When new footage from J.J. Abrams' hush-hush summer release "Super 8" was unveiled at Las Vegas' CinemaCon this week, many were surprised by the prominent role that half a dozen formerly unknown kid actors play in the film.
The director said he chose the novice cast -- led by newcomer Joel Courtney -- largely because he wanted them to look like authentic kids.
Indeed, at the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, the group of young boys seemed to be just that. They spoke excitedly about working with Abrams and shook their heads enthusiastically when asked if they'd become close friends off-set.
"He's like a kid at heart," the diminutive Ryan Lee said of the director. "I mean, he cracks jokes all the time. He knows as soon as we get overworked, he's gonna make us feel better by just, like, being a kid."
To make the movie, Lee said, he and a number of the other child actors -- many of whom had never before been in a film -- had to be home-schooled because their "schools wouldn't cooperate."
"But it's a sacrifice worth making," he added.
Asked if they expect their lives to change after the release of the much-anticipated summer film, cast member Riley Griffiths had this to say:
"I'm not gonna say I'm not gonna enjoy the ladies," he grinned.