Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Cast
By: Lynn Barker
After Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on the popular novel by Rick Riordan was a hit, filmmakers went to work on the next in the action/adventure/fantasy franchise, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
“Sea of Monsters” continues the story of young demigod (part Greek God, part human) Percy’s journey to fulfill his destiny. Now Percy and his buddies have to find the magical Golden Fleece of legend in order to save themselves and their world. The quest will take them through the dreaded Sea of Monsters (our Bermuda Triangle). Power-mad fellow demigod Luke (son of God Hermes) is back and determined to rule and Percy (son of sea god Poseidon) will have to ask “dad” for some help battling zombies and way more.
What is different this time around? Young director Thor Freudenthal says he wanted to show more of life in the demi-God camp in this film. But a lot of the movie takes place at sea and has a wider scope. There is also more humor.
Percy learns of the existence of a half-brother and that relationship carries through the film. What audiences can expect is to have tons of fun, to laugh and feel with the characters, to be emotionally involved and to have a rip-roaring adventure!
Kidzworld talked with Logan Lerman (Percy), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Leven Rambin (Clarisse) and Brandon T. Jackson (Grover). The cast covered everything from wearing green tights to working on water in New Orleans heat and loving their kid and teen fans.
Kidzworld: Did any of the actors read the books?
- Leven: I picked up the second book in which Clarisse is described as “Pig-faced”, and a size XXL and disgusting (laughter) and I tried to incorporate that (laughter). I mean I wasn’t as concerned with vanity and not super body conscious. I let myself fall into that because I didn’t want to feel like a pretty girl or someone who cares about that kind of thing. It did help me to understand what the fans are looking for and what I should bring for the die-hard fans of the books.
- Alexandra: I read the first book in lieu of the script because I didn’t have a script when I screen-tested. It helped a lot. And I read the 2nd book after I read the script this time. They are two different mediums and structurally, they’re different. I think focusing on the script is most important when you are making the film but the books definitely help with character development. You see a different side and some different stories. It’s an interesting read.
Kidzworld: Why do you think the Percy Jackson world in books and films so resonates with teens and kids?
- Alexandra: I think that it’s really hard to be a kid and hard to grow up. From personal experience we all know that is true. I think that this series shows that, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re struggling with, you can still succeed. It doesn’t mean you can’t be who you want to be. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have amazing powers and abilities despite all your weaknesses. I think that’s really relatable and inspiring and it’s really cool to be part of that. I think that’s one of the reasons people love it.
- Brandon: I think young kids these days, it’s a cynical generation so it is something good to believe in. Everyone is so into the reality type stuff. And I feel like you don’t see too many books and films that have underlying, positive messages for kids. A lot of kids are doing their own thing on the internet so to have the positive force that readers can take from this is great for this generation because they definitely need it.
- Logan: There’s something really appealing, and especially to me growing up and even now; (the books and films are about) young people in extraordinary situations dealing with human issues, human problems, flawed characters as well. None of our characters is perfect. (In these books and films) kids get to save the world, you know? That’s crazy. That’s fun.
Kidzworld: Did anyone have any trouble getting back into character or was it easy for you?
- Alexandra: I think there was a little bit of that because a few years (went by) but it was like going back to summer camp because you’re with old friends and there’s a familiarity so you’re very comfortable around them and you have people to rely on and lean on if you’re having a bad day or someone to share a good day with. That helped us fall back into character. Now we all know how to do green screen and are different places in our lives and careers than we were for the first movie. It was a nice adventure.
- Brandon: That sums it up for me.
- Logan: Yeah, just jumping back into the old shoes. It was a lot of fun.
Kidzworld: Brandon, what about putting on those green special effects tights again?
- Brandon: (laughs). You know what? Honestly it’s a break from real life. Like when you are young. It’s like summer camp so I don’t mind it. It takes me back to being a kid again. But, wearing goat pants everyone made fun of me.
- Logan: But you got the walk down!
- Brandon: At first it was “I ain’t wearin’ no tights” but I was having a good time.
Kidzworld: Did you have to go through boot camp again to learn weapons, stunts etc. for this movie like on the first one? And if so, what were some of the new challenges involved in making this movie?
- Logan: There wasn’t a boot camp. I speak for myself on this one, maybe Alex too. I’m sure Brandon might have done it because he did Tropic Thunder beforehand and all that too. On the first movie, we were really preparing for such a big action film with all the wire work and fighting and all that, I’d never done that. So we did a lot of training on the first movie. But then getting into the second one, we felt pretty comfortable. So we didn’t really need too much preliminary training, but throughout the whole movie, we’re constantly just preparing for a new fight scene, or wire scene, or some flying, or on water. It was crazy.
