Some of the most fun we have on these trips is interviewing the talent. Wes Bentley is the nicest man and we had a great time learning about lumbering and what it was like working on Pete’s Dragon. Disney brought me out on an all expense paid trip to bring you this fun interview with the handsome and talented Mr. Wes Bentley. So check out the 5 fun facts heard at my interview with Wes Bentley.
Did you have to convince them you could be a Disney Dad? Sidenote: He plays some bad characters on other shows such as American Horror Gothic.
I was asked to be a part of the film. He (David Lowry director) wanted me to be in this. I had to convince them I could play a nice Disney dad. It was the direction I wanted to head and what I wanted to do. I was excited to be a part of it. I’ve been a huge Disney fan since I was a kid. I have young kids and I wanted them to see me in something while they’re still young.
Wes plays bad guys a lot of the time. The transtion to a nice guy wasn’t too difficult. I am a nice guy! Really I am. There are things about me like the eyebrows that give me the appearance I guess of being a bad guy. So I had to make sure my face show my inner feelings. People would ask, “What are you angry about?” I’m not I’m thinking about cotton candy and lollipops.
On letting his kids watch the older Pete’s Dragon first?
I wanted my children to see this movie before seeing the older Pete’s Dragon. The difference in animation makes it harder for them to lock in on it. So I wanted them to experience this movie with me being in it and them remembering us being on set in New Zealand. Later I’ll introduce them to the original Pete’s Dragon.
On working in New Zealand and researching the lumber industry
New Zealand is the gem of the world. I had a fabulous time exploring New Zealand on break and bringing my kids to explore there too.
He did research about what kinds of trees are used in lumbering. How the felling of the trees is an environmental impact to each area. He was aware of the dichotomy between his character and Bryce’s characters dilemma. She’s against felling trees for environmental reasons and that’s his family business. Lumber in New Zealand is a major export. So we shot on these tree farms. We’d go through these whole sections of felled trees and once their down they can’t regrow them there for a really long time like a decade. You know the trees are going to something useful. But there’s just this empty space left there. We use so much of those trees. It’s a legitimate industry and it’s a hard balance in the end. Can we do it responsibly? I learned that they can and they’re doing it better than they used too.
On Robert Redford and acting
Robert Redford lets the scene dictate the moment. He’s so effortless. He’s a great actor and he knows the difference and it was amazing to watch him do that. It’s like the older film making school. The new generation of actors doesn’t know the difference. When to make an impression on the scene and when to let the scene be what it is. They know the craft of their work. They learned the craft and know when to make an impression on the scene and when to let it be.
On his favorite memory from the movie
His favorite part of the movie was sitting on the dragon with Bryce. We just had a fun day. Being on this pretend dragon, feeling the wind in my hair, and just having fun. She (Bryce) said the same thing.
Pete’s Dragon is in theaters now!
Genre: Live Action
U.S. Release date: August 12, 2016
Running time: TBD
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban,
Oona Laurence, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. and Robert Redford
Director: David Lowery
Screenplay by: David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks
Based on a screenplay by: Malcolm Marmorstein
Producer: Jim Whitaker
Executive Producer: Barrie M. Osborne
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”), Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (“Cedar Rapids”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein and produced by Jim Whitaker (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliot. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
Let’s get social with Pete’s Dragon.
Check out my other Pete’s Dragon posts!
Make sure you check out my other posts before you go! Pete’s Dragon trailers and my trip itinerary, coloring sheets, and mazes, dot to dot and other fun printable sheets My red Carpet experience and my movie review too! My Bryce Dallas Howard interview too!