ANNASOPHIA ROBB AND JOSH
Josh tells me that he's going to be
flying to Southern California to visit the Tiger Beat headquarters
where he'll be serving as Guest Editor. I joke with him if he's going
to have responsibilities like picking the cutest Justin Timberlake
photos and he laughs, saying it's just an honorary title and photo
opportunity. I remind him he's joined the likes of The Beatles
and The Monkees, and wonder if he's even old enough to know who they
are, but reading another interview after this, I learn he has The
Beatles on his iPod, so he's OK in my book.
ZACH: Please excuse my tape recorder
ANASOPHIA: Isn't there a song about
that? (munches on a great looking oatmeal cookie)
retroCRUSH: Well, who has their mouth
full, I'll start with the other person?
ANNASOPHIA: I'll put the cookie away.
retroCRUSH: That's OK. Josh, what do
you share most in common with Jess?
JOSH: I think a lot of things about me
and Jess are quite different, actually, and that's one of the reasons
that I took on the character because I go to play someone who's
totally different than me. But we're both artists...but I'm really
bad at drawing and painting-
ANNASOPHIA: He's not bad.
JOSH: I'm really bad. But I'm an
actor, so we're both kind of artists in that sense, but we're kind of
different because he is kind of an outcast in his school and he's
neglected in his family because he has 4 sisters, which if I had 4
sisters I'd definitely be neglected, too. But I did feel bullied some
when I first started acting and I kind of just had to get over it.
ANNASOPHIA: Well I'm like Jess in
that, no I'm just kidding.
retroCRUSH: So how about you, what do
you have most in common with your character (Leslie)?
ANNASOPHIA: I wish I was more like
Leslie. Because she's just such a great person. She's so
inspirational and just creative and wonderful. I love using my
imagination and I love to read, and I love her clothes (laughs). I do
spend a ton of time with my parents. That's one thing, Leslie doesn't
have a lot of time with them so when she is with them, she
appreciates every moment. She basically lives life to the fullest
extent and tries to have a good time with everyone.
ZACH: I had a question about your
family life. You have brothers and sisters, and do you see them a
JOSH: I have one little brother and
he's 10, his name is Conner, and he wants to be a rocket scientist.
He's pretty much a genius at his school. He and my dad usually don't
travel with me when I'm doing a film. It's usually my mom that goes
with me, so my dad and my brother try to come out every few weeks. We
try not to go more than 2-3 weeks without seeing our family because
it's really important to have strong family ties, which we do. Our
family is very close, always has been and always will be...but it
does get hard sometimes, like when we're filming in New Zealand.
ZACH: Yeah...it's not an easy trip to
ANNASOPHIA: I don't have any brothers
and sisters, I have a dog, named Bellaroo...but I have 6 girl cousins
and I'm right in the middle of them...they're all my best friends and
I love hanging out with them. They're really fun and I've known them
since I was a little girl. They all live up in Boulder pretty much
and I live in Denver so I have to commute a ways to see them, but I
do miss them and I miss my friends. I go to a private school and my
school has been really helpful and really good about letting me go
back and forth, pop in and pop out. So that's the really hard part
about acting, just leaving your friends, and leaving your family,
because they're a big part of my life.
ZACH: Absolutely, thank you.
retroCRUSH: Was it hard to get in
shape for all the running scenes in this movie?
ANNASOPHIA: We're KIDS! What are you
talking about (laughs).
JOSH: I've always been very athletic.
I've been playing sports ever since I've been old enough to run, and
I enjoy just going to the gym and running on the treadmill. You feel
so good after you work out and sometimes it's hard to get off the
couch and go do it. But at the same time I love doing it and I think
that...I just had a great time running on the set, because I love
running in real life, too.
ANNASOPHIA: I don't like to work out,
and I hate going to the gym. I do, though, because I have to get
exercise. Usually when I'm on the road, I never...I just...there's
always something else to do. And I really like to swim, though. And I
like to do an activity with my friends or I love to dance, or I like
to run, but I don't like running on a treadmill, I get super bored.
I'll do it for like 10 minutes and like OK...
ZACH: You like to go somewhere.
ANNASOPHIA: I want to GO SOMEWHERE! I
don't want to be looking at a TV screen and watching someone run. I
want to be running. So I like running in the Spring and the Fall. But
not in the Winter, it's too cold, and not in the Summer, it's too
hot. So I'll swim then.
