The Ninjabot

Interview with actor Brandon Soo Hoo from Ender’s Game

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 9:00 am by JESSIE

Brandon Soo HooThis is a follow-up to one of my previous posts, so please take a glance for information on this interview, the upcoming Ender’s Game film, and most importantly, Brandon Soo Hoo.

First off, thank you to all who contributed to the comments section of my previous post with questions for Brandon to answer. I tried to include all of them, but due to the large turnout, I had to omit a few questions in order to keep the inquiry-count to around 15. The questions I omitted were ones I felt to be a little redundant, or ones that did not quite flow with the other questions being asked.

Unfortunately, Brandon’s and my schedule didn’t quite mesh that well, so we were unable to find a proper time to meet for this interview in person. This is why I don’t have some sort of witty intro describing the hipster cafe/eatery we met up at or some piquant opening statement about how Brandon waltzed in with swag, confidence, and of course, style (I mean c’mon, take a look at that picture! Not everybody has the talent to rock a cardigan that hard). But hey, I’ve still got exactly what we’ve been anticipating—his answers to our questions. So enough of this intro, already!

Q&A With Actor Brandon Soo Hoo

Geek Legacy: When did you first read Ender’s Game and what was your reaction?
Brandon: An old friend actually gave me her own copy of the book around 2008. It was probably the most intense novel I’ve read up until then. Ender’s Game was the book that originally triggered my interest in Sci-Fi novels!

GL: Are you a fan of the book? If so, how long have you been a fan?
B: I am a lifetime fan of the book. I have been for almost five years now, and would thoroughly recommend it to every person that can read.

GL: What is your personal favorite scene from the book?
B: I personally loved all of the scenes that feature Ender in the “mind game.” I feel that these scenes, more so than the others, beautifully illustrated Ender’s true character, including his deepest fears and insecurities.

GL: You play Fly Molo, one of Ender’s Jeesh. What three words would you use to describe your character?
B: Intelligent. Sassy. Filipino.

GL: Was it difficult to pick up the sci-fi jargon from the book?
B: Picking it up wasn’t difficult. After a few chapters of reading, all of the fictional words started to sound like plain English.

GL: If you could play any other character, who would it be and why?
B: I would like to have played Bean, Ender’s right hand man. His incomparable intelligence and complex background make him my favorite character in the series by far.

GL: What was your reaction when you found out you were being cast in the movie? What thoughts were running through your head?
B: I was extremely grateful, as I am for every opportunity I get to work, in addition to the fact that I am a huge fan of the book. I was just thinking “I hope I don’t mess this up.”

GL: What was the training like prior to filming?
B: The training was pretty intense, and unlike any other prep I’ve done for a film. I was basically put in a boot camp environment in order to simulate life in the “Battle School.” The entire cast slept together in the same bunk for a week, so we got to know each other really quickly.

GL: How close is the film to the actual story in the book? I understand that some things have to be left out to fit it into a movie, but how much did things actually change from the book to the movie?
B: While adapting the book to a script, our director Gavin [Hood] took much care to keep most things accurate to the book. Though, due to the PG-13 rating, some of the more graphic content was toned down.

GL: You guys all seemed to get pretty close while filming. What was the best part for you working with a cast of fellow young actors?
B: We were a very tight cast on set, so we all had fun. I also found that you can learn a lot from working with a group of talented actors, especially when they’re around the same age range.

GL: Were there any pranks while you were on set?
B: Too many pranks to keep track of. One particularly nasty one involved waking up Moises [Arias, who plays Bonzo] with a mouthful of Tobasco. Moises hates spicy food, so he wasn’t happy about this one.

GL: Did you get to work closely with Harrison Ford and/or Ben Kingsley? What were those experiences like?
B: I wasn’t involved in any scenes featuring these two, but simply working on set with them was quite the honor.

GL: What do you remember the most from Ender’s Game over the period of shooting? 
B: I remember practicing drills and marching quite vividly. “Right face, forward march, present arms.” For hours, almost every day.

GL: What scene(s) from the movie are you most excited for us all to see?
B: The dream sequence scenes and battle room scenes are both highly anticipated. Both are going to be filled with dazzling special effects, so I’m looking forward to see how those came out.

GL: Were the battle scenes fun to shoot?
B: In all honesty, no. I’m sure the finished product will look great, but filming these parts involved a lot of sweat and over-tightened harnesses.

GL: How does the movie portray the army? Are there a lot more, a lot less, or close to the same amount of member in the movie?
B: There were actually quite a few Battle School students hired for the film; around 40 or 50. There are probably hundreds in the book itself, but for the production, 50 was plenty.

GL: In the coming months until the movie’s release, what are you looking forward to the most?
B: I am looking forward to any promotional events coming up, and I really hope we get to visit Comicon this year. Over anything though, I am just excited to see the film itself.

For more, check out our past posts on the Ender’s Game movie here on Geek Legacy. You can also follow Jessie on Twitter at @jessay92.

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos