Consider this Minnesota native the new "it" boy in Hollywood. Garrett Hedlund will soon be making headlines with his co-starring role inTron: Legacy. Hedlund plays Sam Flynn, who is the son of computer genius Kevin Flynn, a role reprised by Oscar winner Jeff Bridges. We sat with the shy, incredibly humble star to talk about all things Tron—from his Capoeira training sessions to working with Bridges to his adventurous days growing up on a farm.
Fandango: Tron: Legacy is one of your biggest movies to date. How did it all happen?
Garrett Hedlund: I did the test read with Olivia [Wilde] for Disney. After a couple of weeks, I went to lunch with Jeff Bridges, Joseph Kosinski and Sean Bailey, and after that lunch, I had a follow-up meeting where Sean and Joseph said, "Welcome." It was like, "All right, so when do we start?" The first of January, we started with the Capoeira and motorcycle training.
Fandango: Walk us through the father and son relationship in the film.
Hedlund: My character Sam Flynn has lived a sort of reclusive life and is haunted by the disappearance of his father over 20 years ago, and he doesn't know what to make of it. As he tries to survive life, he turns himself away from ENCOM and the money. He lets go of that search for his father, or waiting for the phone to ring. The grid world is such a mythological thing to Sam. It's a bedtime story, so the thought of his father being there, it's a "yeah, right." But when he finds out that he exists and finds himself in this terrain of the unknown, he then has to put the pieces together.
Fandango: What goal did you have in mind during filming?
Hedlund: I'm a fan of literature and I have always admired Joseph Campbell, and so the journey of the hero was kind of the [challenge]. I was always trying to perfect the journey of the hero.
Fandango: The world of Tron is so meticulously thought out, but you don't get to see most of it when you're filming. Did that affect your performance?
Hedlund: It was kind of a parachute in a windy storm [but] you know [it's] going to land on a comfortable surface. When Joe showed me the video effects, they were things I had never seen before. There is this look to it...this darkness that's so appealing and unimaginable. In terms of the symmetry and the way everything looks, it's so cool. You can't help but go, "Man, Joe, you are such a badass."
For me, it was all about the adventure. I grew up on a farm and I was always running through the woods pretending something was chasing me. I built forts, and we had animals and guns, pistols, and rifles, and I would crawl around pretending the birds were the enemies. It's always about the game you're creating, so working with blue screens was a fun adventure. I don't think of it as a real difficult thing.
Fandango: What did you find most enjoyable about the project?
Hedlund: I was [very] satisfied with the genuine eagerness from [the cast and crew]. I've never experienced that on other films before. I was happy to work with Jeff Bridges on this, and Olivia Wilde whom I've known for years and years. We are now going through this big adventure together, which is very comfortable and fantastic. To be able to hang out with Olivia every day on the set…it's just such a great family. Steven Lisberger, the creator of the first Tron—he was a great person to have around as a creative consultant, and [he was a] motivator for me. He would feed me with tidbits [on how] to be the guy people will want to take this trip with...I'm excited to sit in the theater with my fellow cast mates and the ridiculous 3D goggles on [laughs]. We all worked so hard to see this project to completion.
More on TRON: Legacy? Try our Tron: Legacy Movie Guide. Also, be sure to check out our galleries of The Top 15 Movie Computer Geeks and The Best Video Game Movies!
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