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The Magician’s Elephant Interview: Noah Jupe on Staying Hopeful

ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with The Magician’s Elephant star Noah Jupe about Netflix’s animated movie. Jupe discussed being hopeful and how he relates to his character, Peter. The movie is set to debut on Netflix on March 17.

“When young Peter, who is searching for his long-lost sister, crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square, there is only one question on his mind: is his sister still alive? The answer — that he must follow a mysterious elephant — sets Peter off on a remarkable journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that magically change the face of his town forever,” reads the film’s synopsis.

Spencer Legacy: What was your experience with The Magician’s Elephant before you took the project? Had you read it or was it all new to you?

Noah Jupe: I’d heard about the book. I think it was in my classroom as a kid — I definitely heard about it a lot, but I never got around to reading it. Then it was mid Covid lockdown and I got sent the script and I was not feeling my best — everyone was feeling pretty horrible at that time. And this movie just made my day, you know? It just brought me a lot of joy. So I was like, “I want to bring this to life.” That’s when I decided that I wanted to do it.

What about Peter specifically drew you to his character and made you want to embody him?

I just love Peter’s passion. I love his persistence. I love his hope, his imagination … he’s just such a positive character. I think he’s a character that we all need to find a little bit of in ourselves. I try and find a little bit of Peter in myself every day, if I can

Peter deals with a lot of difficulty in his life, but he has such an optimistic perspective. Was it difficult to find that balance of sounding hopeful but also worn down?

Yeah, it was. It’s that kind of voice of saying something and having that hope behind it and always keeping it there. Even when he’s pissed off at Vilna or he’s frustrated because he can’t achieve something, there’s always, in his voice, that bit of hope, and that never goes away. I guess focusing on keeping that there was a main challenge for me with Peter

The movie itself, but especially Peter, really has this message of how the impossible is possible. How important was it for you to hammer that idea home for the people watching?

Extremely important to me. It’s something that I think is important to everyone, and especially at this time right now, to kind of believe in the impossible and ask, “What if?” A lot more than we do. I think it’s a message that I hope reaches a lot of people.

You’ve done a lot of live-action roles in the past, so how does the challenge of performing this voice differ from your on-camera acting?

I underestimated it, how difficult it would be — the transition. I do have to give it to voice actors. Good voice actors … they really are incredible. It’s such a different experience to onscreen acting. You’ve got the same fundamentals of emotions there, but it’s so much more heightened and physical and emotional. It takes a lot more energy out of you. Also requires a lot more imagination, because on set you usually have things around you that you can see and touch and feel, whereas when you’re in the studio, you just have your imagination and that’s all that you can use. So that was a challenge.


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