EXCLUSIVE: AnnaSophia Robb Crosses the Bridge to Terabithia

AnnaSophia explains why the DVD is for people of all ages

AnnaSophia Robb has accomplished quite a lot since starting her acting career in 1994 on Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh. She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to discuss her work on Bridge to Terabithia.

Deep in the woods, far beyond the road, across a stream, lies a secret world only two people on earth know about -- a world brimming with fantastical creatures, glittering palaces and magical forests. This is Terabithia, where two young friends, Jesse (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb), will discover how to rule their own kingdom, fight the forces of darkness and change their lives forever through the power of the imagination.

Could you describe the character of Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia?

AnnaSophia Robb: Should I describe the film and then describe Leslie?

Maybe do a little bit of both if that's okay?

AnnaSophia Robb: Okay, Bridge to Terabithia is about two unlikely friends, Jess and Leslie, and they end up becoming really good friends and they create a magical world together where anything is possible. My character, Leslie, she kind of finds Jess in the school environment, she's a new kid at school and she's very creative and inventive and doesn't care what anybody thinks about her. She's very different and Jess is kind of scared of that at first and is a little intimidated. She really just opens up his mind and she's really open to people, and respects them and wants to become their friends. She encourages and loves Jess.

What attracted you to this film?

AnnaSophia Robb:Bridge to Terabithia is just a timeless, classic book. I love the story. It's just a beautiful story about friendship and it teaches all sorts of lessons and also I have a wonderful character.

Had you read the book before seeing the movie?

AnnaSophia Robb: In fifth grade, in the U.S., that's when you normally read the book. That's when schools normally read the book and I was home schooled in fifth grade; that was the one year I was home schooled. So I missed it but when I heard it was being turned into a film, I went out and bought the book and I cried my eyes out. Then I read the script and it transferred beautifully into a film. It really captured and kept the heart and soul of the book in the film. They just added more special effects.

You mentioned the lessons in the film... what for you is the most important one in Bridge to Terabithia?

AnnaSophia Robb: Oh, there's so many... well, one of the big, main themes in the film is keeping your mind open. Letting your imagination just run wild. I think it's also about accepting people for who they are and being able to get away from life and just be yourself and have fun. It's also about good friends and how boys and girls can be just friends. It hits on some family issues and bullies. It has all sorts of good things.

What was your favorite part of the movie to shoot?

AnnaSophia Robb: Every day was so much fun. We filmed in New Zealand. Josh and I became really good friends so it was like hanging out with my best friend every single day and doing what I love. What I really remember, one of my favorite scenes of shooting is the rope swing. I had good lines in it and I loved that location. Also, we got to play on the rope swing a little bit. There's also a scene where Josh and I are climbing the tree and we got to do some harness work and that was really fun.

What I liked about the rope swing was that the way you guys swing, it really looks like you're disappearing to another place.

AnnaSophia Robb: Exactly, yes. That's what it's all about. It's that bridge to another world.

Having done movies like Because of Winn-Dixie and now Bridge to Terabithia, do you have a preference for fantasy movies as opposed to those grounded in reality? Is it different in your preparation as an actress?

AnnaSophia Robb: I definitely like to read fantasy books. I love fiction/fantasy, science fiction, but for preparing for the roles in Bridge to Terabithia, it wasn't that difficult because Josh and I both had to pretend. When there was a hairy vulture coming after us there was really just an orange piece of tape. So we had to make believe that it was some big, scary giant. It was kinda hard and I felt a little goofy at the time but then it turned out alright. I had to get in that mode and think about where Jess and Leslie are.

What would you like audiences to take away from viewing this movie?

AnnaSophia Robb: I hope it touches them. I hope this film reminds them of their childhood, for adults, and how much fun that is. That it reminds them that you can keep your mind open and use your imagination and be creative even when you're older. Also, not judging people. Don't judge a book by its cover. For kids, I definitely think keeping your mind open and using your imagination and being able to play pretend and that it's okay. Also, that boys and girls can be friends. It's not weird. They're a person and they can be your best friend in the whole world.

What do you have coming up next?

AnnaSophia Robb: The next things that are coming out are Ferris Wheel and A West Texas Children's Story and their dates to be released are still to be determined. I think Ferris Wheel is being renamed to Sleep Walking. I'll also be in Jumper in 2007 or 2008 and I have a small role in that.

Bridge to Terabithia comes to DVD June 19 from Walt Disney Video.

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