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The Young Stars of Hoot Discuss the Family Friendly Film

Interview with Brie Larson, Logan Lerman and Cody Linley from Hoot

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The Young Stars of Hoot Discuss the Family Friendly Film

Brie Larson, Logan Lerman and Cody Linley pose with Hoot books.

© New Line Cinema
Hoot - The Story: Based on Carl Hiassen's critically acclaimed bestselling book, Hoot is the story of three friends who wage war against Florida land developers in a battle to save some adorable - and endangered - owls.

Auditioning for Hoot: Brie Larson had an ‘in’ because she’s worked with, and is friends with, writer/director Wil Shriner. “I had known Wil for many years. We go to each other’s Christmas parties. He’s a main staple in my life and I went to audition for the movie. I felt I was so wrong for Beatrice. I felt I was wasting everybody’s time. I just wanted to see Wil. I ended up going and auditioning. I knew he was going to see the tape that day so I left a message. ‘Hi, Wil. I love you,’ and they [the boys] make fun of me all the time. They know why I got the job.”

Despite her friendship with Shriner, Larson wasn’t sure she’d get the role. “Being a fan of the book it just seemed so beyond myself to be able to play that character,” explained Larson. “It seemed like such a huge honor. I’m a very big Carl Hiaasen fan, just as a person and an author. It’s an awesome opportunity and you don’t think it could ever possibly happen to you because I’m just a kid.”

The Burrowing Owls of Hoot: Larson said, “I read the book a few years prior and I loved the book but thought those owls were fictional.” Logan had the same response as most people to learning there are owls who live in burrows underground. “Owls living in the ground? No way.”

The young actors really came to appreciate the animal stars of Hoot. “The movie adopted three of them,” said Larson. Logan Lerman added, “We named them Wil, Carl and Jimmy (after writer/director Wil Shriner, writer Carl Hiaasen and producer Jimmy Buffett) They’re great owls. I got to hold Wil. He didn’t like me but they’re really cute. It kept trying to fly away.”

Brie Larson taped Lerman’s misadventures with Wil the owl, not Wil the writer/director. “I got it all on film. They gave us little video cameras so the first time we saw the owls, we got our video cameras out and were filming ourselves with the owls.”

Fun on the Set of Hoot: “When you are working together you can’t be uptight and work 24-7. We had a good time on set fooling around,” said Lerman. Cody Linley agreed. “We had a blast on and off set. We had a rec room, which was two hotel rooms connected to each other in the hotel we were staying at that had a TV and games. We all play guitar so we’d make up this game where you made up a song.”

It Wasn’t All Fun and Games: Hoot was shot during hurricane season and the set didn’t escape from being hit. Lerman recalls the extreme Florida weather, something he wasn’t used to at all. “I’m an L.A. kid so I’m not used to that extreme weather. Even when I first got there it would be like pouring rain for like 10 minutes and then just stop. We went through Katrina, which was incredible. It really wasn’t that bad but, to us, it seemed so scary. “

Brie Larson added, “It was a Category One by then. I remember getting a phone call at six in the morning, and I’m like a noon sleeper. That was insane. Someone said we had to switch hotels and I was like, ‘No thanks,’ click. They called again. ‘You really need to go.’ I had people banging on my door because they wanted to tape it up.

We were staying at this amazing hotel, the Marriott Harbor Beach, which is right on the ocean. We loved it very much but it was unsafe so me and Cody had to move to some other hotel. They’re like, ‘It’ll be so safe there.’ So we packed up and went to the grocery store and got all these snack foods and got candles and flashlights. We set our stuff down and the second we sat it down, all these alarms went off. ‘There’s a fire in the building. Can you please exit?’ We brought all our guitars and everything with us, so we had to carry our suitcases and guitars down like 13 flights of stairs. It seemed really nice being on the top floor in the suite until we had to walk down all those stairs. Suddenly, not so great,” laughed Larson.

Meanwhile Logan Lerman was in a different hotel. “I liked the hotel I was in. Most of the time I was sitting down in my room talking to friends and I opened the window and there’s a huge hurricane out there - and it was crazy! My mom and I were in shock because people were surfing during the hurricane. I wanted to yell to them get out of there. My mom is like yelling. They’re not listening. We were, ‘Okay, we’re not going to look.’ We didn’t want to see anybody get horribly injured.”

Page 2: On Luke Wilson and the Music of Hoot

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