Brendan Fraser mightn’t be back, but the special effects budget definitely makes a reprise in the fun family blockbuster “Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island”. Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first ”Journey’ [to the Center of the Earth]‘, and Vanessa Hudgens, hitching a ride to the atoll, talk to Ashleigh about holidaying in Hawaii – er, rather, working in Hawaii – and feeling slightly smaller whenever they stood next to their beefy co-star, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Wonderful premiere last night. Was that the first time you guys had seen “Journey 2″? Completely cut?
JH : Yeah, Yeah. I saw a rough version before the holidays but I hadn’t seen it with the score and the final animations and whatnot.
You’ve both done quite a few special effectsy type films now. How do you find it, having now done a few?
VH : It’s fun. It’s interesting. As an actor you’re basically running around like a big kid playing pretend all day. Just as long as you’re well informed about what’s going on and have a good director who can show you what you’re actually running from. It’s fun.
Is it a lot of green screen or is there… nothing there, and you’re going to be told what’s going to be there later on?
JH : It was a bit of both. In the case of the lizard chase it was, ‘There’s gonna be a lizard behind you’, so there was a lizard behind you. The scene in which we were flying with the bumblebees was all done with greenscreen; you were basically on a mechanical bull that flew around in the air, that they lifted up onto green screen.
Josh, how did it make you feel hearing that Brendan Fraser wasn’t coming back for the sequel?
JH : I was obviously disappointed because I love Brendan and I had a great time working with him but I was also excited to be working with Dwayne [Johnson], I thought he was perfect for the role and I was really excited to see what he was going to bring to it.
And working with ‘The Rock’ would have been heaps of fun but did you find it hard to keep up with that physical pace that he set?
JH : Yeah, he’s a very physical guy – he’s huge, he’s like six-foot-twelve and like four-hundred pounds. So it was definitely physically intimidating. And no matter who stands next to him he definitely makes them feel small.
I assume working in Hawaii is different from working in L.A?
VH : Things really are a lot more relaxed, time really isn’t…
JH : .. Some of the time.
VH : Okay, some of the time. It was just relaxing… and stunning, it’s beautiful there. It didn’t feel like we were going to work every day – it wasn’t work.
JH : All the people were just great, they’re like [in Hawaiian accident] ‘It’s Okay mon, Soda time!’
Vanessa, your next project is “Gimme Shelter”. How’s that going?
VH : Good, really good [but] I have not seen any of it. But I talked to my director and he said that everything is going great and hopefully we’ll make our way into Cannes – I would love to be there for the movie.
And Josh, “Hunger Games” coming out soon. What scene are you most looking forward to when it’s all cut and edited?
JH : Well, the scene between myself and Katniss in the cave.. that’s a really awesome sequence and you get to see the whole relationship kind of take a turn there, so that was fun to shoot and I’m excited to see that. And also all the stuff, at the beginning, with the cornucopia where everyone rushes in, because that was really fun to shoot and I’m excited to see how Gary [Ross, the director] cut it together.
And “Red Dawn” is coming out, too.
JH : Red Dawn was great. As Vanessa was saying before, it’s like playing pretend – being a little kid – doing these movies, and when I was a little kid I’d play army… so I was just playing army, as far as I was concerned. They gave me real guns – which is scary and exciting. But I’m really excited for that to come out finally.
“Journey 2 : The Mysterious Island” commences Thursday