At fifteen, he's a bit older than the characters he plays
The Freddie Highmore interview was interesting because they paired him with Jewel. That's right, Jewel, the singer/yodeler who apparently has an 'American Idol-esque' show on the Country Music Channel. Her contribution to the film is a song that plays in the credits, so it was very odd to pair her with the star of the movie. Freddie seemed like a nice, well-mannered kid. Many of the child actors are freakishly adult, but he really didn't give off that vibe. He's fifteen, so he's a bit older than the characters he plays.
Jewel is smoking hot by the way. I figure it's my duty to keep our readership up to speed on such things. Here's Freddie, sans the million questions asked to Jewel about her country music show.
What was it like making an animated film? Can you talk a bit about the process?
Freddie Highmore: It was something I'd never done before, so I was excited to do it. I wasn't involved with any creation of the animation image [motion capture]. I just did the voice-over afterwards. They got actors to play out how the animated characters would move. Then they changed it to animation.
Did you miss making the animated part? Would you liked to have worn the motion capture suit?
Freddie Highmore: Maybe...but it took three years. (laughs)
What was it like then to see your voice come out of the animated character?
Freddie Highmore: It was kind of odd to do the animation voice. For example, I never actually met any of the people I was doing the voice-over with, like Madonna. So I got married to Madonna, but I never actually met her. It was kind of odd to see myself as a 'minimoy', but I'd need a lot of hair product to keep up that hair.
What was it like working with Luc Besson?
Freddie Highmore: Luc was great. He has these big Bull Mastiffs. They look a bit fierce but are actually really nice. He was so energetic all the time and he had all the ideas. He wrote it, produced, directed, and operated the camera at the same time. He had fun things to do, like when the door fell down. He's a really nice guy.
Were Luc's dogs like your dog in the film? Did you get along with that dog?
Freddie Highmore: He was good, but it's hard working with the animals on set. They often don't do what they're meant to do...but they weren't badly treated or anything like that. They had lots of different dogs that they used because some of them didn't work. They'd bring the dog and make get everyone quiet.
How do you choose your movies? You've had a lot of success at an early age?
Freddie Highmore: Well, if it's a new thing I haven't done before. For instance, I hadn't done any of the animation side. So that's why I did this, and also to go to different places like Paris. I got to improve my French. It's also got to be a good script. It's the opportunities to do different things.
What was it like working with Mia Farrow?
Freddie Highmore: She's a great person. She's kind; she's loving, and really generous. If anyone had a problem on the set, she'd always be there and try to sort it out.
We've heard that you really developed a bond with Mia...
Freddie Highmore: Yeah, I was working in New York last year for three months. She lives in New York, so I went to visit to say hello.
Have you been approached to do the other 'Arthur' books?
Freddie Highmore: I'm not sure if they're going to do another one. It depends on how this first one does.
What is it that you love about acting?
Freddie Highmore: I think it's that you get to meet fantastic people and travel around. I've been to Cambodia and Thailand. I worked with tigers there, [Two Brothers] which was pretty fantastic. We stayed in the jungle for two weeks, in tents. Getting to meet Mia, and Luc, and Johnny Depp, those experiences are really amazing.
Do you like to pretend? Do you enjoy making up characters?
Freddie Highmore: Yes, I suppose it's quite nice to get into characters. It's fun to work at that. I suppose it's quite satisfying at the end if people like it.
Do you do regular kids stuff? Do you like video games?
Freddie Highmore: Not so much now, but I have a PSP. It's quite useful when you're traveling. I play to pass the time, but no; I don't spend my days playing video games.
Freddie Highmore: August Rush we did this time last year in New York. That was great fun to do, and I got to play the guitar in that. My character is supposedly orphaned at the start. He decides to try and find his parents. He learns to play the guitar and finds them through his music.
Freddie Highmore: That was a great thing to do because I got to play twins. So it was differentiating between the two characters. They're sort of opposites of each other, so it was easier to do.
Is that a big FX picture?
Freddie Highmore: Yeah, there are a few. But it was just special effects trying to get the two twins in the same time and moment.