Beautiful Creatures Stars and Producer Talk the Scope and Tone of the Film, Swamptronics, and More
With the February 13th release of Beautiful Creatures coming soon, we chatted with cast members Alden Ehrenreich, Thomas Mann and Zoey Deutch and producer Broderick Johnson for some inside info on the film.
Speaking with our East Coast correspondent Nomad recently, Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Ethan Wate, gave us his point of view on the scope of the film. "There are a lot of different scenes in the movie," Ehrenreich said. "Scenes that are epic, scenes that are magic. The tone of the scenes that I'm in is romantic, charming, wonderful stuff. To me, parts of this movie feel like a romantic comedy because there's really these funny things, these bumblings and failings of someone trying to date someone, trying to get to know another person."
He continued describing the tone: "It's able to laugh at itself. It has wit, it has charm. It's a character-driven movie that has a sense of humor to it. When you see these movies about these crazy supernatural things and nobody goes, 'Whoa, wait a second,' and laughs at it for a second, that doesn't feel like what we would really do in real life. We have to laugh at this stuff."
Ehrenreich unveiled a bit on the stunts and F/X in the film. "We did very little CGI so a lot of it is the real sets, and I got to see a lot of that in person and act in that. So that was really amazing." As for the physicality of the role, "I get kind of tossed and turned and whipped; I pass out and fly around. I'm kind of the victim of all the magic in the movie so it's physical in that sense for sure."
Thomas Mann talks about his part in the film, much of which involves providing the laughs. "I play Link, who is sort of the comedic relief in the movie," Mann said. "He's Ethan's best friend, and they go to the same school and are part of this small Southern, very religious town. They both feel kind of trapped, but Ethan and Link are different than everyone else. They feel they can transcend this, like there's more out there for them. The scenes with Link and Ethan are sort of light and bring some light to this dark story so I'm excited for people to see them."
But although there are laughs, Mann cautions viewers that this is no straight comedy. "There are very funny parts in it," Mann said, "but it's very dark and sort of sad, too. It's a story about two people in love and how hard it is for them to be together due to their circumstances. And there's a supernatural element; there's a lot of great special F/X and set pieces that are just crazy. A lot of the F/X are practical so it was really cool to see all that happen on set and be part of it."
And just how hands-on is Link in this film? "It is a physical role," Mann said. "Physical in a romantic way, but also physical in a violent way as well." Perfect, our two favorites!
Zoey Deutch, who appears in the film as Emily Asher, gave us assurance that, oh yes, there will be blood. "Oh, there's blood involved; there's gore," Deutch said. "I get bloody with glass in my face. But the film does appeal to a wide range of people from young to adult because it's got Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson and Viola Davis. There's so many different aspects of the story. It's a human-based story with supernatural aspects. It's really different."
Finally, one of the film's producers, Broderick Johnson, talked about some special aspects of the film. "We're excited about the music," Johnson said. "We've got Thenewno2, which has Dhani Harrison (George Harrison's son) and Paul Hicks (son of Tony Hicks of The Hollies), and actually, Tony Hicks will be playing banjo in our movie. Also Jonathan Sadoff, who actually has done scores for two independent movies, but as a group they're known as Thenewno2 and they've never done a score before, but they're coming up with the most original, coolest stuff. We're recording at Abbey Road with dad's guitar. I'm really excited."
Just what kind of sound is Thenewno2 coming up with? "We're calling it Swamptronics," Johnson said. "It's a really cool sound they're creating. And the three of them have separated the duties so one works on the love theme, one works on Ridley's theme and one works on the scary stuff."
Johnson spoke on the desire to make the film magical, but without leaving reality. "There are no monsters or ghosts, but there are supernaturals," Johnson said. "I wanted to make it as real as possible and grounded in the real world. Real characters who happen to have supernatural powers, and if you take away their powers, they're just like you or me. So they have a family holiday dinner, which erupts into a disaster like all our family holiday dinners, but instead of just yelling and screaming and throwing food, they use their powers to start a fight, but if you take out their powers, it still works."
And what would any supernatural-thriller-love story be without a few laughs? "Comedy is very important. Wit is very important," Johnson said. "It cuts the earnestness and makes them real. Life has wit because life is absurd. So you can't have a story without any wit in it."
Beautiful Creatures opens nationwide on February 13th.
A supernatural love story set in the South, Beautiful Creatures tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history, and their town. Oscar nominee Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, P.S. I Love You) directs from his adaptation of the first novel in the best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro), newcomer Alice Englert, Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) Oscar nominee Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt), Emmy Rossum (TV's "Shameless"), and Academy Award winner Emma Thompson (Howard's End, Sense and Sensibility).
Margo Martindale plays Lena's Aunt Del, who helps to protect her from the family's dark side, and Zoey Deutch portrays Emily Asher, Ethan's ex-girlfriend and the ringleader of the high school's popular clique that conspires against Lena. The film co-stars Kyle Gallner and Thomas Mann.
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