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Astro Boy stars Kristen Bell, Freddie Highmore talk icon

Joel D. Amos is a Los Angeles-based writer, and the Senior Entertainment Editor here at SheKnows. He has interviewed numerous celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Katherine Heigl, Rachel McAdams, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaw...

The Astro Boy interviews

Kristen Bell and Freddie Highmore take SheKnows inside the world of Astro Boy. Astro Boy lands in theaters October 23 and its stars -- Bell and Highmore -- visited with SheKnows exclusively at the 2009 Comic Con in San Diego.

"He's their Mickey Mouse"

SheKnows: First of all, voicing Astro Boy is a pretty tall task.

Freddie Highmore: He's definitely a cult figure and there's a certain amount of pressure that comes with that. I think it's exciting. When I first went to Japan, you saw how much the Japanese love Astro Boy. He's their Mickey Mouse. I just wanted to bring that excitement to everyone else who perhaps haven't had the opportunity to be able to see as much Astro Boy as they should.

The Astro Boy interviews

SheKnows: How much did you look over any of the older Astro Boy works that are out there?

Freddie Highmore: I always tend to try to an my own inspiration for whatever film I'm in -- in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I did not see the other film. I did not want to. But, with Astro Boy, I did look at it. It was different because I was only playing the voice. It did help out creatively and my movements and expressions and they were able to use that to draw Astro Boy. I think the credit is going to go to David for being able to tell everyone where everyone was going with each scene. They say that Kristen and I have great chemistry even though we never met (laughs).

SheKnows: When you first witnessed the moving, living, breathing incarnation of yourself and your voice is his, kind of a surreal moment?

Freddie Highmore: It was fantastic. Right from the start I had a basic idea of what he was going to be like. I guess a bit less than that poster there…

Highmore points to the Astro Boy movie poster hovering over us…

Freddie Highmore: It was fantastic to see him develop from sketches that are different from ones now. There was a need to bring Astro Boy up to date. At the time it came out it was so cutting edge. I think it would have been wrong to go for a retro Astro Boy. But, to keep the feeling of it was always there while creating a modern vision of Astro Boy. I think we've done that while keeping true to the source.

SheKnows: What are you up to next?

Freddie Highmore: There are a few projects out there we're excited to do, but it depends on so many factors coming together. Hopefully, I'll just carry on filming. I guess every young guy would love to play Holden in Catcher in the Rye (laughs).

The Astro Boy interviewsSheKnows: You obviously discovered your love of acting early, what was it that first drew you to performing in general?

Freddie Highmore: There was never anything that inspired me, I just kind of fell into it. I started off doing small parts and going to auditions. Someone sees your one line and decides to give you two. It just goes on from there. I think you need a certain amount of luck and definitely got that when I got to be in Finding Neverland and working alongside some fantastic actors. People that I was OK in that, and after that film, it became a lot easier to find other work and carry on.

SheKnows: You have chemistry with Johnny Depp. He's certainly one of our world's best actors. What did you take away from your experience alongside him?

Freddie Highmore: I think he's an incredible actor and his variation of roles is something I hope to play so many diverse characters. About him, he has time for everyone. He's the biggest star perhaps, but he's such a normal guy and down to earth. I guess for me, I would call him a real friend.

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