Earth to Echo is the most unique of movie concepts. It reminds us of E.T. in the sense that it features a group of young kids who find an alien who is desperately trying to get home. But, that is about where the comparison begins and ends. We caught up with the young and fearless four-member cast for an exclusive chat to take us inside the making of Earth to Echo and to also have them share their favorite alien movies -- their answers will surprise!
The film follows Teo Halm, Reese Hartwig, Astro and Ella Wahlestedt as the four early teens are about to be forcibly moved from their homes in Arizona. The state is putting a highway through their neighborhood and they must relocate. Lifelong friends will separate and they are eager to do something special in the few remaining nights they have.
When their cell phones start getting mysterious messages, it leads them to the cutest of abandoned aliens and they must band together to help the little guy (whom they name Echo) find his way home. What is also so fascinating about this flick is it is shown from the point of view of the kids as it is them wielding the cameras.
Movie Fanatic: When you guys look back on this life-changing experience decades from now, what one moment will you remember the most?
Astro: It’s hard to choose for me because it’s my first movie so everything was awesome to me. I remember everything, man.
Reese Hartwig: I think once the movie comes out, July 2, and I’m sitting with all my buddies and people I don’t know watching it on the big screen, that’s going to be the best moment.
Ella Wahlestedt: The premiere is tomorrow, which we are all excited about. It’s all of our first movie premiere, it’s a first for us. It’s going to be about the movie and about us and I’m excited to spend that day with friends and family.
Teo Halm: I don’t want to give any spoilers out, but the last scene we filmed was the last scene in the movie. It’s the scene where I’m saying goodbye to Echo. That was definitely the only scene where I had to bring major, major emotion into it. I’m probably going to remember that. It was a hard scene to do, but it’s very memorable.
Movie Fanatic: I know it’s not on purpose, but Earth to Echo has shades of E.T. And that goodbye scene with E.T., it mirrored yours with Echo.
Teo Halm: I’m honored that we’re being compared to E.T. -- it’s such a legendary movie. I think that Dave Green, the director, his goal that he was trying to get across was not to cross storylines with any of those '80s movies, but to bring back the feel of those movies -- not a family movie, but a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There’s cute little Echo for the little kids and there’s edgier, exciting moments for everyone. It is a movie that, hopefully, everyone will enjoy. That’s how those movies were, like Jurassic Park, E.T., Goonies, Stand By Be -- those are movies that will be forever loved by everyone of all ages.
Ella Wahlestedt: But Earth to Echo has a different spirit to it because of technology. It’s more modern, it’s for this generation. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Movie Fanatic: It’s also timely. As we see in the Earth to Echo trailer, the story is set in motion because all of you are best friends and you all have to move. I think that’s something people can relate to now with people changing jobs so much. Of all the moments in the movie, what hit you most personally?
Ella Wahlestedt: We originally auditioned for a project called Untitled Wolf Project. So, we thought it was an adventure movie involving wolves [laughs]. Not until after we were cast did we get to read a script and find out it was about aliens. I realized how lucky I was to be a part of it because it was such a cool idea.
Reese Hartwig: We didn’t know it was going to be about aliens and so as soon as we saw it was going to be about aliens, I was like, “No way! I love sci-fi! I love alien movies!” That was cool – it made it more interesting than it already was.
Movie Fanatic: Speaking of alien movies, what are each of your favorites?
Teo Halm: I think Independence Day. I’d say E.T., but Independence Day (one of our 21 most patriotic movies!) because it was the opener of sci-fi movies that showed that aliens weren’t cute and friendly. Independence Day was really violent and the screenplay was amazing. It opened a new era of crazy, hectic, violent alien movies.
Ella Wahlestedt: I have to say Wall-E. I loved that movie. It’s so cute.
Reese Hartwig: Alien is my all-time favorite movie, period. It was the first time where they really did it right where they mixed action and horror together perfectly.
Movie Fanatic: How old were you when you saw that scary movie?!
Reese Hartwig: I was about nine-ish? Sure, there are scary parts. But, the movie is such a great movie, I did enjoy it. I just liked it.
Astro: I don’t watch alien movies actually. I’ve never even seen E.T., but I’m going to watch it now!
Ella Wahlestedt: There’s Earth to Echo, that’s the only alien movie you need to see!