The first trailer for upcoming science fiction movie "Ender's Game" came out Tuesday (May 7), starring "Hugo" actor Asa Butterfield as the titular Andrew "Ender" Wiggin.
That evening on the movie boards for popular Internet forum Reddit, users realized that the poster by the name of "Stimpers" was, in fact, Butterfield himself.
At users' behest yesterday (May 8), the 16-year-old actor held an AMA, or "ask me anything," on Reddit where he fielded many questions about "Ender's Game" and even more about video games, even organizing an online match with fellow Redditors for later that day.
Getting to play Ender Wiggin was a long process, Butterfield revealed: "There was a large amount of competition for the role. I'm not saying any name[s]…But it was the hardest I have ever fought to get the part in a film.
"Before I had even been offered the part, me and [director/screenwriter Gavin Hood] had numerous Skype sessions where we talked about character and the themes in the book. As with any adaptation, the original is a huge resource for an actor, and reading the book was no different. It gave a huge insight into the work and mind of Ender and, in turn, it let me develop the character that much more."
Butterfield's brother even jumped in to poke fun at his famous sibling, prompting fans to draw parallels between him and Peter Wiggin, Ender's brother.
Spacemonkeymomo: "You were always such a [wimp], now you're saving the world. Well done bro, very very proud."
Stimpers: "Ladies and gentlemen. My brother."
The classic sci-fi novel "Ender's Game" was first published in 1985 by writer Orson Scott Card, who has recently come under heavy criticism for his vocal opposition to gay marriage. Butterfield was very diplomatic about any questions related to Card, saying only, "Yes, Orson came to the set once where I met him."
One of the most poignant and violent moments in the "Ender's Game" book occurs when several older boys, angry that Ender has just beaten them in the battle simulators, corner him in the showers and attempt to beat him up. Ender fights back, and the result is a turning point for Ender's character. When asked how this iconic scene would be depicted in the movie, Butterfield replied "This is just my interpretation, but if they had kids marching up and down corridors naked, I'm pretty sure this [movie] would be more X rated than R rated …. The fights are brutal, and very real. But I'm pretty sure we are aiming at PG-13 so bare that in mind."
"Was 'bare' a pun?" asked Redditor thearbiter89. Butterfield, unfortunately, did not respond.
Butterfield, a native of the United Kingdom, also talked about playing Mordred on the BBC television show "Merlin." Fans also asked about another BBC television show, "Sherlock."
"A lot of people see you as a fan favorite if they ever cast a young Sherlock Holmes for a flashback sequence in BBC's Sherlock," Redditor adequategatsby asked. "Any chance you'd be up for it if they approached you?
"I've heard this before, and I might get absolutely killed for saying this. But I've never watched Sherlock…" Butterfield confessed.
During the AMA, it came out that Butterfield is an avid fan of the video game "Defense of the Ancients," commonly referred to as "DoTA."
Asked who his favorite characters are, Butterfield replied, "Spectre or Spirit Breaker. Or if I'm feeling for some noob pwnage I'll play Viper. It feels like I'm cheating."
The parallels between Butterfield's DoTA and the battle simulations that his character Ender plays in the movie were too good for Redditors to pass up. One asked if, like Ender in a pivotal scene of the trailer, Butterfield had ever organized a team attack and then yelled "Now!" over the microphone.
"Oh god, I am so doing this," Butterfield replied.
Butterfield answered questions for most of the afternoon, only taking a quick break for a session with his acting coach. He returned to the computer that evening to organize a game of DoTA among fellow Redditors, posting a password to a game lobby on the Reddit thread. The game filled up in a matter of seconds.
When a professional "StarCraft II" player by the name of Destiny chimed in to ask if he could join the DoTA match, Butterfield was ecstatic: "OMG IT'S DESTINY. I love your [stuff] man, watching your videos wants me to play Starcraft again. I have a pencil case that says 'brofestor hit squad' on it. Dude, seriously PM [private message] me and I'll add you on Steam."
Other Redditors were thrilled with this exchange: "A DoTA game with Ender and Destiny? Is this real life?" one posted. Redditor aculeus99 summed up what most were probably feeling: "A guy who has starred alongside Ben Kingsley and Harrison freaking Ford (in "Ender's Game" of all movies) still gets excited over a pro StarCraft II player messaging him. I've never been happier and prouder to be a nerd."
You can check out the full Reddit AMA at this link, but be forewarned for foul language and possible slurs.