The moment I had been waiting for had finally arrived. We were about to interview 4 cast members from Jumanji. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Karen Gillan, Jack Black, & Nick Jonas. I think it would be fair to say, I was a tiny bit excited!! I am pretty sure there is not a woman on the planet that would not be excited at the prospect of being in the same room with Dwayne Johnson!!
I was so excited I even treated myself with a trip to hair and makeup. This was such a treat for me but… ummm I was about to be in the same room with The Rock!!! The hair and makeup ladies were so incredibly talented and sweet! They turned me into a glamour girl. Well hey, can you blame me?!
The anticipation was brewing. There literally was the buzz of girls giggling (okay, grown women) with pure excitement of what was about to happen.
In walks the cast and we all immediately start clapping and cheering for our guests of honor. Karen Gillan looked absolutely radiant wearing a gorgeous sparkly dress (my weakness), Dwayne Johnson was, well you know. Nick Jonas walked in gracefully smiling and greeting each of us as best he could. Jack Black came walking in and as he was walking towards me, I started loudly saying… Jack Black, we love you!! He looked right at me and started doing a little finger pointing dance at me, which I somehow instinctively knew to do the same dance in sync with him. He then walked right up to me and high-fived me and literally made my year!
Question for the cast: How did your parents influence you to get where you are now?
Karen.. I am so grateful that growing up my parents never showed any doubt in me. They never discouraged me from my dreams.
Jack… My parents were not in the industry. They were both engineers. With satellite’s and stuff, which I still don’t know what the heck they were doing. They were very supportive and came to every one of my high school performances. I could not have done it without their support, not just emotionally but also financially.
Nick… Joked that his parents were very pushy stage parents… Just kidding!! No actually my Dad was in ministry and I grew up singing in church, which became a big part of my life. I eventually did Broadway after his parents had gone to see a show and introduced the idea to me. It was the best thing in the world that my parents supported me in that desire.
The Rock… I did a lot of growing up here on the island with my parents and my grandparents. We were actually evicted off the island, which forced us to leave. So for me to be able to come back in this capacity (which included flying his Mother to the island for the junket) is incredible. My mom was always incredibly encouraging and my dad would step in with the tough love and what the meant. My mom was always to make sure that there was always a ton of gratitude in the house. She always taught me that if you have gratitude it will lead to happiness. People refer to my mom as the happiest person they have ever run into.
Question for the cast: There were many themes scattered throughout the movie. Which theme was your favorite?
Karen… Embracing who you are. You have these 4 teenagers and it was not until they were in the body of others did they actually appreciate their own attributes & personalities. So the theme of embracing your weirdness and awkwardness.
The Rock… the same. the ideology of being okay with who you are. Even as an adult it is hard but as a teenager, it is so hard, even more so today. You will be uncomfortable, insecure, etc. To embrace who you are. And the notion of friends from different clicks not only ended up coming together but actually realizing that they really liked each other.
Jack… Not judging people by their outward appearance. The use of the avatar lent itself to that theme. And looking outside of people’s clicks and looking deeper into their hearts. Into their strength and character.
Nick…. watching the irony of the kids getting sucked into a game. Once they get in there, there is no way to communicate with the outside world. SO for them to be able to disconnect and connect to build these relationships.
Question for the cast: When you guys disconnect what do you like to do?
(Lots of jokes about not disconnecting).
The Rock… Simple core it and not do much at all. Just watch movies with the babies and my lady, Lauren.
Jack… I go swimming with the boys sometimes and since the phone is not waterproof it is a good time to disconnect.
Nick… Big sports fan. Play sports, golf or baseball. I also have two nieces so when I can get back to the East coast that is the highlight of my year.
(Jack calls Nick out as being a mad man because he was repealing off mountains like a dare devil maniac).
Question for Nick: Do you think Nick, because of your daredevil ways, you gravitated to this movie? What lead you to this part?
Nick… I actually had to read for the part. I was such a huge fan of the original. I tried to soak up as much as I could. Here I am with some of the greatest actors and everyone was really very patient and an extremely warm set. Which he then teased and thanked the rest of the cast.
Question for the cast: What was it like collaborating with the young actors?
Karen… we definitely worked hard to make sure our rolls were believable. We tried to pick up each others ticks, etc.
I complimented Jack on his brilliant portrayal of Bethany. SO he joked how he asked her about what tv shows and music she likes. She told him about the new teen wolf. She was also really into John Mayer. But mainly he studied, in high school, the popular girls, so he was able to go back into his memory banks.
The Rock… The idea of a body swap. Nick played his role brilliantly. What Karen was able to do with her character. (He also mentioned that she had so much poise to not react to the buzz that was being a bit cynical. She was amazing in not reacting and waiting for it be explained). Kevin is also incredible. We would all rehearse in and out of character but Jack did not give us Bethany until the first day and from the very first take we new that this was a game changer. You never look at Jack and think he is Jack. He was completely Bethany, when he was in role. (One of the girls also complimented him on his use of flipping hair etc.).
We end the interview with Jack teasing about his incredible inner sense and technique of being able to flirt so well (like a teenage girl, Bethany)
Thank you Sony Pictures for this most exciting adventure.
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