‘Ender’s Game’ star Asa Butterfield can’t keep off Reddit

Asa Butterfield
Asa Butterfield attends the world premiere of “Ender’s Game.”
Credit: Getty Images

The long-awaited film adaptation of “Ender’s Game” has sparked more online discussion than most movies — whether among hardcore science-fiction fans or folks upset about author Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay views — so it would make sense for its 16-year-old star, Asa Butterfield, to avoid the Internet.

But he’s not one for conventional wisdom, apparently. And while he’s been making his mark in lead roles for the most part in his young career, Butterfield appreciates that it’s not the size of the part that matters — something he picked up from “Glengarry Glen Ross” of all places.

Metro: Do you worry at all that the tagline on the poster is kind of a spoiler?

Butterfield: “This is not a game”? (laughs) I’m quite an Internet buff. I Google around, and a lot of people will show up saying, “They showed the ending in the trailer!” It’s like, if you already knew what the ending is then what’s the point? But yeah, “This is not a game.” Again, if you read the book then you can’t really complain about there being spoilers. (laughs)

Isn’t it a bit dangerous when you’re in a movie to go around looking for stuff about it online?

Obviously I’ve got to respect that of course other people are going to have opinions, but I think it’s impossible to not read things on the Internet. It’s so widespread. You know Reddit? I’m on Reddit quite a lot, and I find that however much other people’s opinions influence you, if you enjoyed it and you think the film is amazing — which I think it is — as long as you think that, then sod what other people think, really.

The Internet is famous for prejudging things, especially big Hollywood films.

Yeah, you’re right. It’s hard to not think about them and think, “Wow, that’s a good point.” But wait, why are they jumping to conclusions? They haven’t seen this film that we shot. So I’m sure when everyone sees it that everyone will be pleased.

The controversy over Orson Scott Card’s view on gay marriage seems to have peaked well before the film’s release. People seem to have moved on or forgotten about it for the most part.

Yeah, you’re right. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it’s sort of over now, and people have realized that the film is separate. We love the story, but we don’t agree with the author’s views. It’s as simple as that. And so yeah, I’m glad that we can share it with everyone being open to it.

I had my suspicions the public attention span wasn’t that long.

No, you’re right. Thankfully.

How do you approach choosing roles as a young actor?

I sort of have a checklist of things. Of course you want story to be brilliant, and if the story isn’t interesting then — no, you want the story to be interesting, definitely. (laughs) Don’t do a film if the story isn’t interesting, that’s probably No. 1 on the list. And then of course you want your character to be as interesting as possible and not just be there to fill in the gap. Then you look at the director and the crew — are they respectable, are they reputable. Yeah, if it ticks all those boxes then generally I find it’s a good project.

Are there any areas where you can compromise if need be?

For me, definitely one of the most important parts is the character. It may be a lead, it may be a supporting part, it may just be very little, but as long as you can make your mark on the film, then you’ve sort of done your job. And one of the films I always refer to when talking about this is, do you know the “Glengarry Glen Ross” film? Alec Baldwin comes in at the start and pretty much just tells them to sharpen up. That scene, I mean that has one of the best pieces of acting I have ever seen — and it’s his only scene in the film. I think it’s definitely one of the most memorable scenes I’ve ever watched. So that’s definitely something I reference when talking about this and how your character needs to have a purpose, and you need to give all you’ve got to your character and let everyone else do their job.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.