Kenneth Branagh

Disney’s Artemis Fowl is coming out just in time for the holidays, directed by world famous Kenneth Branagh. He has worked long and hard on this project, which is an adaptation of author Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl’s children series.

Branagh, being an all-inclusive director – who works intensely with his young cast of child actors and teaches them skills they are unlikely to learn elsewhere – gave the best advice to his young actors. The advice was to “ignore Harry Potter”.

It is very easy for an actor, especially when young, to get caught up in what they think ‘may be expected’ of them. But the director wanted his actors, mostly relative newcomers, to have fun, be themselves and not get worked up.

How does Kenneth Branagh put his actors at ease?

Nerves can be difficult, but the important thing in a film that is aimed at young people is to be young. Be yourselves, get caught up in the amounts, be in the here and the now, and ignore the pressure, is what Branagh tells his young lot.

Harry Potter had such a huge impact on the young and teen audiences, and adults, that it is obvious for people to compare the Artemis Fowl adaptation to the Harry Potter adaptation. Will it be as good? Will it be as magical?  Will there be sequels?

“Ignore it all,” says Branagh.

The young child artistes in Artemis Fowl have apparently done a sterling job. No actor can act alone. They work with a director, and in this case, the kids are extremely lucky to have Kenneth Branagh. He is more than delighted with his choice of young actors for his film, and says that the kids he is working with are exactly as he had hoped they would be.

Ferdia Shaw is Artemis Fowl and Branagh could not be happier.

“We wanted to find someone, if we could, who was Irish, because we’re trying to allow that to be a distinctive flavour here,” he said about Shaw. “And then we needed to find somebody who was not going to be overwhelmed or intimidated, who could see it for the beautiful opportunity it is and the fun that it is… He had the combination of that.”