The Young Stars of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon: Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence Interview
Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, opinions, experiences and character crushes are 100% my own!
Have you seen Pete’s Dragon yet? It’s in theaters now, and it’s such a fantastic film. I had the chance to sit down with child actors Oakes Fegley (“Pete”) and Oona Laurence (“Natalie”) talk about their experience filming this Disney movie, and I think that you will really enjoy what they had to say.
First of all, they are both darling! Very well spoken, polite and it was very obvious that they really enjoyed their time working on Pete’s Dragon. Fegley shared with us that he had a lot of fun training for the stunts and that dragon snot is made out of water and “lots of other stuff that they would blast at you”. Laurence was just all smiles and she was so poised! She expressed that she really enjoyed working with everyone on this film.
Since they weren’t actually filming with a dragon, both young actors had to use quite a bit of imagination to bring this film to life. Here they both explain how they were able to do that:
Oona: I guess it was pretty tough at first, because a lot of the time the dragon was a pole with a tennis ball on the end. So it was difficult to imagine that it was a dragon. As time went on, we all kind of got used to it.
Oakes: Yes, like she said, it was like a tennis ball on a stick. Or a piece of tape on the wall. So you had to imagine that as a dragon. It gets easier and easier as you, as you get used to it. But at the beginning it was kind of challenging. It was definitely hard.
These two were all smiles talking about this movie. When asked if they had seen the original Pete’s Dragon to prepare for this they both replied that no, they hadn’t seen it before they filmed.
Oakes: Well, because they’re completely different, it wasn’t a matter of preparing with the other one. I truly hadn’t seen it, and I didn’t see it before we had filmed. I watched it after and I’ve seen it a couple times since then.
Oona: I haven’t seen it actually.
When asked what it was like working with Robert Redford they both just lit up.
Oakes: Robert was… I mean, he’s a legend! He’s really, really cool. He’s funny. And he’s really nice. And he’s a lot like a father to everybody. He’s just amazing. He’s super…
Both kids expressed to us that they are just normal kids. Outside of acting they lead normal lives and enjoy the same things that other kids their ages enjoy.
What they hope viewers take from this film
What do they hope viewers get from this film? I LOVE that they both agreed on the answer to this question.
Oakes: I just want for them to know that family is very, very important. And that you, you can’t give up on family because they are there for you whenever.
I was so impressed with both of these young stars, and probably mostly because of the fact that they really were so down to earth and it was very obvious that while they are in a Disney film, they are still both very grounded. They seemed pretty unaffected by it all, and that was so nice to see.
Two very nice and adorable kids who are enjoying this special journey… from the back of flying dragon!
Remember! Pete’s Dragon is in theaters NOW!!
The film, which is a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford and is directed by David Lowery, opens nationwide on August 12th!
Photo credits Disney and Merlot Mommy.