From filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, comes “Alita: Battle Angel,” an epic adventure of hope and empowerment.
When Alita awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido, a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
We caught up with the film’s up and coming stars to talk about the importance of coming of age stories, bonding on set and having a positive role model like Alita.
The Knockturnal: Alita is such a cool, fun movie, and you guys are an awesome crew in it. What kind of bonding experiences did you guys do to show that friendship on screen?
Jorge Lendeborg Jr.: I feel like we casually hung out, besides obviously going over the scenes together and then working together, which already is such a weird experience, because who else do you have to bond with? When you’re making a film it kind of feels like a summer camp. I guess the process of just making friends just kind of falls in line a bit faster.
Lana Condor: You know, you know what I remember is, we helped each other do auditions.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr.: Yeah, we did.
Lana Condor: During it … I might have done your Love, Simon audition.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr.: Yeah, we were both doing our Love, Simon auditions.
Lana Condor: And I remember like I just thought of this. We hung out, we bonded over Naked and Afraid, that reality show. Yeah, ’cause it’s crazy and they like go out and they’re like naked and afraid. And I showed him all my trashy reality television. Yeah, that’s how I forced them to be friends with me.
The Knockturnal: Smart. You guys were doing that awesome Rollerblade sport, did you guys actually get on the wheels and get going, or are you guys expert Rollerbladers now?
Keean Johnson: I can collectively say we’re not expert Rollerbladers. But you know, we did try, and I think that was another bonding experience, us being like “How cool are we?” And then the real skaters came on set the next day, and we were like “Oh, wow, we suck.” … I tried to go down a ramp at one point and almost broke my arm. Luckily, Jon, Robert or Jim didn’t see me do that.
Lana Condor: When Jon saw me on the Rollerblades for the first time, he told me to immediately take them off, because it looked like I was gonna break my face. So I just kind of sat that one out.
The Knockturnal: The film touches on different points like diversity, growing up. Talk about those messages and why it’s important for people to have those conversations.
Keean Johnson: Yeah, it has a lot to say about society as well, and how we kind of will just allow certain things to happen and look the other way. And I think that has a lot to say about what’s going on now. And then as far as young female empowerment, I think it’s great to have this young titular character who has so much heart isn’t just … Alita isn’t aggressive, Alita is defensive. And I think that’s why her fighting style is so interesting, and I think there’s gonna be a lot of young girls and young boys who will be testing their fighting skill in front of the mirror. Let’s hope they don’t smash their hand.
Lana Condor: The movie’s so great because it really does test and show whether or not you can stay a good person in maybe a bad environment. Because I think there are some bad things that happen in Iron City. It can be a savage place, but the fact that she comes out of it better than ever … it really does show that we can stay good in a bad environment. And that’s awesome, and I think that the world is so beautifully colored, and our movie’s so representative of what it really looks like out here in the real world, which is awesome. But yeah, and just, it reminds us to be empathetic and to be loving and to be curious, just like Alita is. And I think Alita is just the epitome of a role model for not just ladies, but also men and everyone. So I’m so excited for everyone to see it, ’cause I really think it’s gonna change a lot.
The film is now playing.