The star of the new $100 million Ender’s Game movie from Lionsgate might not be a household name yet, but if the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s bestselling novel connects at the box office, Asa Butterfield will be. In addition to sequels waiting to be made (there are two more books in the series), Butterfield went head-to-head with Harrison Ford as Ender Wiggin in the big budget movie. Butterfield, who’s a big gamer, talks about the movie in this exclusive interview.
What was it like filming the Battle School sequences?
They were amazing. When I first read the script, it was impossible to picture in your head what they were going to look like. It’s always the cool green screen when you’re filming it, but it’s phenomenal to see it all put together.
Did you play any video games in preparation for the role?
I did play video games. It wasn’t so much in preparation. I was playing a lot of StarCraft II. I guess that’s one of the better games to be playing, strategy games. There are elements of that which I took into account just thinking about it.
If you were to design a game for Enders Game, what would it be like?
It would be and RTS [real-time strategy] game, either in the battle room or a space annihilation kind of game similar in a sense to StarCraft.
What impact do you feel video games have on kids today with how they think, and hand-eye coordination?
I think there is a lot of negative press on video games these days, and I don’t think it is entirely fair. A lot of the press is written by people who don’t necessarily understand the benefits of gaming. I can see for myself that since I’ve started playing games more, not only do I have a better understanding of it, but my hand-eye coordination improved, my reaction time’s improved and it makes you think like nothing else can. It’s a unique form of entertainment. There is no other format that can do all of those at the same time.
What was it like for you going toe-to-toe with Harrison Ford in this movie?
What I’ve really liked about the film is seeing the relationship between our characters evolve. At the start of the film, Harrison is really quite overbearing and very high up in terms of military power, and by the end of it, I am standing toe-to-toe with him. I’m looking him in the eye and giving him a run for his money, and there’s an amazing dynamic that changes and flows in the film.
What was one of your favorite memories from the filming?
There’s so many to speak of. For me, with any film, what I get out of it most is the whole experience and the people that you meet who are so kind and so helpful, because I am still relatively new to the business. They’re always supportive, Harrison included, and really make you feel comfortable where you are. It would be at times a little intimidating.
What’s it like seeing the final film with all the video game special effects?
It’s an amazing feeling having spent so many months before filming, during filming and afterwards, putting so much effort and love into it. To finally bring it together and be able to share it with the world, you can’t replicate the feeling. It’s amazing.