Zero Theorem releases in theaters September 19th. Prior to the release I got a chance to speak to one of the stars of the film Lucas Hedges. We spoke about the film, his career, and acting advice from Christoph Waltz.
Jim: How’s it going Lucas!
Lucas: It’s going good Jimbo!
Jim: Haha, got my nickname down already, nice job. So, saw the film obviously, it’s a really different kinda film. What drew you into this project Lucas?
Lucas: To be honest, I read the script. I was like fourteen at the time. Didn’t know what was going on the first time I read it. What drew me into the project was Terry Gilliam. I guess it was also the craziness of the character. He was unlike any character I had ever read for. I loved his energy, the original version of the character had him in a pony-tail. I loved that he wasn’t at all like me.
Jim: As far as the film goes, what was your take on it? So after being on set and seeing the finished product, what was your take-away from the storyline and the film itself?
Lucas: I think that the take-away would be that it’s so easy to get lost within technology. We sort of create a world of nothing about your inner self within technology. In many ways the film is a cautionary tale. You have to find love, you have to find your family. I mean it’s a scary movie. Not sure if I have a right answer for you?
Jim: You know, I actually think there is no right technical answer to that, I think it’s just an individual interpretation. I came away from thinking about how this sort of reflects on our society today. How technology is taking over our life and human contact has dissolved. You think that’s what Terry was going for?
Lucas: I think that was what the writer was going for. Terry does a beautiful job of illustrating it. Creating a world of nothingness. I think Terry saw a world that he could create.
Jim: The star of the film was the brilliant Christoph Waltz. What is it that you took away from working with Christoph, did you learn anything from him?
Lucas: There was actually one moment on the first day. First of all, Christoph is very intimidating, that’s who he plays and he’s just an intimidating person, especially to a 15 year old. On the first day I was having a lot of troubles. Getting acclimated to the time zone and everything about Romania, which is where we filmed. It wasn’t going well, the first scene just wasn’t going well. I was very nervous and jittery. I wasn’t really talking to him, I was very much inside myself. Christoph pulled me aside after about an hour and a half and basically told me that I was looking at it all wrong. That the scene was like a musical piece. And I’m the violin. If I don’t play my piece in the song then it doesn’t work. It was a beautiful tip that made me realize that it wasn’t supposed to be robotic, it was supposed to be musical and flow like music. It was so wonderful and artistic, and it made me so happy that he would take his time to tell me that and not get frustrated with me. That kept coming back throughout the film, the musical element of acting. The undertone of all great acting is music.
Jim: It’s really cool that he found a way to relate a character in such a way that you were able to grasp the concept and let go
Lucas: It was exactly what I needed. I just think it was lovely that he did that. He always had this crazy amount of speeches. He treated me as he would one of his children. He was lovely.
Jim: Lot of guys and girls your age latch onto the kid movie genre such as Nickelodeon and Disney. You have done smart, eccentric, and clever films with so many acting greats. What prompted you to take this path this early in your career?
Lucas: Firstly, my mom is an actor and my dad is a director and they didn’t let me watch Nickelodeon. They thought it did no justice to their job. They didn’t want me to start thinking that’s what acting was and what art is. Right off the bat I had no interest. I’m interested in having a career. I’m interested in going to school for acting. I’m not interested in being a child actor, I’m interested in being an actor. I don’t know what happens to those kids. I do know what happens to those kids that do interesting projects with interesting people. They are typically in it for the long haul.
Jim: No doubt about it, you can tell where those careers usually go. Obviously you have been picking projects for serious actors. Definitely talking to you I can sense that you are in it for the right reasons, and not just for some paycheck, attention, or fame. Wanted to know what projects you are currently involved in or that we might be able to see you in sometimes soon?
Lucas: I have a movie coming out October 10th called Kill the Messenger. It’s a movie with Jeremy Renner, and direct by one of the creators of Homeland. I’m excited about this movie, I’m going to get to see that pretty soon. We filmed it in Atlanta last year. That was another really special movie that I got to work on with great people. I got to play a character that was pretty similar to myself. So in that respect, it’s sort of different then Zero Theorem.
Jim: I appreciate talking to you. I am pleased to see the good work that you been doing, and doing it for the right reasons.
Lucas: Oh thank you, that’s really nice of you to say that, thank you. It’s really wonderful that you are writing about this.
Jim: Thank you for your time, keep up the wonderful work.
Lucas: Thank you, thank you dude!
Follow Lucas on Instagram: Lucas Hedges