(Pam from the San Francisco Chronicle
JOSH: Hey...I'm Josh.
PAM: I'm Pam.
ANNASOPHIA: Hi, Pam! So it was a
really good thing about this movie. I had to stretch before because I
have a weak Achilles tendon. I do gymnastics and Irish dance, so that
kind of started the whole thing. It was a good thing about this movie
because I didn't have to worry about working out or exercising
because there was always something active on set, and we'd play
wiffleball at lunch. And we had a really good time and we were right
on the beach so you could go swimming in the ocean or jogging on the
beach. It was awesome. I mean, I love San Francisco, you can get a
workout just walking to work, right?
retroCRUSH: Yeah, coming up this
ZACH: I regretted doing the BART
ANNASOPHIA: That's what I love about
New York, you can walk everywhere.
ZACH: This book and the film is a lot
about imagination. Reading the book and then seeing those amazing
things on the screen. I was wondering, as actors, you guys have been
working really successfully the last couple of years, congratulations
ANNASOPHIA: Thank you!
ZACH: And I really enjoy your work,
and I was wondering, is there...when you're acting so much and you're
doing so much on film, does your imagination kind of go those places,
of like seeing movies in your mind. Like do you feel like being an
actor now has changed your way of...like when you go out into the
forest, or going into the woods of Denver-
I've always had a really really broad imagination. Even when I was
little I was always making up games and playing with my imaginary
friends...I have to use my imagination every day on the set because
you have to imagine you're in the character, and that you are the
character. But it has changed the way any time I watch a movie even,
or when I'm going places, I'm always like "that'd make a perfect
scene in a movie", or when you're in a forest you're like, "that'd be
a cool shot if the camera came around a tree like that." I'm always
kind of thinking in the movie world. But then again I get to go home
and hang out with my friends, and get my head out of the movie world.
Play on a soccer team, and stuff like that. And I live in Kentucky,
still, so that's really great for me.
ANNASOPHIA: Sometimes the acting world
is really...I think if I wasn't acting, I hate to say it, but I think
for Bridge to Terabithia, a lot of kids try to get rid of their
imagination. I still would have used it because I love to read books
and stuff. But it really taught me that imagination is so important.
And you should never let go of it and you're never ever too old to
use it. Cause I know a lot of kids are embarrassed to use it, they're
like, "I'm too old for that." That doesn't mean that you still have
to play pretend and Barbies or anything like that. It's just means
that you should use it and keep it intact, and imagine your whole own
world. But I do...sometimes when I travel places I go, "Wow! This
would be a really cool place to shoot a movie." Sometimes it ruins
things for me, I mean when I watch movies, I'll be watching them with
my friends and I'll start commenting on things. "That would never
happen!" "Oh, that storyline is so bad!" Or I'll be commenting on
someone's acting or there hair person, or "Did you see that boom
shadow?" ...and they'll get on me they'll be like, "AnnaSophia you're
ruining the movie. Stop it!" (laughs) "BE QUIET!"
JOSH: (laughs) I do the same exact
thing. I have to rewind it I'll be like, "I swear there's a
ANNASOPHIA: So I'm not allowed to say
things to my friends during movies. But it taught me to...applaud
those who make a really good film.
PAM: Did any of you talk to David
(the film's screenwriter and son of author Katherine Paterson, whom
the story is based on) about his real friend and what that was like
when he was?
ANNASOPHIA: I didn't really get a
chance to before, because he wasn't in New Zealand the whole time, he
only came down once for a couple of days. Is that right?
JOSH: Once or twice.
ANNASOPHIA: I think he came down twice
for about 3 days. So I've been asking about him and I can tell that
it's a hard thing, still, to talk about. Especially when there's a
movie based on your experience with a friend. So that was a hard
thing for me. I didn't talk to Katherine, I talked to the producers
about how I felt Leslie would act and react to things and her
response to the world, basically, but I was a little bit nervous
because I didn't know how Katherine would respond. I didn't know if I
seemed to be the Leslie she was looking for. If she would see the
movie and just sigh, "That's totally different from what I
meant...she did a terrible job of pulling that off!" But she liked
it, so I'm like, "YES!" She was the final judge for me, and of the
people who really loved the book. I talked to, as soon as I saw the
movie I found a woman and asked her "Are you a book fan?" (laughs)
you could just tell. And she really liked it, so I was like "Whew!
