ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with The magician’s elephant star Noah Jupe on the Netflix animated film. Jupe talked about having hope and how he relates to his character, Peter. The film will debut on Netflix on March 17.
“When young Peter, who is looking for his long-lost sister, comes across a fortune teller in the market square, there is only one question on his mind: is his sister still alive? The answer, which must follow a mysterious elephant, puts Peter on an extraordinary journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will magically change the face of his city forever,” the film’s synopsis reads.
Spencer Legacy: What was your experience with The Magician’s Elephant before accepting the project? Have you read it or was it all new to you?
Noah Jupe: I had heard of the book. I think he was in my classroom when I was a kid; I definitely heard a lot about it, but never got around to reading it. Then it was in the middle of the Covid lockdown and they sent me the script and I wasn’t feeling my best, everyone was feeling pretty bad at the time. And this movie just made my day, you know? It just brought me a lot of joy. So I said, “I want to bring this to life.” That’s when I decided I wanted to do it.
What about Peter specifically drew you to his character and made you want to play him?
I love Peter’s passion. I love his persistence. I love the hope of him, the imagination of him… he’s such a positive character. I think he is a character that we all need to find in ourselves a little bit. I try to find a bit of Peter in me every day if I can.
Peter is facing many difficulties in his life, but he has a very optimistic outlook. Was it difficult to find that balance of sounding hopeful but also worn out?
Yes it was. It’s that kind of voice that says something and has that hope behind it and always keeps it there. Even when he’s mad at Vilnius or frustrated that he can’t achieve something, there’s always a little bit of hope in his voice, and it never goes away. I guess concentrating on maintaining that was a big challenge for me with Peter.
The movie itself, but especially Peter, really has this message of how the impossible is possible. How important was it to you to instill that idea at home for people watching?
Extremely important to me. It’s something that I think is important for everyone, and especially right now, to believe in the impossible and ask, “What if?” Much more than us. I think it’s a message that I hope reaches a lot of people.
You’ve done many live-action roles in the past, so how is the challenge of playing this voice different from your performance on camera?
I underestimated it, how difficult it would be: the transition. I have to give it to the voice actors. Good voice actors…they really are amazing. It’s such a different experience than acting on screen. You have the same basics of emotions there, but it’s much more intense, physical and emotional. It takes a lot more energy from you. It also requires a lot more imagination, because on set you usually have things around you that you can see, touch and feel, whereas when you’re in the studio, you just have your imagination and that’s all you can use. So that was a challenge.
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