[IMG:L]Amelia Warner admits she almost didn’t get the part of Maggie Barnes, not because filmmakers behind The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising didn’t want her, but because she wasn't around to check her email.
"I just went on tape [for the audition] and then went on holiday, and I was away in Africa," Warner explains. "When I got home I had all these emails back and forth saying that I'd been offered it and asked what I wanted to do and 'Hello, are you there?' I was like, 'Oh, shit. Please tell me they didn't offer this to someone else!'"
Luckily, the British actress made it back just in the nick of time, snagging the role in the fantasy-flick about good versus evil. Warner stars opposite newcomer Alexander Ludwig in the film about an American boy who moves to London and discovers he is the last in the line of warriors called the Old Ones.
When Warner saw the film for the first time last week, she called up Hollywood.com to tell us all about it.
Hollywood.com: You just walked out of the theater. What did you think?
Amelia Warner: Yeah, I just came out of it. I loved it! I was just really impressed. I think it's incredible. I didn't know what to expect and it just looks so beautiful and exciting.
HW: Was there anything in the film that was beyond what you could have imagined?
AW: I think just the way that it was shot was so beautiful, just really amazing shots and effects--the whole thing is really just beautiful which I didn't realize it was going to be quite so beautiful and gorgeous. It's got all these colors and all the snow. It just looks fantastic.
HW: How would you describe this film?
AW: It's the battle between The Light and The Dark. There was a huge battle where The Dark almost won. So then The Light, the powers of that were split into six separate signs which were hidden throughout time and the Old Ones are kind of like the warriors for The Light and they've been waiting for The Seeker to be born. They didn't know who that would be and they find out that it's Will Stanton [Ludwig], that he's The Seeker. Only The Seeker can find the sign so he has five days before The Dark will reach its peak again, it's most powerful to find the six signs and bring back the power of The Light.
[IMG:R]HW: What can you tell us about your character?
AW: I play a character called Maggie Barnes, but I can't really tell you very much about her or [I’ll] give something away. The [Will Stanton] really develops a huge crush on her and she kind of starts hanging out with him. They live in the same village and she just sort of mysteriously pops up in these various places, but you never really know who she is.
HW: Does she do anything to try and woo him?
AW: She does it through little things like leaving her scarf on the bus for him to find and hanging out with his older brother all the time and making him jealous, I suppose--horrible, devious things, girl things [laughs].
HW: How does The Seeker compare to Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings series?
AW: I think it holds up. I think it has that kind of epic quality. I think that with Will you have a hero that's so likable. What's great about it is that he's a normal, ordinary boy who this insane and crazy world opens up to.
HW: This film is based on a novel by Susan Cooper. What did you think of the book?
AW: I didn't read the book. I started reading it and then since the film is very different ... I wanted to just focus on that and then I planned on reading the rest of the book when I finished the movie, which I haven't done yet. I really want to read it. My mum loves them. She's read them all. So I should read it.
HW: The screenwriters made a bold move by making Will an American. Do you think this will make him more relatable to the American audience?
AW: It will--and I think that's partly why they made the change. I mean, already I've seen on various blogs and things online that people were really upset and really outraged about that change, but I don't think they're trying to Americanize the story. The story itself and all that kind of thing between the light and the dark is all set in England. It's in an English village, the majority of the characters are English and the mythology behind the story hasn't been changed. It's just that the lead family has moved to England from America, but they haven't set it in L.A. and I think it does help make it more relatable for American audiences. I personally don't think it has a huge impact on the story or the essence of the story at all.
HW: What was it like working with Alexander Ludwig? It seems like there is a quite an age difference between the two of you.
AW: [Laughs] Yes, quite a difference. I'm 25 and he had his 15th birthday while we were away. Maybe it was his 16th birthday ... I was just saying actually while I was watching the film, "Wow, he's really good." It's hard for young actors, especially at that age because they're not just a child, but are more at that awkward age.
HW: Did you have to spend months on location for this movie?
AW: We were in Romania. They were away from home for a long time, [Alexander] and his mom--four months pretty much. I got on really well with him. He's really sweet and really enthusiastic and never wanted to stop and never wanted to finish the day and was so excited every morning. His energy was boundless and exhausting even to a point. He was amazing. He was so into it and happy to be doing it.
[IMG:L]HW: Will spends the movie traveling through time. Where would you go if you had the power of time travel?
AW: Oh, I love this. I always think about this. There are loads of periods. The idea of being in Paris in the '20's and being a part of that whole scene I would've just loved and the clothes ... also to be in Berlin in 1917 just before the first world war. It was so incredible and such an artistic and adventurous place. Or then maybe back in the 16th century with all the kings and queens, big dresses. It's more about clothes for me [laughs]. I would've loved to have gone to Woodstock or to see the Rolling Stones when they played in Hyde Park at a huge, huge free concert, which was incredible.
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising opens in theaters Oct. 5, 2007