6 Qs for 2 'Giver' stars
I'm on a chair in a room at Chicago's Four Seasons Hotel. On the couch are the young stars from "The Giver," Australian actor Brenton Thwaites and Israeli actress Odeya Rush.
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Thwaites. She's fun. We have fun with every scene. She keeps things enjoyable. She was doing some pretty crazy stunts, too!
Rush. He's fun, too. He has a great sense of humor, but he's so smart, too.
Thwaites. What? Don't I look it?
Rush. Yeah, but I mean, like, five minutes ago when you were talking. I'm like wow! He's really smart and he really cares a lot about this project! Reading books about acting on the set! Asking questions to Phil (Noyce, the director)! I don't think anyone else could have done this role! Brenton added so much to the character.
Q. Brenton, what was the biggest challenge in playing your character, Jonas?
Thwaites. Putting a lid on the romance until my character is given permission in the story to feel those things, you know?
Q. You also just starred in your first horror movie "Oculus." (Reviewed on April 11 in Time out!). What's that like?
Thwaites. A horror movie is the funniest thing you'll ever do. You're supposed to be so scared because you're about to die, but it's so funny. You're there with this blood, and you've got green screens and blue screens and it's just a bunch of comic relief. It's just natural to laugh at yourself when you're doing it.
Karen (Gillen, his co-star) was so funny, especially when eating sugar glass. I miss her dearly. I wonder what she's doing now. Hey, you did kind of like a horror film, didn't you?
Rush. It was kind of a funny horror film. Every scene had a joke in it. It was called "Goosebumps" with Jack Black.
Q. Brenton, what does your Australian accent get you in the States?
Thwaites. It gets me in the door at casting offices so I can do my American accent to get the job. They're fascinated when someone can switch between an American accent and an Australian accent so quickly.
Q. What's the toughest part about mastering an American accent?
B. I would say it's my As. Those flat As are hard.
Q. Odeya, what's the best part about being a movie actress?
Rush. I'd say meeting interesting people along the way. They've taught me so many things. To grow up with people who are so incredible and so gifted, it's a really great learning experience for me.
Film critics notebook:
• I've seen all of the submitted entries at this year's Teen Film Fest. You can see the best of them by joining me for the eighth annual Teen Film Fest at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights. Go to ahml.info or call (847) 392-0100. I'll be a judge along with Scott Woldman, resident playwright at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, and Tessa Joncas, acting president of the library's Teen Advisory Board.
• A special showing of the animated movie "Boxcar Children," based on a book published in 1924, will start at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge. Admission is free, but viewers should donate at least one book for the Chicago literacy organization Open Books. Four of the main actors are scheduled to attend the event: Zachary Gordon, Jadon Sand, Mackenzie Foy and Joey King. Go to pickwicktheatre.com.
• Bai Ling, star of the 1994 action hit "The Crow," will be signing autographs, posing for pictures and doing a Q&A before a 10 p.m. showing of "The Crow" on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Hollywood Palms Cinema, 352 S. Route 59 in Naperville.
Wait! There's more earlier in the evening!
Meet actress Diane Franklin, who played Monique in the 1985 John Cusack movie "Better Off Dead." It screens at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, also at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville. Autographs will be signed before the movie. For both, go to atriptothemovies.com.
• Dann Gire's Reel Life column runs Fridays in Time out! Follow Dann on Twitter at @DannGireDHFilm.