Kid Reporter fan gets a leg up on rookie adult reporters who haven't read the PJ books!
I looked to my left and then to my right. TV crews from CBS, FOX, and Access Hollywood were setting up their equipment and getting ready for the celebrities. I had prepared well for this red carpet premiere, but I was still extremely nervous, being the only kid among all the adult reporters.
I was at the AMC Loews Theater in New York City at the red carpet premiere for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Despite my anxiety over being the only kid in the crowd, I knew I had a major advantage over most of the adult reporters: I have actually read ALL the Percy Jackson books! I knew the story and characters quite well without ever having to see the movie or even read the press packet.
Being a kid can also create some problems. It took a bit of coaxing to convince the security guards that I was indeed a reporter, even though I had credentials and a place reserved on the rope line along the red carpet.
When I was finally inside and in place along the red velvet ropes, I got my recorder and notebook ready.
Suddenly, I heard murmurs of excitement. Logan Lerman was arriving!
The actor who plays Percy strode down the red carpet, stopping to answer journalists’ questions along the way. When he got to me,
I introduced myself, and asked a few questions.
“I think everyone can relate to Percy," Lerman told me. "He’s a regular teenager with problems. He has dyslexia, ADHD, and his parents are separated. This movie is about turning your weaknesses into your strengths, and that’s what Percy does.”
This interview taught me two things about Logan Lerman: he's pretty cool and a great speaker!
I also spoke to Brandon T. Jackson who plays the role of Grover, the satyr. He said he had to learn to walk like a goat, which took a lot of practice.
“Chris (the director) had to make sure I kept walking like that for the entire movie,” Jackson said.
Director Chris Columbus also stopped by. He told me the difference between directing this movie and the Harry Potter movies was the improvement in technology for creating visual effects. Columbus directed the first two the HP movies.
“We have gone so far in the visual effects that now the effects are almost seamless,” Columbus said.
He told me to especially watch out for one monster in particular—Medusa! He also explained that they had to create a lot of sets for the movie, including building a model of the Empire State building in the studio.
Kevin McKidd, who plays Poseidon, told me something about his character. He said that it was cool playing a really tall god with special powers. Also, he mentioned that everybody would like this movie because it is a family movie and very fast paced.
Alexandra Daddario, who plays Annabeth, daughter of Athena, said that when playing her character, she got to do some really unique stunts.
“You get to do things you would never do in your real life, like sword fighting and archery,” she said. She also told me she had to stay physically fit to play her character. “Every morning before filming, we had to do aerobics exercises,” Daddario said.
All the cast and the director of the movie stopped to talk with me. I even improvised and added some new questions to the ones I had prepared in advance. I became less nervous and more confident as the interviews continued.
Finally, I spoke to Pierce Brosnan, who plays Chiron. You might remember him from his role as the famous spy, James Bond. He said that Chiron was like a philosopher of the demi-gods. He also explained the difference between playing James Bond and a Chiron.
"James Bond didn’t have to dress up in tights,” he said with a smile. He added that Bond didn’t have to be a half man/half horse either!
After all that excitement, I was looking forward to sitting down and relaxing. I joined all the actors and director in the theater to watch the movie, which doesn't open to the public until tomorrow, Friday, February 12!
I came home at 10:30 p.m. and had to catch up on homework. But I also had a deadline for my movie review and this blog post.
It was hard work, but I experienced one of the most amazing days in my life. I can't get enough of Percy Jackson, and if you can't either, check out fellow Kid Reporter Grace Choi's story and blog post about her visit to the set in British Columbia, Canada, last year.
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Gowtham Balaji and actor Logan Lerman, who plays Percy Jackson, at the red carpet premiere of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. (Photo Courtesy Gowtham Balaji)