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'Ender's Game': Hailee Steinfeld talks films, video games

By John Gaudiosi

Video Game Reviews

7:30 AM EDT, November 2, 2013

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Back in 1985, bestselling author Orson Scott Card imagined much of the technology that exists today when writing "Ender's Game." While there's no alien invasion, at least not yet, tablets, touch screen computers and remote-controlled drones are all modern day mainstays. Hailee Steinfeld steps into the sci-fi world of "Ender's Game," the $100 million special effects-laden film that brings the first book to life on the big screen. She talks about the lure of the novel and how video games are influencing today's generation in this exclusive interview.

Q: Why has the story of "Ender's Game" been able to stand the test of time?

A: There are so many themes of leadership, compassion and all these traits within each character that call for confidence and independence and strength. Somewhere in the world, there's somebody experiencing some situation to some degree that has to do with handling it the way these characters do in the movie and I think that there is a strength in confidence within everybody. It's just a matter of finding it.

Q: What role did technology play in bringing these video game like Battle School sequences to life?

A: That was something that was really interesting to me, given we spent most of our time in front of a green screen with nothing around us. When we were on our practical sets in the bunk rooms, you'd go and get your flash suit, you press a button and it's there. All of that stuff was so interesting to me mainly because it was written almost 30 years ago and none of that stuff really existed then. Technology is something we rely so much on today that it's really sort of relatable and relevant.

Q: In what ways do you think video games have changed how kids interact with the world in terms of hand-eye coordination and the way that they think?

A: I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I could sort of assume how it's helped. Playing a video game is like putting yourself in a situation that's so extreme that you would never really find yourself actually doing, but you're still a part of it and you're interacting and you're trying to figure out how things are going to work and what's going to happen, when it's going to happen. Video games make you think in a different way and you use that when going about your everyday life.

Q: What would the "Ender's Game" video game be?

A: Oh, man. I don't know. It would be very much like the movie, I think. That's a tough question.

Q: What's your favorite memory from the making of the film?

Q: There was this one time where all of us were filming a scene where we're all jumping out of the gate into the Battle Room into zero gravity and the way they set it up was almost like a zip line. We all were on the same one, so that ended with all of us like colliding at the end of the zip line once we were all out of the gate. There were a bunch of us swaying, laughing, trying so hard to stay quiet until the last person got out. There was a lot of that happening. But there were so many moments that I remember that were fun.

Q: What's it like seeing the movie now in its completed phase from having been just on green screen?

A: It's so weird. It's so visually beautiful and the neat thing is having done it where we're 20 feet up in the air and Gavin (Hood), our director, is down on the ground with a microphone explaining what's happening and what's about to happen. When I watch the film, I hear him talking us through what's happening, and it's just brought to life and it's so beautiful and it's really amazing to see.

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