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Wanted to give faithful adaptation to fans: Walker Scobell on playing Percy Jackson in new series

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New Delhi, Dec 27: There’s a hero’s journey in every story, says Walker Scobell who wanted to get it right with his iteration of Percy Jackson, the lead protagonist of author Rick Riordan’s famous novel series.
Scobell made a promising debut with Netflix’s “The Adam Project”, co-starring Ryan Reynolds and Mark Ruffalo, and now leads his own show, “Percy Jackson And The Olympians”, adapted from Riordan’s book series.
The 14-year-old actor plays the lead character, the son of Greek god Poseidon, who embarks on various quests to prevent disasters in both the mortal and mythical worlds. The character was earlier essayed by actor Logan Lerman in two feature films.
“There’s definitely some pressure from ourselves to try to get it right. And we didn’t want to let anyone down and give the fans a very faithful adaptation, give them what they deserve after so many years,” Scobell told PTI in a virtual interview.
“It’s based on lessons that you learn in real life. Everyone has a hero’s journey to some extent and I think every movie, every character has a hero’s journey. And Percy’s journey was very defined and I think it was really important to get that right,” he added.
“Percy Jackson And The Olympians”, which currently streams on Disney+ Hotstar, sees the titular hero journeying across America to return Zeus’ master bolt and stop an all-out war.
After losing his mother, Percy is sheltered at Camp Half-Blood, a sanctuary for demigod children. He must prove himself and confront his origins once he discovers he too is a demigod.
Scobell said he was excited to step in and play the iconic role as he is a fan of the books.
“We’re all pretty big fans before we even started filming. I read the books when I was in fifth grade,” he added.
In the series, Scobell is joined by actors Leah Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri as Percy’s friends Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood, respectively.
Jeffries, 14, said she was happy to have Riordan’s books for reference while she was playing Chase, who is the daughter of Greek goddess Athena and has been training at Camp Half-Blood for five years.
“Coming into playing Annabel, it wasn’t just like some new character. They’re making the show for the first time ever and it had a big backstory. They had movies made on it. So I feel like it was more of an excitement to know that many people have put themselves into this character. And now since I get to do it with a whole series for many years and be this character, I feel like it’s even better.
“So reading the books and watching the movies and seeing how the characters play out and how the chemistry is I definitely feel like that helped a lot with the series also,” she said.
Simhadri, a 17-year-old Indian-American actor, described Underwood as the “soul of the group”. In Riordan’s books, Underwood is Percy’s best friend and a satyr, a half human and half goat, who is disguised through magic as a 12-year-old boy.
“He tries to keep everything grounded and he’s very empathetic, which is very helpful when you’re dealing with characters like Percy and Annabeth, who really keep everything inside. He is able to have that connection and it was something that I talked to Walker and Leah about a lot,” he said. (PTI)

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