Lana Condor (Deadly Class), Keean Johnson (Nashville) and Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming) took some time to talk to us about working on Alita: Battle Angel and what it was like to connect with the character of Alita and working with an extraordinary world.
Screen Rant: First of all, your character Hugo is amazing and he's written so well. I think that with Alita, obviously she's a Cyborg, but it's your human interactions that really define her. Can you talk to me about the complexities of Hugo in Alita’s relationship?
Keean Johnson: Yeah, I mean, yeah, Hugo also, he’s been in this world, you know, since birth and he remembers everything and he remembers kind of how crappy this world has treated him. So there's a lot of like young teen anger, doesn't have a family. But he meets Alita and he sees this kind of innocence and he thinks that's something that he wants to protect and take care of. So through that, you know, he's, he's still doing things that he's not so proud of, but spending more time with her he realizes that maybe there's another way to ultimately find what he defines as happiness.
Screen Rant: Jorge, your character (Tanji) is not the biggest fan of Alita. Why is that?
Jorge Lendeborg, Jr.: Well, he understands the reason he is in the city of Iron City is partly due to her and the things that happened in the fall, which Alita although she doesn't remember it could very well be a part of it. So Tanji, he knows that maybe not directly, but through some degrees, the reason he's here is because of the technology that built Alita. So I feel like it's based on something that's honest and he feels like jaded for, for real reasons because it's not fair to him.
Screen Rant: Now Koyomi, she's a part of this group. Talk to me about her opinion on Alita.
Lana Condor: Oh, I think she loves her. I think she really likes her. I think that she was hoping for a friend, a female friend because it seems that I run with the guys. So all she wants to do is support Alita and encourage her and it's such a beautiful world, but it can be quite savage and I think that Koyomi just wanted to give her a piece of hope and just like you're doing okay. Like you're doing better than okay. So yeah, she's just there to support support.
Screen Rant: Visually this is one of the most stunning movies I've ever seen and the 3D is just so seamless. Everything looks brilliant. So out of curiosity, how much of that is practical and how much is that is in front of you because it's so much that you have to kind of imagine it's fantastical, but so much of it can be practical.
Lana Condor: Iron City was super practical because Robert Rodriguez built that in his backlot at Troublemaker. So the whole city is there. I think vehicles worked. Your (Jorge) motorcycle did not work, but it looked real. Here's the thing, things that were CG or things that were going to be digitized in some fashion they still very much looked really real. The filmmakers made it very easy to act, very easy because they set you down right into a real life city with people and all these things and so, you know, it actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was.
- Alita Battle Angel (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019