Opening in theaters on April 12th is the new action horror movie 'Arcadian,’ which stars Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (‘Leaving Las Vegas’), Jaeden Martell (‘Knives Out’) and Maxwell Jenkins (‘Joe Bell’) and was directed by Ben Brewer (‘Reptile’).

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Jaeden Martel and Maxwell Jenkins in 'Arcadian.'

(L to R) Jaeden Martel and Maxwell Jenkins in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins about their work on ‘Arcadian,’ the post-apocalyptic storyline, the relationship between their characters and their father, working with Nicolas Cage, and fighting aliens.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Martell and Jenkins.

Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martel talk 'Arcadian.'

(L to R) Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martel talk 'Arcadian.'

Moviefone: To begin with, Jaeden, can you talk about Joseph and Thomas's relationship as brothers and how that's tested throughout this movie?

Jaeden Martel: That's a big important element of the film and what attracted me to the film as well. It's very much about these two brothers who grew up in the same environment but their differences in thinking kind of separate them. There's always that brotherly love, that brotherly connection, but Joseph's a very logical, science-driven, analytical person who can control his emotions, whereas Thomas is very impulsive and wants to live life. I think that comes to a head when Thomas thinks with his heart and gets everyone into trouble, and Joseph wants to tell him that he can't do whatever he wants, we must keep the family together. I think what's beautiful about it too is that we're not following these archetypes of a nerd and a jock. They're both very complex and they both learn from this father figure and take things from that, and both know how to survive at the end of the day. They both have big hearts too. They both have a lot of love for each other and a lot of empathy, and they just have different ways of communicating.

Nicolas Cage and Maxwell Jenkins in 'Arcadian.'

(L to R) Nicolas Cage and Maxwell Jenkins in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

MF: Maxwell, can you talk about Thomas's relationship with his father and why he disobeys him?

Maxwell Jenkins: I think in many ways, Thomas is really like his father. They have this kind of physicality thing in common in that they both have this confidence in their own abilities to survive. Obviously, Paul built this environment for them, and I think Thomas really admires that. I think part of his want for freedom and his confidence in his ability to leave and stay that extra minute and maybe make it back, I think that comes from seeing his dad and seeing the world that his dad built for them, and if his dad can do that, "I'd like to do that for myself." I think Thomas and Joseph, they both are curious about the world, just in different ways. Thomas is curious about being out in the world and learning about it by putting himself at risk and experiencing the world for himself. As much as he may want to push that down as much as he can, he obviously did for years, I think you catch us in the movie at a point where there's no more time for me to be able to push that down and I need to experience the world. I'm not satisfied with the situation I find myself in. We talked a lot with Ben about using Thomas as this kind of caged animal a little bit. He is this impulsive person who relies on his instincts 99.9% of the time. I mean, you can only cage an animal for so long before it just needs to run free for a little bit.

Nicolas Cage, Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.'

(L to R) Nicolas Cage, Maxwell Jenkins and Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

MF: Jaeden, what was it like for you to work with Nicolas Cage? What did you learn about his acting process from watching him work?

JM: Man, it was awesome. That's mainly what I took away, was his process and the number of questions he asks himself, us and the director. He's asking, "What is the purpose of this scene? How do we move that forward?" Sometimes we'd shoot something, and to him it felt off and we'd rework it. Or if I had any questions, if I fell off about it too, he would ask. He created this open environment where it was very collaborative and we were reshaping scenes as they were going, trying to figure out who these characters are.

(L to R) Maxwell Jenkins, Nicolas Cage and Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.'

(L to R) Maxwell Jenkins, Nicolas Cage and Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

MF: Maxwell, what was your experience like working with Nicolas Cage?

MJ: Like Jaeden said, Nic is one of the most collaborative people you'll ever work with. Obviously, he's an incredibly talented actor, but on top of that, he's such a selfless scene partner. On top of asking questions about the scene and such, his questions and his desires for what the scene should be are never locked in stone, and he really makes you feel comfortable to be curious about the scene. He encourages it. There were so many times where we'd done a scene in wildly different ways each time, and you never know what's going to make it on camera, but his ability to come in and ask all those questions and that ability for it to rub off on you, really colors all the work that you do and all that stuff that builds a history behind these characters. I think the biggest thing that I took away from working with Nic is I feel like I'm always curious about the character, but he really showed a new way of how to be curious and a new level to which you can take your curiosity.

Sadie Soverall in 'Arcadian.'

Sadie Soverall in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

MF: Maxwell, can you talk about Thomas's relationship with Charlotte and why he risks everything to spend a few minutes with her?

MJ: I think it's a new feeling for him. Obviously, he's felt love before for his family, but he's lived his entire life in the woods with two other guys. When he finds Charlotte, that was something that we really focused heavily on, which was figuring out this innocence, because we wanted it to be known that the way Thomas interacts with Charlotte is in a way that he has no idea how to. He's never interacted with someone who he has those kinds of feelings towards. I'm new to the age of doing that kind of romantic work on camera. So just as Thomas was figuring it out, I guess I was figuring it out too in a way. I guess to Thomas, Charlotte symbolizes what a new life could be. I don't think he's trying to break away and just leave his family behind. I think in Thomas's perfect world, he can expand it. Charlotte is maybe a bridge for that. Charlotte and the Rose Farm are the last beacon of what perhaps life was like before the apocalypse. It's the closest thing that they have to civilization. There's a hierarchy, there's a farm, there's obviously the Rose family that is kind of like the presidency that rules over the farm, and there's people that work there and work together, and that's the first time Thomas has seen any kind of society. So Charlotte, on top of being this person that he absolutely adores, has all of this behind her that I think is new and revolutionary for Thomas and a beacon of what could be. So, I think it just adds and adds until he can't ignore it anymore.

Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.'

Jaeden Martel in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

MF: Finally, Jaeden, can you talk about Joseph’s resourcefulness and his obsession with the aliens?

JM: Well, I was trying to figure that out as well throughout the process of what he understands and what he doesn't. I think a lot of it comes from books. He's constantly absorbing knowledge, and that comes from a fascination with the old world, what could have been, and then it becomes what could be. He's a science-forward person. He's had a good understanding of things. I think as far as the creatures and how he responds to them, he understands he can't just kill them all and stab his way through life. He must step back and think about it and understand what their patterns are and how to survive. Probably like how you'd deal with it, in real life. But I'd probably be the one with the shotgun.


"Family is stronger than fear."
R1 hr 32 minMar 11th, 2024
Showtimes & Tickets

What is the plot of ‘Arcadian’?

A father (Nicolas Cage) and his twin teenage sons (Jaeden Martell and Maxwell Jenkins) fight to survive in a remote farmhouse at the end of the world.

Who is in the cast of ‘Arcadian’?

  • Nicolas Cage as Paul
  • Jaeden Martell as Joseph
  • Maxwell Jenkins as Thomas
  • Sadie Soverall as Charlotte

Nicolas Cage in 'Arcadian.'

Nicolas Cage in 'Arcadian.' Photo: RLJE Films.

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