- Alexandra: We spent our downtime learning the fight choreography and our training from before really helped us come back and do that.
Kidzworld: A new element is added to it this time and that’s water (the Sea of Monsters). Did that involve some additional swimming, diving or other water work?
- Logan: We didn’t have to get wet, which was nice but we were on a pretty small boat a lot and it was really hot. We can’t go back and forth to land because that’s adding another hour in between shots or something like that. So we were out in the boat for a long time. We were in New Orleans and it was the summertime. So it was just the heat. It was kind of difficult to work with. But other than that, it was really beautiful. It was fun.
Kidzworld: Were there any Greek mythological characters that you were excited to see on screen?
- Brandon: Chronos. Chronos is dope!
- Logan: Polyphemus, that’s one of my favorite characters in Greek mythology just going back to “The Odyssey” and all that. It’s pretty cool the way that Thor (director Thor Freudenthal) and all the visual effects team created Polyphemus and all the original ideas they had and what it turned out to be.
- Brandon: I like the way he comes together and shreds and comes back. With 3D that will be really a cool visual effect.
Kidzworld: Is Percy still worrying about proving himself in this film?
- Logan: Yeah. At the end of the first one, we ended it with him being the hero and now he’s not the hero anymore. And he has that similar thought in his mind like, “Maybe it was just luck, that one time. That’s my thing. That’s what I’ll be known for. Let me just accept being an average demi-god.” It’s human. You know what I mean? It’s extraordinary but it’s human. So that’s kind of where we find him at the beginning of this film. He’s kind of doubting himself and he’s been one-upped by Clarisse.
Kidzworld: Speaking of Clarisse, Leven, did you enjoy being a brunette in the film and kicking butt? Have you enjoyed going for more action this time?
- Leven: Yeah. I was really lucky that Thor was able to picture me as a brunette with this blonde hair. That might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you look at me but I yeah, when I put on that wig…I didn’t dye my hair…it changed my physicality a lot and I felt less inhibited and felt down to be a little more brash and powerful and strong. I hid behind all the brown hair and it gave me the power and confidence to kick someone in the rear (laughter).
Kidzworld: What has not been written for your character yet that you’d like to do in the next sequel? Or, are you just happy with all you got to do this time around?
- Logan: I know what I’d like to bring back. I don’t know what I’d like to do with Percy, but I think the flying shoes were fun in the first one. (I hope that) somehow (they could) incorporate them again if we do a third one.
- Alexandra: I liked that Annabeth has a more sensitive side in this movie whereas in the first movie, she’s very tough. I really enjoyed doing that bad-a** stuff in the first movie; something I don’t really do in my regular life but I think that people are a combination of strength and weakness. She is still very strong (in the new film) and I love the warrior side of her but it doesn’t make that much sense for the character to be that tough throughout.
- Brandon: Well, this one was kind of fun for me because Grover is so scared in the beginning. Only a satyr can lead you to the police.. so him getting captured, the comedy is there. Then, at the end, it’s action so being able to have fun with both comedy and action, I was happy with it. I had a great time. Maybe one day, he could use a sword. That probably won’t go down but I’m happy.
- Leven: She has soft spots for certain characters toward the end of the movie. She finally found the good in them and saw their value as half-bloods. I really enjoy playing scenes where she’s a know-it-all and thinks she’s the best but playing scenes where she needs their help and reluctantly takes it, is fun. She’s the reluctant team player here and there is comedy in that she’s trying so hard to convince herself and everyone else that she knew what she was doing when she doesn’t.
- (In the future), I would like to see Clarisse have a friend or love interest who thinks she is sweet and attractive and girlie (laughter). Maybe show a girlier side. It’s in there somewhere.
Kidzworld: Can you talk about fan reaction to you in the films?
- Alexandra: The biggest thing for me is that it’s amazing that you are jumping into something so many young people are inspired by. When I was a kid I would go to Broadway shows and wait out back for the actors. They were like Gods to me, the most amazing people and my dream was to be on stage or be in a movie. So to be in the opposite position now, it’s amazing to inspire someone and meet them and uplift them just because you get to play a relatable character. It’s kind of cool.
- Logan: It almost goes without saying that the majority of people that would recognize me in my normal, everyday life from this film are kids. My family works a lot with children and it’s really nice to see that a movie can make them so happy. And a photo might make them happy just because that’s the character from the movie that they like, or whatever. I say that’s the most value I get out of being a part of this film.
See Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters in theaters starting August 7th!