Dwayne Johnson & Josh Hutcherson Interview For ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’
In this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,’ the new 3D family adventure ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ begins when young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first film) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It’s a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever. ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ stars Michael Caine as Sean’s grandfather, Alexander Anderson, and Kristin Davis as Sean’s mom, Liz Anderson. ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 3D’ is set for release February 3rd in the UK and Febuary 10th in the US.
How was it for the both of you shooting in Hawaii? Dwayne, I know you spent some time there during you teenage years. And Josh, how was it compared to shooting on a sound-stage where much of the first film was shot?
Dwayne Johnson: For me, I was a punk kid running around there when I was 14, getting arrested, doing a lot of things I shouldn’t have been doing. To go from that kid to this man, to be able to have this movie pump millions of dollars into the economy, that was very special to me. The first movie, ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,’ was a good movie that did great around the world. With this movie, we had an opportunity to do something better. One of the ways of making it better was taking it off the sound-stage and taking it to Hawaii, where you see the vastness, the lushness, the beauty of Hawaii. You have the mountains, the rainforest….there’s a texture that makes people go, “WOW!” Especially with the 3D. The scenery is a character in of itself.
Josh Hutcherson: Hawaii added a tonne to this movie. Not only visually and physically, but also emotionally. I think it has this sort of laid back “Aloha” spirit that the whole crew was able to tap into. Therefore, amidst the madness of running around from giant lizards on set, you get to step off and calm down, chill. When I heard we were shooting in Hawaii I was thrilled.
Dwayne, what was it about your character that interested you? He’s dealing with two generations on each side of himself….
Dwayne Johnson: That was a big part of it. It was one of the things that we felt, we all collectively felt it was important. In a movie like this you’re gonna have the spectacular 3D, dazzling effects, all these amazing things that are gonna wow people. At its core though, what’s important is that at the beginning you have to lay the foundation of me being a stepfather to my stepson. He may not like me, he may not want to bond with me, but Hank wants Sean to know that he loves him, and he’s gonna do his best for him. And that really speaks to me, I’m a proud daddy (laughs), family is important – it’s the most important thing to me. So with that established, you’re off to the races (laughs). You can go to mysterious island and through all the craziness. Josh Hutcherson is dynamite, I’d work with him again in a second. Then Michael Caine, sorry, SIR Michael Caine. He’s great, a brilliant actor, an icon and a legend. To be able to be able to spar with him, not being about physicality, but with whit, that was awesome! That clashing with him made things a lot more interesting, especially in that it was layered with humour.
Speaking to Luis Guzman, he was telling me about his improv….
Dwayne Johnson: Oh man (laughs). He’s a brilliant actor, an awesome guy. Some of the stuff….it gets to the point where some of the stuff is so funny, inappropriately funny, that it’s unusable (laughs). On set we were laughing, bending over laughing, but we knew we couldn’t use it. It would be quadruple X-rated! Way too dirty for the directors cut. It would be called Journey to the Centre of…….[coughs] something (laughs).
How was it for you Josh, playing Sean again? Then having Dwayne Johnson as your step-dad and Michael Caine as your granddad?
Josh Hutcherson: (Laughs) It was good, it was really fun. Sean was always a very adventurous guy, and he’s kind of been stuck in Ohio since the first film. He hasn’t been able to get out there and explore like he wants to. He’s sort of going crazy (laughs). He’s also dealing with the relationship with his step-dad. He has a lot to go through in this story. That was a lot more fun to me, there’s a lot more layers to him. With a movie like this, I can pull a lot of my own experiences and my own adventurous side and turn that on full blast. But then there was also elements with the stepfather relationship where I don’t have that issue, I had to really rely on the script for that. To help guide me to the right place.
Shooting with Dwayne and Michael, it was amazing. Dwayne is such a big physical guy that at first you could be easily intimidated. But then when you meet him he’s super down to earth, super nice, a really genuine person. He’s really a gentle giant, a manly gentle giant (laughs). The legendary Michael Caine, he’s pushing 80 years old but he had more energy than all of us. To see somebody like that at that age, who’s that accomplished, it just gives you a lot of confidence as a young actor to know that maybe one day I can be like that. Also just watching him, seeing how he rehearses his lines a tonne, he really knew his words and was able to play with them – almost orchestrate them. That was really cool.
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