Video Interviews

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Cast on Staying True to the Books

The stars and creators talk about the casting and audition process, the chemistry on set, and how they reinterpreted their characters for the show.

by | December 20, 2023 | Comments

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Back in 2010, we got the first of two films adapted from the popular young adult fantasy book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but neither of them was particularly well received. Fast-forward more than a decade later, and Disney hopes to right those missteps with a much more faithful adaptation of the novels in TV series form.

Ahead of the streaming premiere of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, RT correspondent Perri Nemiroff sat down with stars Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries, and Aryan Simhadri, as well as co-creator Jon Steinberg and executive producer Dan Shotz, to talk about the show. They detailed what specific elements from the book they brought to the show along, described what unique spin they gave their characters, dished on the audition process, and more.

Perri Nemiroff for Rotten Tomatoes: Walker, you’re getting my first two questions here about the audition process, because I read that [author and series co-creator Rick Riordan] was really blown away by your tapes. So what were your top priorities when making them, the things you wanted to do to make sure you set yourself apart from everyone else auditioning for the role?

Walker Scobell: I think a sense of humor kind of came naturally to me because I feel like we have a very similar sense of humor. It was a very long audition process. I auditioned back in January, 2021 when I was filming The Adam Project, and then I got pinned in February, and I didn’t hear back from them all the way until August or September or something, And then I did two callbacks, and then in the next January, Rick called me and told me I got the part.

RT: A long audition process is always a good sign.

Scobel: Exactly.

Walker Scobell, Leah Jeffries, and Aryan Simhadri in Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023)

(Photo by Disney+)

RT: All right, I’m putting you on the spot with this second audition question, because I read that after you got the part, you were able to do chemistry reads with the actors testing for Annabeth and Grover. So I want to know, with these two, when you met them for the first time, what struck you about them that maybe made you think, “Yes, these are the perfect fits for these roles”?

Scobell: With Leah, it was automatic. I knew she was going to be Annabeth. She’s amazing.

Leah Jeffries: Thank you.

Scobell: Aryan, on the other hand…

Aryan Simhadri: I really had to prove myself there.

Scobell: I don’t think he ever did prove himself.

Simhadri: Oh, okay. This is the first time I’m hearing this.

Scobell: Yeah, I mean…

Simhadri: I didn’t know you felt like that.

Scobell: He really tried. That’s the most important part. He tried.

Watch the video for the full interview with Walker Scobell, Leah Jeffries, Aryan Simhadri, Jon Steinberg, and Dan Shotz.

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