Photo Credit: Jana MerlotMommy.com
Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is now playing in theaters everywhere. Two of the stars of the film include Oakes Fegley who plays Pete & Oona Laurence who plays Natalie. The tale is about the story of an orphaned boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who happens to be a dragon. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is the park ranger sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.
I had a chance to sit down with the 2 young stars for an exclusive interview where we talked about memorable moments from filming, what the dragon snot was made out of, what it was like filming in New Zealand, hair extensions, and more.
What was your favorite part about filming in New Zealand?
Oona Laurence: I mean, it’s just, like such a beautiful, and luscious place. I mean, oh my god. There’s so much to do there, too. So it was great. When we had free time we would go do all the touristy stuff. And the people there are so nice. At the end of it, my mom was, like, we have to move there.
What was it like shooting a scene with the dragon when he is not really there?
Oakes Fegley: We did stunt training before we started filming and felt safe with all the stuntmen and stunts we did. At the beginning it was kind of challenging to imagine a dragon being there as it was a tennis ball on a stick or a piece of tape on the wall but it got easier and easier.
Oona Laurence: It was difficult at first to imagine a dragon being there because usually it was a pole with a tennis ball at the end of it. We had to imagine that it was a dragon and eventually got used to it after filming awhile.
Did you grow your hair long for the film?
Oakes Fegley: It was actually extensions. They wanted me to grow it out as long as I could, but I couldn’t get it much longer than this. So they just ended up putting the extensions in that I couldn’t take out at night. I had to just get used to having really long hair. And I didn’t really like it. But it’s fine, ’cause once I took them out, I was, like, my head is so light!
Were you familiar with the original 1977 movie before you filmed?
Oakes Fegley: Since the 1977 movie is different I did not prepare by watching it before filming. After filming I now have seen the original version.
Oona Laurence: I have not seen the original version yet.
What was the dragon’s snot made out of?
Oakes Fegley: It was, like, water, and all sorts of stuff. Do you know, those air guns where you pull it back, and then it… It’s kinda like a big circle. And then you pull the tab back and once you release it, It shoves air through it. It was the same sort of thing. It was just filled with that. And then they blasted it at you.
How’d you guys get the roles? Any reaction when you got the news?
Oona Laurence: Well, we did the audition, and then I think I did another audition. After that I ended up doing a chemistry read with Oakes. And yeah! I guess It was kind of just, like that! And then when I found out I got it, I was, like, oh my god! I’m going to New Zealand. Whoa, it’s… crazy.
Oakes Fegley: The same sort of thing happened with me too. I went through three auditions, and then I had the chemistry read after that. I was actually at school when I got the news. And my parents were on the couch. So I just walked back from my bus stop and then they told me I got the part and I was really happy. So. Yeah.
What’s it like working with Robert Redford?
Oakes Fegley: Robert is a legend. He is really, really cool, funny and nice. And he’s a lot like a father to everyone. And he’s just amazing!
What was the most challenging scene that you had to do?
Oakes Fegley: The most challenging scene is probably the scene where I have to leave Elliot, because I was crying about a, a green screen leaving me. I had to imagine that the tennis ball was, was going bye-bye. So it was kind of hard, and after I had filmed the set a couple of times, I was just laughing. Like, I couldn’t stop laughing.
Oona Laurence: And I guess the toughest was when our parents… or my… my dad basically fell off the bridge. And, you know, I was never gonna see him again. And I think that was pretty tough to imagine that. When really I wasn’t actually looking off a cliff, I was looking at a green screen on the ground.
What’s your favorite part of the movie?
Oona Laurence: I love the whole movie but my favorite part is when Oakes and Elliot say goodbye. It really made me cry and ripped my heart out.
Oakes Fegley: That is one of my favorite scenes as well. I also like the scene where Elliot slides into the cow.
What message do you want our kids to take away from watching this movie?
Oakes Fegley: Just for them to know that family is very, very important. And that you can’t give up on family because they are there for you whenever.
Oona Laurence: I would say the same thing.
Photo Credit: Jana MerlotMommy.com
Pete’s Dragon is now in theaters everywhere so be sure to take the whole family to see it!
Disclosure: Disney provided me with an all expense paid trip to LA to the #PetesDragonEvent #Moana #QueenofKatwe #JungleBookBluray event. All opinions are 100% my own.