A RAY OF HOPE. As the year comes to a close, DA MAN gets to chat with the next big British acting phenomenon: Asa Butterfield
Although he has yet to celebrate his 20th birthday (that would be next April), English actor Asa Butterfield has starred in an impressive number of high-profile movies and worked with some of the industry’s most celebrated heavyweights. One of his most recent movie appearances was in this year’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” (directed by Tim Burton and also starring the likes of Eva Green, Chris O’Dowd and Samuel L. Jackson) while early next year he will appear in “The Space Between Us” (with Gary Oldman). By the looks of it, it seems that his screenwork in 2017 will be no less tantalizing. For more on Butterfield’s recent work and his upcoming projects, DA MAN sat down for a short, trans-continental chat.
DA MAN: So, last we checked, you have several movie appearances lined up for the near future. Let’s start with “The Space between us.” Can you give a brief rundown of the story?
Asa Butterfield: The film follows my character, Gardner Elliot, who’s the very first human born on Mars. And he makes it his mission to travel to Earth to find out who he is, to find this girl that he’s been talking to—the only girl he’s really ever spoken to—and also try and find his dad. He also wants to find his roots and to figure out what it means to be human.
DA MAN: Did you find having to act like a clueless and wide-eyed character for most of the movie challenging? Or at least a bit offbeat?
Asa Butterfield: Well, I’ve done it a few times actually. I don’t know why, but I seem to play a lot of characters who have that kind of naive innocence about them. Maybe it’s my eyes. [Laughs] Maybe I just have a very innocent appearance. But in this film in particular, I actually really enjoyed playing Gardner’s oddities, and he’s an interesting character. He’s not like any other character I’ve played before on screen. And I had a lot of freedom, creatively, to come up with these ideas about him. Yeah, I had a great time doing it. I had to express what it was like to experience many things for the first time, and we haven’t seen much of that before on screen.
DA MAN: Besides the “playing the tourist” part, were there any other particularly memorable parts from playing in “The Space between Us”?
Asa Butterfield: There’s a big scene that involves a crop duster plane, and toward the end of the scene, I’m chasing after it. It’s this whole big action sequence and I ended up finally grabbing on to the plane after this incredibly tense moment, and I stand up and I’m holding on. Then I had the idea that rather than just getting in and taking off, Gardner—who’s so caught up in the moment and the thrill of doing this—just shouts to the sky in excitement. And it really worked. It really just added to that moment and really cemented Gardner’s character for me.
DA MAN: What would you say is the most meaningful message of this movie?
Asa Butterfield: Well, I hope people can get out of this and what I really got out of filming it is an appreciation for what we have, as in, as a planet, we’re so lucky to exist on this little rock in the universe. And that everything happened the way it did, and that we’re able to do these things, we take that for granted. Everyone does. and this film really highlights what’s special about our planet and what we’re really lucky to have.