing so unique, and the mes­sage in the film, for chil­dren as well as adults, it’s just, “Be your­self, no mat­ter how strange you are.” That’s what Tim does best. I feel like he un­der­stands the hearts of out­casts, and he cel­e­brates them. It’s beau­ti­ful. Film Emma’s very dif­fer­ent from book Emma… That was the first thing I no­ticed. I ex­pected to be this fiery, badass char­ac­ter and then I read the script and she was the to­tal po­lar op­po­site. I was like oh man, I wanted to play the badass! But you know what, this is Tim Bur­ton and Jane Gold­man. Just trust them. They’re go­ing to do an in­cred­i­ble job and all you’ve got to do is cre­ate a char­ac­ter that doesn’t ex­ist al­ready, which is what you do for a liv­ing any­way.

Do you know why they changed her pow­ers? From talk­ing to Jane Gold­man about it, it fits in more with Hol­ly­wood. If you have a fiery badass char­ac­ter she does tend to dom­i­nate. But the film’s a cel­e­bra­tion of in­di­vid­u­al­ity and more im­por­tantly it’s about Asa, and how Jake goes on this emo­tional jour­ney. At first I didn’t agree with it be­cause I wanted to be this cool girl who played with fire. But it does make much bet­ter sense. It’s much more ro­man­tic, it makes their mo­ments to­gether much more ten­der and sweet. And just that im­age of her be­ing up in the sky is ac­tu­ally more Tim Bur­ton than a girl with flames com­ing from her hand.

Eva Green is Miss Peregrine Ella Pur­nell is Emma

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