Chatting With The Cast & Director of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon!


Hey All!

I recently had the amazing opportunity to sit down and chat with the cast and Director of Disney’s upcoming film Pete’s Dragon. It’s a very different and unique adaptation of the classic half animated Disney film. The film stars Robert Redford (“Meacham”), Bryce Dallas Howard (“Grace”),  Oakes Fegley (“Pete”) and Oona Laurence (“Natalie”). It’s directed by David Lowery, who previously directed films like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which starred Casey Affleck. I was excited to sit down with them to chat about the film. I was most excited to meet the legendary Robert Redford. I was super nervous since he’s like one of the best actors and film makers to ever live! I was also extremely excited to chat with Bryce Dallas Howard, who I actually went to NYU with. I’m sure she wouldn’t remember me since she was an acting student and I was a film student, but we would always say hi to each other in passing and I would always geek out when her dad would come to visit her at school.


While chatting with each of these amazingly talented individuals about the film, we learned a few fun facts about the film that I thought we would share with you all today. We first chatted with Bryce, who has the most joyful and infectious laugh ever. It literally fills up a room and just makes you happy. You instantly want to be her best friend!


She shared Pete’s Dragon was one of her favorite movies as a child growing up. She goes to her dad ( Legendary Actor and Director Ron Howard) for advice and he gives the best advice about raising kids. Also while filming, she kept calling the dragon a dinosaur since she had just finished shooting Jurassic World. She loved shooting in New Zealand for this film and she’s happy she got the amazing opportunity to work with Robert Redford. She wants Robert to work with her on every movie she does for the rest of her career, that’s how much she loved working with him. She also loved working with the children on the set. She claims they actually helped make her performance better and she would go to them for acting advice while on the set. She said they were complete little professionals. She also joked about when they start shooting the next Jurassic movie, she’ll probably call the dinosaurs dragons. She’s so funny and again, I want to be her best friend!


We then chatted with Director David Lowery, who revealed he had originally only signed up to write Pete’s Dragon. He wasn’t supposed to direct it. He then realized he wanted to direct it when he found out they were looking for other directors and when Disney approached him to see if he would be interested in directing. That’s when he realized he had grown so attached to the film and story and that he couldn’t let anyone else direct it. He had to do it himself!

He also shared that he cast Oakes Fegley as Pete after he had him build a fort in the audition room. He just saw the playfulness and imagination that encompasses the character in Oakes and has that quality naturally.


When chatting with Oakes Fegley (“Pete”) and Oona Laurence (“Natalie”), we learned they did almost all their own stunts. They had stunt doubles, but they preferred to do everything themselves because the stunt work was so much fun to do. They also revealed how much of a dream come true it was to be in a Disney film for them and how much they’ve loved Disney films since they were kids. I thought that was hilarious because they kept saying when we were kids and I’m looking at them like “YOU ARE KIDS!” They are much too wise for their age. They also shared how their real friends don’t care that their in movies and they just think it’s cool that they get to be in these movies.

Lastly, we chatted with the one and only Robert Redford (“Meacham”). He shared that he wasn’t originally going to be in the film, because the thought the character (as it was written in the original script) didn’t fit him. They allowed him to come on and rework the character, so it was a character he wanted to play. He also revealed he only likes to do films now that allow him to build the character and have insight in the film. And being the half Cuban that I am, he shared a funny story about how he got smuggled into Cuba back in the day when Castro first came into power and stood there for a week just hanging out and vacationing. Because only Robert Redford is cool enough to do that! And when he came back to the USA, He almost got blacklisted since they thought he might be a communist supporter, which was a big no no at that time. Luckily he never got charged with anything and it didn’t end his career obviously!


He’s worked with a lot of child actors before and some of them he’s seen actually go onto become big stars like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He was in “River Runs Through It” as a 10-year-old. He loved working with the kids in this film and he shared he’s only ever interested in the kids and what their creating with him on films now. He never thinks about if the kids will grow up to be big stars.

Lastly, he revealed that he loved that his character in the film (who is Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters dad), is a great story teller who can capture the imagination of kids. He hopes this film will capture that magic of the imagination in kids today. I can’t tell you how incredibly nervous and in awe I was to be in the same room as Robert Redford. It was an incredible experience I will never forget.

Thanks to Disney for this incredible opportunity!

Also, I really enjoy this new film adaptation of Pete’s Dragon and I’ll share with you my complete thoughts of the film on Friday!

PETE’S DRAGON flies into theatres everywhere on August 12th!

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