Game Of Thrones actor, ISAAC HEMPSTEAD WRIGHT, is extending his repertoire with voice acting in THE BOXTROLLS.

If you’ve seen Game Of Thrones , you’ll no doubt recognise fifteen-year-old Isaac Hempstead Wright for his standout performance as perennially-in-peril youngster, Brandon Stark. Recently, Hempstead Wright has delved into voice acting, and tells FilmInk that he was excited to take the lead in the stop-motion animated adventure-comedy, The Boxtrolls. “It certainly is one of the more light-hearted things that I’ve done,” Hempstead Wright notes. Due to the adult themes in Game Of Thrones, the actor’s equally under-age friends aren’t allowed to check out his performance in the fantasy-drama. The young actor tells us that it’s nice to star in a project that his friends are allowed to see. “It’s a really little, cohesive, fun little story, and the Boxtrolls are cute,” Hempstead Wright says.

Based on the children’s novel, Here Be Monsters!, The Boxtrolls features the vocal stylings of up and coming actress, Elle Fanning, and legendary stars, Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, and Nick Frost. The story centres on a young orphan boy named Eggs (Hempstead Wright) and his quest to protect a group of underground cave-dwelling creatures from extermination. Hempstead Wright tells us that the film hones in on one particular set of characters and storyline from the original book. “What the film’s trying to do is sum up this world in an hour and a half, and there’d be no way to feature all these different storylines and fantastical creatures in that time,” the young thesp explains.

Taking a personal interest in the story’s production, Hempstead Wright stepped out of the recording studio to take a trip down to Laika Studios, the animation production house behind Coraline and ParaNorman. It was there that he was able to observe all the finer details that go into animating the film. “They put so much effort into every detail,” Hempstead Wright says. “It’s so easy to gloss over it, but when you look at it and you point it out, you realise that it’s an incredibly time consuming process.”

The young actor also notes that animation has several key differences to live action. Turning up to an air conditioned studio, Hempstead Wright was comfortably able to record his voice for the film. The only disadvantage, he claims, is the environment. “You’re somewhat removed from what the actual characters are going through,” he says. “On the other hand, in live action, your voice is only 40-50% of the actual final performance, whereas in animation, it’s 100% your voice, which is very different.”In spite of the detached production process, Hempstead Wright was fortunate enough to have recording sessions alongside Kingsley, Pegg, and co-star, Elle Fanning. He mentions that he was filmed whilst doing his voice work, allowing the studio to base Eggs’ facial characteristics on his. “The animation process is unique to Laika,” he explains. “They have a cutting edge 3-D printing set-up which prints in colour, and they’ll paint the video of the actor doing their lines, and study exactly how the mouth moves, and all the little nuances.”

Hempstead Wright jokes that there were multiple takes of certain scenes as his “voice dropped” throughout the shooting process. “It wasn’t as if we were re-doing the film all over again. It was a fun process, and a very exciting thing to be able to do,” he laughs. And as far as preparation is concerned, Hempstead Wright says that it wasn’t too time consuming. “I didn’t think deeply about any preparation, just because the directors were truly excellent at being able to do that all for me, if you
will,” he says. “I would come into the studio, and they’d know exactly what the character was thinking, and how it would be reflected in the voice. They were great at communicating that to me easily.”

But it’s all exciting work for Hempstead Wright, whose career is the result of a happy accident. He was looking for a Saturday morning pastime after finding football to be “too cold” during the winter months. By a stroke of luck, Game Of Thrones was conducting an open casting in his area, and after being sent by his drama teacher for an audition, Hempstead Wright landed the role of Brandon Stark. “We had absolutely no idea what Game Of Thrones would become in any way whatsoever,” he says. “It was just thoroughly exciting to say that I’m in a TV show.”

Still, for Hempstead Wright, the fame hasn’t changed his home life too much. Normal activities such as hanging with his friends, playing video games, and school are still on the agenda, at least until he returns to play Brandon Stark in a role that he refers to as a “bizarre other life.”

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