Nick Robinson is only 20, but he’s already experienced two of the five natural disasters that take place in “The 5th Wave,” the new sci-fi movie he stars in alongside Chloe Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber. “I’ve experienced blackouts and an earthquake,” he says. “The earthquake happened when I was 5 and lived in Seattle. I remember it pretty vividly, actually. The walls of the classroom were bending like a piece of paper.”
In the movie, he plays Ben, a popular jock Moretz’s character, Cassie, has a crush on. When it comes to the disasters and deadly attacks, Ben just can’t catch a break, but he preservers. “In the face of overwhelming odds and defeat, Ben finds redemption,” Robinson says. “He’s very relatable that way. Everyone is faced with problems they don’t think they can overcome. I can relate to Ben in that sense, too.”
At its heart, the movie is about who your instincts tell you to trust, something Robinson says is incredibly timely. “It’s the forefront of our national conversation right now, for better or for worse,” he says. “I read a poll recently where people from different generations were asked if people were trustworthy. Most people who were Baby Boomers or from Generation Y said yes, but only 20 percent of Millennials said people were trustworthy. It’s a depressing idea.”
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But Robinson had no problem trusting his cohorts on set, namely Liev Schreiber, who Robinson says became his on-set mentor. “There was one scene where he suggested I play it a bit more angry. It was something that hadn’t really crossed my mind before and it turned out to be the take they used,” Robinson says.
Off-set, he mainly palled around with the other young actors, like Alex Roe and Moretz, who he says is from Atlanta, where they filmed, and knew all the fun hangouts. “She also had a Jacuzzi, which was a perk. We put that to good use,” he says.
But for a sci-fi lover like Robinson, who also starred in last summer’s hugely successful “Jurassic World,” play bled into work for the duration of his time filming. “I love how sci-fi allows you to explore some ideas and concepts that haven’t been invented yet,” he says. “But it’s not fantasy. It’s rooted in reality and that’s what I think makes it so interesting.”
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