Josh Hutcherson talks about bringing this special film to DVD
There are actor's who create memories for generations of kids. For example, in the 1980s you had people like Henry Thomas, Lukas Haas and Ricky Schroder. In the 1990s there was Macaulay Culkin and others. What these actors seemed to do was help define for us what our childhood should or could be like. Through their movies we lived through them and experienced the world through the perspective they infused into their characters.
Bridge to Terabithia co-star Josh Hutcherson is well on his well to creating many memories for kids growing up today. With major roles in such coming of age films as Zathura and Little Manhattan, this actor is helping many of his peers come to terms with the different aspects of their own lives.
He recently sat down with us to talk about the Bridge to Terabithia DVD release and the themes of the film.
Could you describe your character Jessie in Bridge to Terabithia?
Josh Hutcherson: Jess is kind of an outcast in his life, really. He goes to school and he's an artist and kids are making fun of him because he's an artist, and because he's on the poorer end of the rich scale. They make fun of him and call him "farmer boy" and things like that. He has four sisters and I can only imagine that would be crazy because I have one little brother... to have four sisters would be terrible. (Laughs) He has a lot of problems going on and he doesn't feel like his dad accepts him for who he is.
You mention him being an artist, did you do any of the drawing in the film?
Josh Hutcherson: That was all someone else. I'm terrible. I draw stick figures.
Well considering how some of the animation looks today that's very popular on TV...
Josh Hutcherson: Hey, you never know.
What attracted you to Bridge to Terabithia?
Josh Hutcherson: For me, it was the story. It's such a heartfelt story and the entire world knows about Bridge to Terabithia from the book. It's such a great, timeless tale and to just be a part of it was amazing for me. Not to mention, I knew by reading the script it was going to be a great and fun movie to do. The special effects were going to be fun, there were some stunts I got to work with. It was great.
Had you read the book before doing the movie?
Josh Hutcherson: I went out and got the book when I found out that it was getting made into a movie. That's when I went out and bought the book and I read the book, fell in love with the book right away, and as I was reading it I could just kind of see it coming to life in my head. Seeing me as Jess and everything. So we got the script later on and read the script, loved the script, now we made the movie and love the movie.
What for you is the most important theme in the film?
Josh Hutcherson: You know for me, I think it's at the very end. When Jess brings May Belle to Terabithia, because it kind of gives closure to everything. It kind of lets you know that the legend lives on.
What was your favorite part of the film to shoot?
Josh Hutcherson: The big action sequence where there's a fight scene with me and Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb) against all the creatures in Terabithia. That was fun because we got to do some stuntwork and stuff.
In a scene like that, that has so many effects, does that call on you to use your imagination?
Josh Hutcherson: It does because you have to pretend you're swinging this stick at an amazing, crazy, creature thing that's attacking you and you have to be afraid of it when there's nothing there at all. It takes some imagining but we pulled it off, I think.
Having done films like Little Manhattan, RV and now Bridge to Terabithia, do you have a preference for fantasy movies as opposed to those that are grounded a little more in reality?
Josh Hutcherson: I love all of it. It's so much fun. I love acting period. Anything that's hands on, I love doing. I base the roles I choose depending on the characters. That's just how I'm gonna run my career. So if it's a good role I'm gonna take it whether it be fantasy, or whether it be realistic or fiction, anything.
Is your preparation as an actor any different if you're doing a fantasy film vs. a more dramatic one?
Josh Hutcherson: You know, not really. I go with my instincts on the character. What I think after reading the script and seeing where the story goes, I go with my instincts on the character. If my instincts are wrong the director and the producers will guide me in the right direction. That's just kind of how I take on any role, be it a fantasy movie or not.
What would you like audiences to take away from Bridge to Terabithia?
Josh Hutcherson: There are a lot of great lessons in Bridge to Terabithia. There's so many serious lessons but I was thinking, on a lighter note, so many kids nowadays are stuck indoors playing video games. It shows kids that they can go outside and make an imaginary world and have more fun than just being inside all the time.
What do you have coming up next?
Josh Hutcherson: This fall I have a movie coming out called Winged Creatures. That's a great ensemble cast. It's a small independent film. Sony just bought it for domestic distribution. It's got some Academy Award winners in there, some Academy Nominees. It's such a dark movie. I was so excited because it's such a change of pace for me to be a part of that and show some different colors that I have. Also, I have a movie coming out called Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brendan Fraser. That's just an action packed, awesome movie. I'm actually really excited to see it.
I imagine that the effects in that have just got to be insane?
Josh Hutcherson: Oh yeah.
Bridge to Terabithia comes to DVD June 19 from Walt Disney Video.
Dont't forget to also check out: Bridge to Terabithia