Good!" Katherine liked it and a book lover liked it, so I'm good to
retroCRUSH: What was it like seeing
the film for the first time and actually seeing the special effects
around your characters when you're pretty much just rolling around
with nothing there for so long?
JOSH: It was a really different
experience because you're there on set and you're imagining all this
stuff that's going on and you have no idea what it's going to be like
after they edit it in. And then when you see the movie, you're like,
"Oh that's what I was afraid of...OK! That makes sense. I wish I
would have known that while I was filming it." There were times, like
when I first saw the skrogers, the squirrel like crazy creature
things, they were a lot bigger than what I was expecting and Gabor
was like (imitating his voice) "Uhhh...we need a bigguh reaction from
you!" And I would try but I was just picturing a little squirrel
thing and then I see the movie and it's like the size of me, so now I
understand why I needed to be more scared. So just seeing it all
together and all the hard work we put into it, and how the reactions
all worked out was really satisfying.
ANNASOPHIA: We saw some drawings in
Gabor Csupo's office of a lot of the characters, so I really tried to
study those paintings and drawings and visualize when I was acting
what they would be like but I didn't know how big they would be. Like
the Terabithian Army, I didn't know if it was going to be the size of
this room, or if it was going to fill up the whole forest, or if it
was going to be a little army, or it was going to be this big or that
big (motions with fingers getting bigger). I really had no idea. I
traveled to WETA Studios, which is the people who did all the special
effects, and they did Lord of the Rings and Narnia. And
they started to work on our film, and I was so happy, I was like
"Wow! This is really going to turn out to be great!" It was
beautiful. All the little warriors, they showed a little close up of
them and just how intricate they are. You know, they're just not
wearing normal everyday warrior clothes, I guess (laughs). They're
ZACH: I was wondering, this film has a
lot of heavy issues. The death of someone young, your own age. Did
you have...I know you didn't have much time while you were making the
film to reflect on it, but reflecting on it, what do you think about
a topic like this being raised in a film.
JOSH: I think it's great because so
many times in family and children's movies, everything is sugar
coated. They never show the real side of life, and this movie has so
much realistic things in it. Like so many things about life lessons
and things that actually happen. Kids really do get bullied. Jess has
a lot of imperfections and he has a lot of character flaws, and stuff
like that, and that's natural. That's how it is in real life. The
fact that things like what happens in the movie happen in real life
make it great for kids to be exposed to at young ages, so that when
it does come up, when that stuff does happen to them, they're not
shocked. They've seen it in movies before.
ANNASOPHIA: I agree with Josh, I think
it's important for kids. It doesn't mean that they have to grow up,
it doesn't mean they have to see really intense movies at a really
super young age, because that's just...they don't need to be exposed
to that kind of stuff. But bad stuff does happen because it's the
real world. They don't have to grow up, they just need to be worldly
and know what's going on around them, because we're the next
generation and if we don't know what's going on in the world, we
can't make a better future for everyone.
(at this point the publicity contact
says there's just time for one more question)
PAM: Can you talk about the dynamic
that you formed with the little girl who played your sister? You're
so adorable together.
JOSH: Bailee Madison was her name, and
she played May Belle, my little sister. And she was just a little
firecracker of energy. This is a little 7 year old girl and every
time you hear her voice, every time you see her, your face just
lights up and you have to laugh because she's just so cute. And she
was such a great actress for such a young age to understand her
character and to have these heavy dialogue scenes where she's just
talking quite a bit...She's totally on her own and has her own
feelings about the character, she's amazing.
ANNASOPHIA: It was great to see that
she wasn't too adult, you know? She was still a little girl and
really real and I loved watching her because she really reminded me
of Leslie. She's just so free and...I was watching her dance around
in the hotel room one day, she was dancing around and she tripped
over herself and falls down, and gets right back up and dances again.
She wasn't ashamed or embarrassed, she was just dancing. And she was
like, "Come on, AnnaSophia, join me!" And I was having so much fun
just watching her...she's really good in the movie. Very cute.
At this point the interview was over
and the polite "Thank Yous" were exchanged. AnnaSophia and Josh took
a picture with my very shy 10 year old daughter who told them she was
9 when they asked, even though her birthday was 4 months ago. And
here it is!