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Interview: Jaeden Martell in Low Tide

The “It” actor plays a teen finding dead man’s gold.

Oct 01, 2019

16-year-old It and It Chapter 2 actor Jaeden Martell, who sometimes goes by his dad’s name Lieberher, played “Loser’s Club” member Bill Denbrough in the two popular horror films. In October, he plays Peter, younger bro of Alan, played by Keean Johnson of Alita: Battle Angel in the thriller Low Tide (Caution: Low Tide is rated R for language, some violence and teen drug use). In the movie, the brothers are enjoying summer on the Jersey Shore when they discover a bag of gold coins inside a dead man’s island home. At first they hide it but one of their friends is unbalanced and wants to get his hands on the treasure at any cost. A web of suspicion and some violence result.

Jaeden MartellJaeden Martell

What was it like for Jaeden making the film at age 14? Did the cast bond and have fun on and off set? What would Jaeden do it he found a big bag of gold coins? What is coming next for the popular actor? Here are the answers!

Q: Jaeden, you had a big opening for “It Chapter 2”. Is that exciting for you?

  • Jaeden: It is exciting. I don’t care about how much money it makes but the reviews excite me. You see that people are watching your movie and liking it. That’s the best part.

Q: What was it like doing this film Low Tide? What was the attraction for you?

  • Jaeden: I think the initial attraction was honestly how fun the script sounded.  And then talking to Kevin (McMullin, director), I got even more excited hearing how closely related he was to the script because he grew up in New Jersey and he had a lot of insight on that and it’s a tiny budget film with a small crew and we’re all staying in the same hotel and we’re working outside long hours and sweating. Everyone is in very close quarters and it felt very raw and natural. It was just such a fun and light environment to be in.

Jaeden at an It Chapter 2 premiereJaeden at an It Chapter 2 premiere

Q: You had wonderful co-stars in this. Since you were staying in the same hotel, did you get a chance to hang out or, by the end of the day were you like ‘Okay, I’m just gonna sleep for six hours’?

  • Jaeden: I feel like when you’re put into a situation like that where you’re staying in a Holiday Inn Express right by the highway with nothing to do really, you have to hang out with each other. We’d spend a lot of time and we’d walk across the highway to go to the movie theater. We did end up spending a lot of time with each other and bonding outside of filming.

The guys enjoy summer funThe guys enjoy summer fun

Q: Everybody has probably been telling you that this reminds them of the movies The Outsiders or Goonies or something, one of those classics from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Did Kevin have you do any homework by watching any of those films or had you already seen them?

  • Jaeden:  Yeah. He did reference those in the beginning but I had already seen most of them. When it comes to stuff like that I never want to relate a script to a movie because then it feels like a movie. I want to (ask) ‘how can I relate it to my own life or to real life so it feels more natural and real?.

Q: This movie is kind of timeless. I don’t think anybody has a cellphone but there’s no specific year or time given. Was that intentional?

  • Jaeden:  Yes. It was very intentional I think. Kevin didn’t want to say ‘Hey, this is a film that takes place in the ‘80’s or ‘90’s. He just wanted to make a movie where we don’t have to rely on cellphones and kind of have that freedom that you had back in the day and don’t really have any restrictions. It was intentional. We talked about it a little bit.

What if you found a bag of gold coins?What if you found a bag of gold coins?

Q: What would you do if you came across a big bag of gold or gold coins?

  • Jaeden:  I was just thinking about this. I have no idea. I feel like I would hold onto it for a while. I’d probably be too paranoid to cash it or get the money. Also, the value of gold is probably going to go up so (it will be) a better investment but then maybe I’d just give it to charity or something, get rid of it because it seems cursed.

Q: (Your character) Peter is always the smartest guy in the room no matter what even though he’s usually the youngest. Could you relate to him being more with it? He seems very young and naïve but his brain’s going. The wheels are turning in there.

