“Flying has become second nature” Interview with Lara McDonnell and Ferdia Shaw (Artemis Fowl)

For the release of the film Artemis Fowl, young actors Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell answered our questions. They talk about a relaxed filming where they learned a lot.

To carry his fantastic adventure film Artemis Fowl, Kenneth Branagh recruited two young Irish actors to respect the vision of the author of the novels Eoin Colfer. After a long audition process, Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell were chosen for the roles of Artemis Fowl, the 12 years old, and Holly Short, the fairy he captures to communicate with the underworld he has just discovered. In an interview by videoconference, the two young actors shared their filming anecdotes with Linternaute.com.

Were you fans of the books before acting in the film?

Ferdia Shaw: Yes, we were already fans. That’s why we were very comfortable playing these characters. We added our own lines, Ken regularly gave us the opportunity to give our opinion. It was a chance to know the books before working on this project.

Do you remember your first meeting?

Lara McDonnell: I don’t remember very well. It was my second audition and he was his third. We were taken to London, that’s where we first met Kenneth Branagh. This is also where I first met Ferdia and I knew the moment I saw him that he was a troublemaker!

Ferdia, you were able to play against Colin Farrell. Did he help you on the set?

FS: He’s such an experienced actor that it’s impossible not to notice what he does. Just seeing him play his role helped me. It was always great to watch him play because he’s a great actor.

Of course you had to do stunts in the movie. How was it?

FS: I did a lot of stunts with ropes. When there are explosions for example or when I had to fall from a candlestick for example. I also learned to get around in Onewheel to the Fowl mansion. It’s a winding road and I had to do it fast so I had to practice on it.

LM: It was great. We worked with a great stunt team who were always mindful of our safety, which is obviously important when you’re doing something you’ve never done before. I was able to learn lots of new things: gymnastics, self-defense, kickboxing and of course I learned to fly. I have to say it was pretty cool!

Lugging around with all that rope gear must have been tough…

LM: A bit because I don’t hadn’t had that experience yet. But once you get comfortable with the equipment, like I did almost every day, it almost becomes second nature.

What was the atmosphere like on set?

LM: We had a lot of fun because the team made sure that we were very comfortable on set. The film is very funny and the characters, especially Holly and Artemis, are lively, which allowed us to joke around on set. And when the cameras weren’t rolling, we had a lot of fun but never during the tutoring sessions, we were always very focused during the tutoring!

FS: (he smiles) Yes, we were super focused!

I feel like a little hint of irony!

LM: Just a little bit!

Were you able to keep a prop from the movie?

FS: I kept my Onewheel! Well, I entered a portal with it, so it is quietly waiting to be repaired, but it was very nice the first few days!

LM: If you pay close attention to the costumes in the film, you will see that the FARfadets costume has a small green earpiece, I I kept one that I stashed somewhere where no one can find it.

Artemis Fowl – Available on Disney+

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