Isaac Hempstead-Wright made his San Diego Comic-Con debut in 2014 not for “Game of Thrones,” but for his Focus Features new animated film “The Boxtrolls.” In the adaptation of the Alan Snow novel “Here Be Monsters!,” Hempstead-Wright plays an orphaned boy named Eggs who is taken in by cave-dwelling monsters the Boxtrolls.
“It’s nice to do something that my friends can actually watch for once,” Hempstead-Wright tells Zap2it of his saying “yes” to the project. “It wasn’t really a matter of me choosing it. When they offered to do it after an audition, it was like, ‘Yes,’ jumping on the opportunity.”
Hempstead-Wright was joined by co-stars Elle Fanning and Ben Kingsley on the film’s Hall H panel, which he describes as a scary experience. “It was terrifying looking out at a sea of people expecting something interesting to come out of your mouth and silence just came out,” the 15-year-old Brit says with a laugh. “But it was fun. It was cool.”
This is Hempstead-Wright’s first animated film after starring in other live action movies like “The Awakening” and “Closed Circuit.” “It’s really different, and it’s a strange process compared to regular or live action stuff, but it was fun. I enjoyed it a lot,” he says. “All I had to do was listen to [the directors and animators] and it would go fine.”
It’s easy to see a bit of Bran Stark in Hempstead-Wright’s character Eggs, as they’re both separated from their families and forced to ally themselves with strangers for the land’s greater good. “They’re both sort of natural leaders, because Eggs ends up leading the Boxtrolls and Bran ends up leading his little troop of people,” Hempstead-Wright admits, though he jokes that Bran’s troop continues to get smaller.
For Hempstead-Wright, the biggest draw to “The Boxtrolls” is its gorgeous visual style. “You can pause it at any point in the film, and it would be a whole incredible painting you could have a look at and study in depth,” he says of why he would tell his friends to watch the movie. “I think it’s really looking at all the details and enjoying all the detail that’s important.”
“The Boxtrolls” premieres in theaters on Sept. 26, 2014.