Much like Colin Trevorrow's meteoric rise from the director of the beloved indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed to the monstrous Jurassic World, Nick Robinson has had a similar ascent through the acting world. After appearing in just two short films, he landed the role of Ryder Scanlon on ABC Family's Melissa & Joey. And then, with just one independent film under his belt, 2013's fantastic The Kings of Summer, Nick Robinson landed the role of Zach, the too-cool-for-school older brother of Ty Simpkins' Gray in Jurassic World (check out our full review). These two siblings are sent off on a trip to this incredible resort to visit their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), but that trip unfortunately coincides with the genetically-created dinosaur Indominus Rex escaping, putting thousands of tourists' lives in danger. Take a look below as Nick Robinson discusses his time on the Hawaii set:.
I was really blown away by this, so congrats, first of all.
Nick Robinson: Oh, dude, I'm so happy to hear that. Thank you.
I'm curious how old you were when you first saw the original Jurassic Park, and what it meant to you at the time?
Nick Robinson: My first memories... the first time I saw it was I was on a family reunion, in Washington State, and we rented a cabin, and in the piles of DVDs that they had for us was Jurassic Park. We all crowded around the TV and watched it, and I remember that vividly because it's just such a compelling story and it drags you right in, everyone, kids, adults.
I thought the chemistry between you and Ty Simpkins was wonderful. Did you have a lot of time before shooting to get to know one another and form that sibling bond?
Nick Robinson: I didn't spend a ton of time with him before production actually started, but once we met each other and went to set, we had a lot of downtime in our first month of filming, so we took that to hang out as much as possible. It may have been by design, now that I think about it, but there was plenty of time to get to know one another and hang out, and what better place to hang out than Hawaii, honestly. I mean, seriously, it doesn't get better than that.
I went there for a movie set visit one time, and I kept thinking, I have to come back here all the time. This place is amazing.
Nick Robinson: Yeah, right? I just kept pinching myself, saying 'This is crazy!'
Colin has talked in interviews before about making this as practical as possible. Can you talk about Colin's approach to getting as much in camera as possible?
Nick Robinson: Yeah, his approach was to follow the guidelines, or the recipe, of the original, and use as much practical effects as possible. Obviously the dinosaurs were CGI, but all of the sets, the vehicles, the settings were all real, which was really helpful for me, just to get into that mindset and that world, and then all you have to do is deal with the dinosaurs. It made for a really exciting time.
I loved the gyroscope scene, but I was curious how that whole thing actually worked?
Nick Robinson: Yeah, that was really fun to shoot. I didn't actually control... I don't think they trusted my piloting skills, so they had some guy with a remote control ride us around on a track. There were a few times we got hooked up to a pickup truck with a camera in the back, and got towed around the field. It was really fun.
This is only Colin's second film, and it's quite a huge jump from his first film. I loved Safety Not Guaranteed, but it's amazing to see how he went from that small little indie to this massive project. Was his approach still indie-driven, even though it was still such a big project?
Nick Robinson: Colin definitely has the sensibilities of an independent filmmaker, and he brought that to Jurassic World, just in the sense that he's very intimate, as a director. He'll come up to you and speak to you one-on-one, regardless of the craziness that's going on around you. He has a real vision for this project, and I really think it came across. His jump from Safety Not Guaranteed to this, I don't know, it seems almost unprecedented, to go from something so small to something as big as this.
I know you guys didn't have a ton of scenes with Chris Pratt, but I've seen a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff for both this movie and Guardians of the Galaxy. He just seems like such a fun guy to work with. Can you talk about what kind of presence he brings to the set, and what it's like being around him?
Nick Robinson: He just brings the best possible energy that you could ever hope for to the set and to the scenes, and just going to work every day was a real joy. He's one of the funniest dudes I've ever met.
Is there any sort of criteria that you have when you're looking at what project to do next? Do you look at mainly the character or the story itself?
Nick Robinson: It's mainly the people. I look at who's involved, because it's mainly the people that bring the project together. I don't have any particular criteria, I guess it's just what I'm feeling at that particular time.
There's a film you have coming out next year called The 5th Wave, which is based on a very popular book series, and I know a lot of people are looking forward to that. Can you talk a bit about your character and what that was like to shoot?
Nick Robinson: Yeah, I'll be playing a zombie, a.k.a. Ben Parish. He grew up and went to school with the lead character Cassie, who's played by Chloe Moretz. There's an alien invasion (laughs), and, skipping over quite a bit, he's forced to join a squad of child soldiers, basically, and send off the invasions ourselves. Yeah, it's based on a really great book series by Rick Yancey, and I can't wait to see what happens with it. It's directed by J Blakeson, who actually also comes from the indie world, and I'm very excited to see what he does with it.
I actually interviewed him for The Disappearance of Alice Creed, which I thought was brilliant, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do with that.
Is there anything else you're working on or developing that you can talk about?
Nick Robinson: Yeah, I just finished up a project called Being Charlie with Rob Reiner. That was a very exciting project, but other than that, I'm going to take this summer to do a little traveling and just enjoy.
What would you like to say about anyone who might be on the fence or skeptical about Jurassic World, about why they should give it a shot?
Nick Robinson: If anyone is on the fence, I hope that the previews can maybe sway them, but they'll be entertained. Go see it. Chris Pratt, dinosaurs, crazyness all the time. It also has quite a few tie-ins to the original, so if you're a fan of the original movie, I think you'll enjoy this one.
That's my time. Thank you so much, Nick. It was a real pleasure, and best of luck in the future.
Nick Robinson: Thank you, man. Take care.
You can check out Nick Robinson as Zach in Jurassic World when it hits theaters nationwide June 12. Check back tomorrow for our interview with Ty Simpkins, who pays Zach's younger brother Grey. Will you be checking out Jurassic World in theaters this weekend?