During the filming of the new supernatural drama Beautiful Creatures, Screen Rant visited one of the movie’s sets in Louisiana to watch a pivotal scene being filmed. During that visit, we chatted with some of the stars of the new film about its themes and why this movie is different than anything you’ve seen before.
The film is based on the first in a series of books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and was directed by Richard LaGravenese (Freedom Writers). Arriving in theaters on February 13th 2013, the supernatural drama features a strong cast – including Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson– and a story about adolescent romance that could bring young people to the theater in droves.
The star of the film is Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro), who plays idealistic teenager Ethan Wate. Early on in the story, Wate begins dreaming about a mysterious woman coming into his life. When Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the young woman from his dreams, arrives in town, he becomes intrigued by her and quickly realizes that she has supernatural abilities that make her an outcast in the local community. Ehrenreich, who previously starred in Tetro (2009), told us what he liked about the script:
My character. I think that within the first five pages, I wanted to do the movie and it was because of my character…Richard [LaGravenese] has a really great understanding and a great knowledge of film in general and I felt a lot of the older films that I’d grown up with, I felt that Ethan was a character out of some of those older films. And I liked this kind of Jimmy Stewart like get out of here and fight for it [attitude] – that’s the kind of element to it and that’s definitely why I wanted to do it. I just had that thing where you feel good and you just get it – you get who the guy is.
In the story, Wate eventually becomes romantically involved with Duchannes even as others warn him against it. He meets her entire family and realizes that she will soon be claimed by either good forces (the light) or evil ones (the dark). While Lena’s Aunt Del (Margo Martindale) hopes that Lena will go to the light, others including Del’s mischievous daughter Ridley (Emmy Rossum) hope that Lena becomes an agent of the dark. On set, Martindale described her character’s relationship with her wayward daughter:
She’s not really in my world much anymore. She’s really gone down her own path… She comes to visit and it’s ‘Oh dear! What kind of trouble is she going to bring?’ She’s like a child that went down the wrong path.
Of course, the movie is about more than supernatural occurrences and one girl’s future. Like in the Twilight series, some of the major events in the story speak to the growing pains and adolescent anxieties that young people often face. Englert, whose character is torn between between members of her family and unsure about her feelings for Wate, knows these themes too well. Englert spoke about such conflicts with us:
For a supernatural film, I think it’s so much about people. It’s so much about humans. We’ve spoken about everything from that first love to bodily functions, and where that is represented in this story. And I think that every child grows up with the ideas that… what we our given is our society. Education and the mother and father – they tell you ‘this is how it is,’ but then you hit adolescence and you think, ‘Is it? Why? Why is it like that?’ And sometimes that questioning leads to something more. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, we do just continue these cycles.
For those who think that the story sounds familiar and that the film is trying to become the new Twilight, Rossum explained why this movie is unique and why viewers should watch out for it when it arrives in theater next spring:
I think that this one is special because – and I’m sure everyone’s gonna say that about their project – but ours really is because Richard has a visual vision… I’m just gonna go with that. And with Philippe Rousselot [the director of photography], I mean they’ve really created a world that looks different than any other world that’s out there. It doesn’t look like ‘Twilight,’ it doesn’t look like ‘Hunger Games,’ it doesn’t look like any of that stuff. It’s very much based in this Southern gothic world, but it has a sense of magic and also kind of a nod of the head to high couture fashion and also a nod of the head to old paintings and things that he’s pulling on in that way. So I think there’s really a sophistication and a way that he’s adapted the material that’s gonna make it quite visually different. And film is a visual medium, so I think it’ll be good.
Beautiful Creatures arrives in theaters on February 13th, 2013.