Isaac Hempstead-Wright has left Westeros for a recording booth until winter to lend his voice to Laika’s new stop motion animation The Boxtrolls.
Hempstead-Wright plays Eggs, an orphan boy who is adopted by family of Boxtrolls. Based on the characters from Alan Snow’s children’s book Here Be Monsters, Boxtrolls are creatures that live in caves under cities and wear cardboard boxes with their names on (hence “Eggs”).
Life is good underground until pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley) becomes dead set on wiping out the Boxtrolls, causing Eggs and his family to flee to the world above.
Hempstead-Wright spoke exclusively to SciFiNow about the film, Laika and working with Ben Kingsley.
“Reading with Sir Ben was terrifying, to be frank, just because we were in this very small cupboard of a recording booth in Oxford and he had this special chair that he used,” said the 15-year-old actor.
“He used a reclining chair and he sat right back like that so he could get his voice how we wanted it to be for Snatcher. I was cowering in the corner in this very small studio. We were doing some fairly intense scenes towards the end of the film so you got a pretty authentic terrified performance from me.”
Hempstead-Wright has been an animation fan all his life – Spongebob Squarepants practically raised him – so he jumped at the chance to work with a studio as dedicated to animation as Laika.
“They really are completely focused on everything stop motion,” he said. “They’ll never take the easy way out. They’ll never think, ‘Ah, we could VFX that because it will save us $100,000 and that will be ten times quicker’. They think, ‘Well, it won’t look quite as good so we’re going to put the effort into it,’ and it really does create such a beautiful-looking product in the end.”
The Boxtrolls is in cinemas on 12 September 2014. For more on the film, pick up a copy of the latest issue of SciFiNow.