We recently sat down with newcomer — and total hottie! — Jonny Weston who stars in the upcoming surfer flick 'Chasing Mavericks' out October 26! The film is based on a true story and follows Jay Moriarity (Jonny) who enlists the help of a local surfing legend to train him to survive the mythic Mavericks surf break — one of the biggest waves on Earth! Jonny, who taught himself to surf at just 12 years old, gave us the scoop on the movie and what it was like to work with Gerard Butler.
J14: Did you do any of your own stunts in the movie?
Jonny: I did most of my own stunts. I got professional training from some of the best surfers in the world. We really hammered down and I got a lot better really fast. Obviously the 60 foot waves are on the biggest days. I surfed Mavericks one day, but when it was 60 feet and pumping full-size, the guys who had been surfing that for twenty years were [the ones] out there.
J14: How are you similar to your character, Jay?
Jonny: Actually it's so funny because of Jay and how dangerous he was in the water and how fearless of it he was. He had this close call when he was a kid of almost drowning and I didn't realize that until his wife told me when we were already filming. That happened to me when I was three. I was standing on dry sand and a wave comes over my head and grabs me out and I completely was going to die. I had no way of getting out of the water and then all of the sudden I feel like 'boom.' My mom had grabbed my neck and was holding me above the water. It came back to me, that memory, when I was filming. I called my mom and was like 'Thank you, Mom! You're so good!'
J14: Did they know you could surf when they cast you?
Jonny: They didn't know I could surf. I told them that I could, but I could have been lying. I was in the audition with Gerard Butler and everybody and I don't have the movie yet but I'm so excited to be there. I whip out my phone and I'm like 'I got this chick to record me surfing on this video. You have to watch this!' And they were like 'No thanks. Have a nice day.' I walked out of there so bummed. I was so sure that they didn't want me, but they hired me and found out I could surf later. It's cool because that means I was right for the character regardless.
J14: Do you think it was a lot different trying to capture someone who was a real person rather than a made up character?
Jonny: Hugely, yeah. It was just harder for me to understand that I'm not doing a documentary and that it's an actual film. I got over that and Gerard helped me a lot because he's played a real character [before] and it's a whole different type of thing. I had a lot of support and working with Gerard was unbelievable. He's such a powerful actor, he's such a good dude and such a good mentor. It was a really cool experience.
J14: What is the most exciting thing you've gotten to do as an actor?
Jonny: Ever, ever, ever is to play Jay Moriarity. The most important thing for me is the fact that I got represent someone as amazing of a person as Jay is. Despite the way that he grew up and despite the fact that he didn't have a father figure, he found his father figure and almost made him accept him. He was an incredibly different person and it was such an honor to read that part and know that I could do it and to get it. I felt responsible to get it, and I got it. Jay took everything bad in his life and turned it into the most powerful, productive thing and just pure love for people.
Are you going to check out Jonny Weston in 'Chasing Mavericks?'
Photo courtesy of J-14 Magazine/Laura Knipping.
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