Imagine being among a group of youth on a crucial mission in outer space where the future of the human race is at stake. That’s what goes on in the new movie Voyagers, and it’s as thrilling and chaotic as you would expect. But don’t take our word for it — actors Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead and director Neil Burger are here to show you the ropes. Read on to learn more about what the story is all about and why you’re NOT gonna wanna miss out on witnessing this trip of a lifetime:
If you could describe your new movie Voyagers in three words, what would they be?
Tye Sheridan: Wild, rebellious, human
Lily-Rose Depp: Crazy, existential, adventurous
Fionn Whitehead: Tense, manic, awesome
Neil Burger: Intense, euphoric, thought-provoking
What was the biggest challenge of playing a character in an outer space setting?
TS: Specifically for this movie, I think the major challenge was stripping away all the cultural and societal influence that you carry with you. You’re a product of your environment and that’s everyone. Everyone’s unique to where they come from and who they surround themselves by. And in the context of this film, these characters have been stripped away of all of their tangible culture. They’ve been blown and bred for this mission and have only been around each other. So they have to carry this subdued kind of nature to them and I think that was the most challenging part of the role and maybe the most challenging aspect of the entire film. But it’s a great place to where the movie starts and then slowly these characters kind of awaken to their desires and their true feelings and they start to tap into that.
LRD: Yeah, I definitely want to second that. What’s interesting to me in any project is the potential challenge because I feel like those are the moments in which you learn the most – when you’re pushing yourself to do something that feels a little bit challenging. And so I think finding that balance between remaining true to the context, which is like Tye said that these people have been bred for this mission and they don’t know anything outside of it, remaining kind of true to that while at the same time portraying very kind of human emotions, but at the same time that are untouched, unaffected by any sort of cultural influence or family influence or anything like that was part of the challenge but also part of the excitement to wanna do it.
FW: The biggest challenge was probably dealing with the claustrophobia as the result of the set. It was all closed off and it was very claustrophobic, very hot, filmed in the middle of summer in Romania so it was usually in the 30s. So it was just mainly dealing with that, getting enough oxygen, which is ironic.
Seeing how you and most of the cast are around the same age, how would you describe the chemistry you all had while acting?
LRD: I would say just that we were really lucky to all get along so well. It was my first time working with a group of actors that were all kind of around the same age, so I think it’s really lucky that we all ended up just getting along super well on a personal level and had so much fun all hanging out together. And I think that kind of dynamic creates the best on set dynamic as well because you then feel comfortable around the people you’re working with and there’s trust, there’s comfort and so you feel free to try different things in scenes or whatever and that’s where you really get your creative juices flowing.
FW: When we filmed, we just had a really good time together. It was really important for all of our sanity because we were filming really long days, so to get to the end of a week and just be able to decompress and have a laugh with everyone was a real blessing.
Focusing on the young generation is key to longevity of the human race in the movie — how does this theme compare to what goes on in the real world?
FW: It does translate to the real world in that a lot of the biggest issues that we’re facing at the moment are issues that are gonna have to be taken forward by the younger generations. Issues around climate change are something that is gonna impact younger generations far more and it is something that sits with everyone but in the future it will sit with younger generations.
What do you hope audiences will walk away with after watching Voyagers?
FW: I hope that after watching Voyagers audiences will walk away with optimism, hope for the future and for generations to come.
NB: I hope they walk away having had a riveting, intense, cinematic experience and with a lot of food for thought and discussion.
What inspired you to tell the story?
NB: Well, I’ve always been interested in long-distance space travel, how it would really work, who would wanna make that trip with the confinement, the isolation, the claustrophobia. I was interested in what that would do to a person if they would crack.
Why did you decide to focus on young men and women instead of an older generation for this film?
NB: I wrote it about young people because the movie is about raw human behavior, who we are at our core and I thought who better to examine raw behavior than young people?
Do you think your movie accurately portrays what our future could potentially look like?
NB: The science is accurate in the movie so yes, but the movie to me is less about the future than it is about who we are right now, how we behave, how we treat each other, what we choose to believe.
Thank you to our friends at Lionsgate for helping facilitate this interview. Voyagers is now available to rent with Redbox On Demand.