It’s not the first time that the fan-favorite ‘Percy Jackson’ series has been made from the page to the screen, but this new Disney+ series is looking to stay true to the details of the classic tale.
To discuss more on what die-hard and new fans can expect for ‘Percy Jackson & The Olympians’, Walker Scobell (Percy), Aryan Simhadri (Grover) and Leah Sava Jeffries (Annabeth) sat down to delve deeper into their characters and how close this new show will be to the books.
Walker, how did it feel for you to step into the role of Percy Jackson— was there a lot of pressure?
Walker: There’s certainly a lot of pressure going into it because it’s Percy Jackson, but I think it kind of got canceled out by the amount of support we had from the fans. That gave us all the confidence to push through that.
Aryan, how much fun was it for you to step into the role of a mythical character, Grover?
Aryan: It was awesome, there was a lot of wire work that I got to do, which was so much fun. There was this one scene—because Grover’s a goat from the waist down, he doesn’t move like a person does, and I’m coming back from The Council of Cloven Elders, and there’s a scene that we got to film where I’m leaping from rock to rock. I got to work with this stunt team outdoors in this beautiful forest, and I couldn’t have gotten to do that if I wasn’t Grover. It was so much fun.
Leah, what can you tell me about Annabeth and what she goes through throughout the show?
Leah: If you are a person who never wants people to see your sensitive side, then I feel like Annabeth is the person for you. Everyone has an emotional side to them, no one is just straightforward and no one is without any emotion, but really with her, she has a past to her…and that past is really deep. I feel like during this journey, because she’s been told to wait for a quest for so long and she’s been waiting and waiting, when Percy Jackson came to camp and chose her to go into the quest, it was a proud moment for her and this is just her time to shine really.
She didn’t say that, but definitely, that’s probably how she felt and that’s how I felt. With [her and] Percy, their relationship is an enemy type—almost like a sibling thing. But on top of that, I feel like it builds after the Tunnel of Love when Percy and Annabeth go through struggles, and it builds into the next season of more friendship between the trio as well.
What does this new rendition of Percy Jackson bring for die-hard fans, and also, new fans who are being introduced to the characters and the story?
Aryan: I think for diehard fans [of] the books, there’s a lot of Easter eggs in there for you, especially in those first couple of episodes when they premiere. There are so many things that are in the first season that kind of hint at appearances or new characters or adventures that these three go on. And also the benefit of it being a TV show is we had so much more time to flesh out these characters who are maybe not glanced over, but are kind of just taken at face value.
We get to bring them back and explore them a lot more, which is something that I, especially as a fan of the books myself, think all of us really appreciate. But there is something here for everyone, fans of the books or not…Greek mythology has always been for everybody.
Leah: I definitely feel like with the series we have a lot more detail, and that shows a lot. Walker was saying that we mentioned a lot of things from the book and even added to it. We definitely took the time to get [in] every detail as much and as possible as we can in this, and I think we succeeded at that.
So people who have read it and see the details are definitely going to love the series because of how much we added and how much the producers have done for this, how detailed they wrote the script with the words for us to say, and how the emotion is really added in the scenes.
Lastly, in a few words, how would each of you describe the series?
Leah: Coming of who you are.
Aryan: An epic quest.
‘Percy Jackson & The Olympians‘ debuts Dec. 20, on Disney+ with a two-episode premiere, followed by new episodes weekly.