Published on July 27th, 2008 | by gareth0
Matt Lanter Talks Star Wars: The Clone Wars and War Games: The Dead Code
Recently, I got the chance to speak with actor Matt Lanter about his upcoming films. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Wargames: The Dead Code”. I found Matt to be a very charming and intelligent individual and despite being tired from the whirlwind schedule of Comic Con he really went into great detail about his work and it was clear that this is a talent on the rise. I want to thank Matt for taking time from his busy schedule and Comic Con for taking the time to speak with me.
GVK: How has your day been?
ML: Crazy, there was a pile up on the highway and it took us almost six hours to get from L.A. to San Diego for the convention.
GVK: What attracted you to “Wargames”
ML: I had auditioned for the Director Stuart Gillard and some of the producers at MGM for a project prior to Wargames and had since wanted to work together. When Wargames: The Dead Code, came along they already knew they wanted me for the role. It sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun to shoot and I was excited to become part of the franchise.
GVK: What sort of research did you do prior to filming and how did you prepare for the physical nature of the film?
ML:I tried to research and gain as much knowledge as I could before we starting shooting. I did a good bit of online research as well as reading “The Art of Intrusion” by Kevin Mitnick, which provided some real life stories of hacking at it’s extreme. I also referenced the original film several times during filming. I wanted to make sure I paid homage to some of the things that Matthew Broderick did, such as the scene where he uses the soda can tab to make the phone call. Our version was slightly different to fit with the present day payphones, but nonetheless, it was done in the same style. As for the physical stuff, I grew up an athlete and I try to get to the gym to shape, so it wasn’t that tough for me.
GVK: What drew you to acting, and what was your big break?
ML: I moved to L.A. and about 6 months later, I was cast on the show Commander in Chief with Geena Davis. The show premiered to an audience of roughly 18 million. I would say that was my big break in being seen on a large scale. The show was canceled after the first season but the exposure was really great and my career started to pick up from there.
GVK: What were some of the stand out moments you had while filming War Games?
ML: The freezing temperatures! Several scenes were filmed outside in below zero weather on top of 14-16 hour days, some of which actually had to be reshot because we were literally having a hard time functioning. Continuity was also an issue with the weather, for example, the scene where Will and Annie are outside of the cyber café, had to be reshot because it started to snow halfway through filming it. It was so bitter cold, they had provided us with heated tents for us to thaw out in between takes. I also enjoyed shooting the scenes in Will’s room partly because of the props and fantastic art direction, which was filled with items thought to be realistically affordable to a teenager like Will, but also in part because of the witty dialogue with fellow actor Nicholas Wright. He’s very talented and we had a great time bouncing some of the quick banter and improvisation off one another.
GVK: Are you a tech head or gamer in real life and what do you like to do in your spare time?
ML: I actually am a bit of a tech head. I love gadgets and electronics. I’m not a whiz by any means, but I do like to visit the websites like Gizmodo.com and Engadget.com fairly often. I guess I would consider myself a gamer and even take my PS3 with me when I shoot on location. I am addicted to Call of Duty 4 and have been playing a lot of Lego Star Wars lately. I also have a Wii and a couple of Apple computers and I’ll take my PSP with me while I’m filming.
GVK: Was there anything that was cut from the film that you wish had remained in?
ML: We filmed the movie a couple of years back but as far as my memory goes, there were no major deleted scenes. What was shot is in the film.
GVK: You will be voicing Anakin Skywalker in the new Star Wars movie and television series, what can you tell the readers about what they can look forward to and how you got the part?
ML: I did an audition and what I was told was very generic. I was told the character was called Starkiller and that he was a mix of a Han Solo and Luke Skywalker type. It was only after the audition, when I was given the part, did I learn that it was for Star Wars and Anakin. This will be a very different Anakin than fans are used to because this is before he really started the dark spiral that was in the films. Anakin is much more of a leader and hero in the film as well as a mentor and friend who is a very likeable individual. I think the audience will see Anakin in a new light, which is what George Lucas wanted to show originally, the tragic fall of a true hero. The animation also looks great as well and while I am not sure how long the series will go, we will see shades of Anakin’s dark side emerge as the series progresses.