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Artemis Fowl, the long-awaited Disney film based on the children’s novel by popular writer Eoin Colfer, is finally set to head to Disney+ this month. It’s been a long time between production and putting the film in front of audiences, but there should be a lot to look forward to, including a crazy scene with mopeds shot in Vietnam. It just so happens to be the first big scene actor Nonso Anozie shot for Artemis Fowl and also a memorable one because it was so "crazy."
Playing Butler, a character from the Colfer novels, Nonso Anozie and co-star Ferdia Shaw shot a wild chase scene in Vietnam. During a visit to the set of Artemis Fowl in London, the former Game of Thrones and Zoo actor talked about how stressful but seemingly rewarding both the stunt work and the setting were just to create the shot.
I dunno if it was the time of year because it was summertime and it was really hot. There was kind of a smog so it was really brutal at the time, so that was hard to deal with. It was a real kind of guerrilla-style filming, grabbing shots where we could, running down busy market streets and they’re not extras. That’s a real market street, so you can’t really – people will be looking at the camera and then you have to start again. Then we did a scene where I’m riding on a moped through genuine Vietnam traffic, which I had to train for. Having Artemis on my back – obviously having the star of the movie on your back – but you’ve got hundreds of other mopeds around you and you have to negotiate that with a camera following. And that was probably the most crazy thing I’ve done on a movie.
Talking to veteran actor Nonso Anozie on the set of Artemis Fowl when the movie was still in production, the actor also revealed the scene in question was “the first thing” he shot, as the Vietnam scenes happened while the film was still gearing up for the major production.
Our conversation was in the large house Disney built near a soundstage where a good chunk of this first movie was set. The English manner was a far cry from the Vietnam setting the actor described to CinemaBlend and other reporters, but the extra effort to place the scene in the correct setting should hopefully pay off. From the early looks at the movie’s opener shown in the trailer for the film, which highlight the urban look of the Vietnam scenes, it should stand out amongst settings like Fowl Manor and the Lower Elements.
Along with Nonso Anozie playing Butler, Ferdia Shaw plays the titular character and Colin Farrell is on board as the patriarch of the Fowl clan. The mystery of what happened to Artemis Fowl's father is central to the story, but you can see more of the relationship dynamic between the two characters in the exclusive clip, below.
Still, I can imagine having Ferdia Shaw -- who is both a young man and also the lead in the movie -- on your back could be a bit nerve-wracking, even if you’ve training for the moped scene prior to filming it. While Nonso Anozie called it “the most crazy thing” he’s ever shot for a movie, it actually seems as if he rolled his sleeves up quite often during the making of Artemis Fowl. In fact, the actor spent months in training for another scene he joked ended up only lasting “15 seconds.”
We trained for quite a long period. Doing a lot of fitness training, physical training. We trained for a month and a half before we started shooting. I dunno if you saw the Kendo fight, if you’ve seen any of that, but there’s a Kendo fight with Juliette Butler and I training at the beginning. It’s very much a tradition that [our characters] pass down to the next generation and she’s going to be the next Butler so I’m training her in self defense and martial arts. We had to train for that for what felt like a millennia to shoot something that only lasts 15 seconds. But that’s the level of dedication everyone is putting into this.
We’ll have to wait and see how all of Nonso Anozie’s stuntwork ultimately ends up paying off, but luckily, there’s not too much longer until Artemis Fowl officially hits Disney+. The upcoming flick will be available to watch streaming starting on June 12. If you don’t already have a Disney+ account yet, the subscription streamer is still running a 7-day trial available now.