  • Jaeden: I hope to relate to him. It’s kind of like he’s a very healthy character to play because in acting you always take parts of your character with you in real life. You apply their instincts to your situations. So he was interesting to play because you do learn a lot playing someone so responsible and it made me want to work harder and support myself because that is what he does. He is very different from me and the characters that I’ve played before because I’m more reserved and shy and he is ready to do things on his own and ready to crack the whip with his brother.

Jaeden on Low Tide set with his directorJaeden on Low Tide set with his director

Q: And he comes up with a very smart, well thought-out plan. I did not see that ending coming. Nobody seems to come after the gold coins. The guy that died, maybe he doesn’t have family.

  • Jaeden: Yeah I think, for him, it’s something that was a secret for him too. You could make a separate movie on his experience with finding this gold. I feel like, for him, it was a dark secret and then we discovered it and maybe, in his grave, it was revealed that we found it so he can get rid of it.

Can Peter and his bro stay out of trouble?Can Peter and his bro stay out of trouble?

Q: You’ve been acting for at least half your life. You came out to Los Angeles when you were eight years old?

  • Jaeden: Eight years old and I did my first movie when I was 10.

Q: What keeps you a 16-year-old? Are you able to experience things 16-year-olds do like getting your driver’s license and going to school?

  • Jaeden: That is the tough part about acting and traveling all over the place is that you don’t get to experience those things but I don’t care because I get to do what I love so I’m extremely lucky and I know a lot of people would kill to do this. Then I go to online school and I do have friends that I go out with and I’m working on getting my driver’s license so I try to do real teenage things as much as I can when I have time off because those things are important. Not just as a human being but as an actor I need to relate to experiences I’ve had in the past and if the only things I’ve ever done are movies then I can only relate to movies so trying to find a balance is very important.

Peter (Jaeden) and Alan find the goldPeter (Jaeden) and Alan find the gold

Q: When you get your car, what would you want, something fast or….?

  • Jaeden: I’m getting something practical like a Honda Civic… keeping it simple. Nothing flashy. And something you can keep for a while. Something reliable.

Q: I read that you do some writing and plan to do some directing as you get older.

  • Jaeden: I like writing. It’s hard though. It’s one of the hardest things. Yes, I would like to direct at some point in the future.

Q: You’ve had some great mentors. Who has given you good advice professionally or personally?

  • Jaeden: My first movie was with Bill Murray and there’s no better mentor than Bill. He just told me to have fun. Just let loose and savor the moments that you have as a teenager and not just as a kid or teenager but as a human being. With acting and life, just have fun.

Jaeden (left) and cast at the Tribeca Film FestivalJaeden (left) and cast at the Tribeca Film Festival

Q: Very cool advice. What else is cooking for you right now?

  • Jaeden: I just finished a limited series for Apple’s new streaming service called “Defending Jacob” with Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery in it. I’m very excited about that. That should be coming out sometime next year. It’s an eight-episode series. And it was just announced that I’m doing a film with Susan Sarandon soon called Tunnels. Then I have some other stuff coming out this year.

Jaeden as Bill with Sophia Lillis in ItJaeden as Bill with Sophia Lillis in ItCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: You’ve also got Knives Out coming out in November which looks like a great Clue or an Agatha Christie story. What was it like doing a small film like this and then making that where you have a big name cast?

  • Jaeden: Yeah. It is kind of crazy but the fun thing is that they feel the same. I think on this movie working with other teenagers and with this tiny crew but I had the same conversations with all these A-list actors (on Knives Out). We’re sitting in a green room talking about movies and playing games and stuff. It’s just as intimate. They’re both equally as intimate and meaningful.

You can see Jaeden in Low Tide in theaters October 4th

Let’s Hear Your Feelings

Could you be a busy actor and go to school on the internet rather than with friends? What would you do if you found a bag of gold coins? Are you into scary movies like the It films? Let everyone know by laying down a comment or writing about it on your Kidzworld profile page.

 

By: Lynn Barker