In the sci-fi drama The Space Between Us (now playing in theatres everywhere) nineteen year old actor Asa Butterfield stars as Gardner Elliot, a restless teenager who has lived his entire life under unusual circumstances. Gardner was born to an astronaut mother who died after giving birth to him after finishing a trip to Mars in an effort to establish the planet’s first colony.
The existence of Garnder and the death of his mother (who no one knew was pregnant when the mission began) is a PR nightmare for NASA and the mission’s mastermind back on Earth (Gary Oldman) agrees with top brass that they should keep the boy’s existence a secret. Having grown up in zero gravity also means that getting Gardner back to Earth could prove impossible thanks to a malformed skeletal structure and a potentially enlarged heart.
However, in the Mars settlement of “East Texas,” the now teenaged Gardner has grown restless and bored. All he has learned about Earth, his mother, and the father he never met has come second hand from old photographs, movies, other scientists (including a kind, matronly type played by Carla Gugino). He has also formed a connection to Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a fellow restless teen back on Earth in Colorado who has been bounced around the foster care system her entire life.
When Gardner finally gets to Earth, he learns that the plan is to just run some tests on him before shipping him back to Mars. He slips NASA custody and goes in search of his online pen-pal and the father he never knew while Oldman and Gugnio search for him, concerned for his well being. With Tulsa’s help, Gardner learns more about life of Earth than he ever dreamed possible.
We were able to sit down with Asa Butterfield, who has also appeared in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, during a recent press stop in Toronto to talk about The Space Between Us and his character’s unique point of view. Check it out in the video below.
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