Joe Cornish brings the mythology of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table back to big screens this weekend, but does it in a very clever fashion. Instead of plunging audiences back into a period adventure – as Guy Ritchie recently did with Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Cornish sets his action in a contemporary setting, casting young Louis Ashbourne Serkis as a descendent of Arthur who finds Excalibur, then has to assemble a new band of modern knights.
We recently had the chance to sit down with the cast of Joe Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King and discuss the personality traits that the actors most admire about the roles they are playing in the new film. Louis Ashbourne Serkis opened up about his heroic character Alex, a bullied teenager who has to find the leader inside of him to complete a difficult task. Serkis told CinemaBlend:
My favorite thing about Alex is that he doesn’t give up. When he has something in mind, he doesn’t give up, and he doesn’t stop until he has completed it.
There are a lot of obstacles thrown in Alex’s way over the course of The Kid Who Would Be King, so the character’s perseverance is a noble trait for Serkis to bring up. Sometimes, the obstacles are mystical in nature. Creatures on horseback wielding swords of fire. Other times, though, the obstacles are just simple teenage bullies who don’t believe in Alex, and want to keep him down.
Rhianna Dorris plays one of those bullies, Kaye, in the film. The actress, herself, is disarmingly sweet in person. You forget she plays a wicked kid on screen. When she reflected on Kaye, she told CinemanBlend:
My favorite thing about Kaye is her strength, but also her sensitivity. Because I think it’s really important to have that balance within a person. So that she can empathize with people and really do what’s right. Even though she’s a bully at the beginning of the film, we really see her development, and she becomes Lady Kaye.
There is a real transformation that happens over the course of The Kid Who Would Be King. A threat in the form of Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) emerges, and these innocent kids need to figure out how to work together to stop a centuries-old evil… even though they may not all get along in the first place.
Sir Patrick Stewart plays Merlin in Joe Cornish’s new film, and is able to step back and take a larger world-view snapshot of the importance of the roles in the movie. When asked what he found important about Merlin, he explained:
Mine would be that [Merlin] was doing what he did for other people. It was not about him. It was bringing benefits to someone else. That lay behind everything that he does. And that was important to me. Particularly because there will be a lot of young people seeing the film.
We hope. Yes, The Kid Who Would Be King delivers on the action/spectacle that comes with the fantasy genre. But there are excellent messages that kids can take away from the movie, not just the thrills. Here’s the cast breaking down all that they loved about getting to explore the characters in The Kid Who Would Be King.
Joe Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King is in theaters as we speak.