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INTERVIEW: Hailee Steinfeld & Asa Butterfield of Ender’s Game

SheKnows sat down with Ender’s Game‘s Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield, who discussed their respective characters, what it was like to film the sci-fi flick and more.

Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield each took time to speak with SheKnows and answer questions about their just-released movie, Ender’s Game. Based on the best-selling book with the same title, Ender’s Game is gearing up to be an awesome film full of action and special effects that even non-fans of sci-fi will enjoy.

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SheKnows: Ender starts out as an outcast and then becomes a leader. How do you relate to your character?

Asa Butterfield: A couple of ways. There is, as you said, the development that he has from being an outcast underdog — the kid that’s pretty much left out of everything — to becoming humanity’s greatest hope. For me, as a person, I think for the last four years really, I’ve developed massively both as a person and as an actor. I think that is definitely something we have in common. And then again, something else is how Ender — it isn’t in the same level — but Ender’s got the pressure of, pretty much, the fate of the planet on his shoulders. And as a young actor, there is a firm pressure to be this icon and be in the limelight, and then the publicity… so, yeah, there’s a couple of things…

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SK: Hailee, how do you relate to your character, Petra?

Hailee Steinfeld: I think a wonderful thing about the character I play in the film, Petra, is that she is able to sort of keep up in this world that she’s in being the only girl. Whether that calls for her being a tomboy in certain situations where she kind of just has to forget about everything and do what she has to do to get things done. I love that about her, and I think that in some of the situations I’m in, you sort of do whatever you have to in order to make it work. So… there’s definitely that similarity.

SK: What was an average day like on set?

AB: It was a lot of fun because the whole cast got on so well, and the whole crew, literally, by the end of it, we were like a family. It was hard work… it was the most physical film I’ve ever done, that most of the cast has ever done. So it was a lot of wire work and marching and pretty endless… sort of being pushed, and it was all to get us into the mind-set of what these kids were going through. It was hard work, but it was so helpful, and it paid off.

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HS: We had a couple of weeks of training before we started filming, which called for waking up at 7 a.m. every morning and going straight to boot camp and military training. It was… for me up until that point, the most preparation physically I’ve ever done for a role. That was really exciting — sort of starting that falling through the entire film, having all these different elements that you wouldn’t necessarily think of when you read the book or the script, so that was definitely exciting.

SK: Was it difficult to act with just a green screen most of the time?

HS: Yeah, really weird and difficult, and sort of unnatural in a way because I had come off doing a period piece where you’re sort of able to take advantage of everything around you because it’s so specific to that time. Going from that to a green screen where you have nothing around you except for your cast mates and your imagination is something that is really interesting because it allowed me to use my imagination in a way that I never had before. So, I enjoyed that.

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SK: Are you going to celebrate now that the movie is out and all your hard work is just completely done?

AB: I’ve got school! So, no — no rest for the wicked.

HS: Yes! I’m so excited that it’s finally coming out. It’s been almost two years since we shot the film, which is so crazy to think about.

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