‘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

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.