In unconventional teen romance The Space Between Us men are from Mars ... literally

In unconventional teen romance The Space Between Us men are from Mars ... literally

... or at least one inquisitive, highly intelligent boy, played by Asa Butterfield, is, in teen romance/sci-fi film The Space Between Us


Asa Butterfield (right, with Britt Robertson) tried to make sure his character was likeable and funny.
Photo: TNS

Mars, more than 142 million miles from the sun, is unknown to us; while humans have sent spacecraft and robots to find out more about the red planet, it is still foreign – but not to Gardner Elliot.

In this teen romance/sci-fi film directed by Peter Chelsom, a group of five astronauts travel to Mars; but after a couple of weeks in space, an unexpected situation arises: Sarah Elliott, the lead astronaut in the mission finds out that she’s pregnant. After weighing the options, the man behind the mission, Nathaniel Shepard decides to keep the unborn child classified, hidden from the world. The child, named Gardner Elliot, soon becomes the first human born on Mars after his mother dies in childbirth.

Gardner, after growing up on the planet, decides he wants to live on Earth as a normal human, and goes on an adventurous journey as he tries to find his place on Earth. The film’s star Asa Butterfield takes some time out to discuss the film and his character, a boy who just wants to find his place in the universe.

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How is The Space Between Us different from a teen-romance movie – or any movie?

This film has elements of many different genres, it’s quite interesting in that way. The movie has a science-fiction backdrop for a lot of it, yet it deals with very small and natural feelings and emotions. It’s about this boy who is just trying to figure out where he came from and what his purpose in life is.

What was your favourite scene to film?

My favourite scene to shoot was the one with the crop duster on the plane. My co-star Britt Robertson and I had to chase after it; the scene actually took a couple days to film.

The Space Between Us features several intense and action packed scenes; were there any scenes that were difficult to shoot?

My most difficult scene was the end scene down on the beach. We were shooting in the ocean and it was freezing; it was also the last day of shooting, so everyone was kind of hunkered down to getting it done.

The final scene was also an incredibly emotional and intense scene so everything added together. But the difficulty of the film helped me a lot as an actor.

How was this movie different for you?

This was the first film I’ve done where I was no longer in education, so I had more down time to kind of think about the character and make him interesting and original. That was the most important thing to me: making sure Gardner Elliot was likeable and funny and interesting.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Men are from Mars ...


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