Isla Nublar has changed a lot since when Jurassic Park was first built 22 years ago. Now more than two decades later with a brand-new dinosaur theme park, times are just as tough off the coast of Costa Rica as ever. After years of operation, the impressive prehistoric animals they did have were losing their luster, and they needed a sparkly new attraction. Cue in a genetically-modified dinosaur hybrid that didn't exactly work out. You'd think they would learn by now, right?
Nick Robinson landed the role of Zach in Jurassic World, and getting to take part in a legendary story that has been unfolding since Jurassic Park first came out in 1993 is just as epic as you'd think. When we caught up with the 20-year-old at the very fitting Evolution Store in New York City, we quickly learned just how special this flick is. And also how terrifying.
We're sure the question "Where were you when you first watched Jurassic Park?" pops up a lot in this actor's interviews, but we're sure the then-wide-eyed kid watching with his family had no idea he would be filming the fourth installment years later. "I grew up with the movies—they were always around the house. They're considered a standard by now. I have a very specific memory of going on a family reunion to Lake Roosevelt in Washington, and it was on in the living room. For some reason me watching Jurassic at that cabin is still very vivid," he says.
Nick admits he wasn't dinosaur-obsessed growing up like the rest of the kids in his class, but the thought of the prehistoric animals still amazes him. "It's funny. It's crazy to think that they really existed. There's all this stuff with Game of Thrones and dragons and stuff, but we actually did have something similar millions of years ago," he says. Lucky for him, he got to experience them firsthand. Well, kinda.
Being in a film that boasts dinos the size of a house seems a little scary, but know what's not? Tennis balls and light bulbs. Funny enough, Nick saw more of those completely random, everyday items more than he saw scaly beasts. "The special effects varied quite a bit. Sometimes it would be a light bulb perched up on a pole, sometimes it would be one of our cameramen holding a tennis ball. Sometimes it would be a piece of tape, or even real people," he says. Then things got extra creative. "For the Raptors, they had a crew of dancers who came in and mimicked the movements. They had hats on that were supposed to look like the dinosaurs' heads. That was probably the coolest. But in the end, seeing a tennis ball turn into a 30-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex was something else.
To make the environment as realistic as possible to lend home to the massive dinosaurs, the cast and crew had a few different stops, some being the same as the original films' locations. First up was Hawaii, where Nick definitely took advantage of his free time. "Filming in such a beautiful location was a really difficult job," he teases. "We started in Oahu, and our first month or so of filming, Ty Simpkins [his little brother in the film] and I only worked eight days so we got to explore the island and the culture. We went scuba diving and snorkeling, and I rented a moped. It was really against our insurance policy. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a summer.
Next up was filming in Kauai "to get the real jungle," then it was off to the final stop in New Orleans. "I tried to explore the city as much as possible. I would go to the French Quarter, the Bywater, to the swamps. It was funny—I was watching True Detective at the same time coincidentally and I got into the whole vibe of the city and the bayou and Creole culture," he says.
Being surrounded by a beautiful backdrop wasn't the only memorable part of working on this film—his co-stars played a big role, too. "Chris Pratt is great. He's a really authentic guy—what you see is what you get," he says. "He's also one of the funniest people I've ever met. I can't keep up with him. As far as improv goes, he's the champion—you just want to sit back and watch him go."
Now with the release of the film in just hours, Nick is already thinking about his next big career move. It might surprise some (and not-so-much others), but this kid's going to college this fall. After such a huge film on his résumé, the industry is probably expecting him to jump right into the next one, but not until he crosses a big goal off his to-do list.
"I'm still not sure what I want to do, but I just got my class schedule and everything—it's all locked in," he says. "It takes a semester at least to get adjusted, but then I should be able to balance acting and school. It was always an expectation, and I've always wanted to go to college, so I'm taking some time to go have fun at NYU in New York. Right now my class schedule is interdisciplinary seminars, but then cinema studies and psych and things like that."
Until he makes his way to the east coast to get a diploma, it's time for a little R&R. And the one place you can find him? Most likely spending quality time with friends before his schedule fills up again. "I went up to the Redwoods to go camping recently—we just hiked around. It was beautiful," he says. "The last day, the ranger told us there was a big black bear up the road that they were moving into another location. Luckily I've had a lot of practice—give me a black bear over a Velociraptor any day."
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- ^ Evolution Store (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ Get to Know the Actors Who Scored Gigs in This Year's Most Highly Anticipated Films (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ It's Girls' Night, and These Are the Chick Flicks You Need to Be Watching (www.teenvogue.com)
- ^ 5 High School Movies You Have to Watch ASAP (www.teenvogue.com)
Source : http://www.teenvogue.com/entertainment/movies/2015-06/nick-robinson-jurassic-world-interview
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