"... They were playing table tennis with each other and sharing ice cream and sitting on each other's laps."

If you don't know Ben Barnes now, you soon will.

The 26-year-old Briton is the swashbuckling star of 'Prince Caspian,' the second 'Chronicles of Narnia' film.

Moviefone chatted him up on the perils -- and perks -- of stepping into a mega-hit franchise, from co-star romance and equestrian expertise (or lack thereof) to the dangers of MySpace.



12 Questions With: Ben Barnes

    If you don't know Ben Barnes now, you soon will -- the 26-year-old Briton is the swashbuckling star of 'Prince Caspian,' the second 'Chronicles of Narnia' film. Moviefone chatted him up on the perils -- and perks -- of stepping into a mega-hit franchise, from co-star romance and equestrian expertise (or lack thereof) to the dangers of MySpace.
    -- By Aimee Deeken

    Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

    1. Do you feel a lot of pressure, being the main face of this film?
    The film's called 'Prince Caspian,' so you want to see the prince on a poster, I guess. It's overwhelming for me, particularly looking at Sunset Boulevard and you're 10 stories high. To see yourself staring down at you -- 80 percent of you knows it's you but then there's a part of you that doesn't quite believe it. My brother pointed out, "Ben, Prince Caspian's not really you." I was like, "Well, fair enough, but he sure looks like me."

    Disney

    2. What about you is the least Caspian-like?
    I don't know actually. I think we're pretty similar. He's indecisive, which I am. He's unsure about situations he finds himself in, which I am, and doesn't feel like he's necessarily ready for things. I think I'm a bit funnier than him -- I would hope. He's kind of earnest, but you can't be roaming around making amusing quips about the fact that everyone's trying to kill you. You can't really play that tongue-in-cheek.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    3. Were you a 'Narnia' fan when you signed on?
    I read [the books] when I was 8, so I was a big fan. I loved the escapism. And I read ['Prince Caspian'] a couple years ago at university in a children's literature [class]. And then again [after I took the role], looking at what kind of movie this would make.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    4. How did you prepare for the role?
    I was doing horse riding for a couple weeks -- five to six hours a day -- with Spanish [riding] teachers. I'd never really done it before. The producers were there on day three going, "How's he getting on?" I was like, "Not ve-rry weee-lll!" But eventually I got to grips with it. And then [there was] the sword-fighting and the dialect coaching and the hair and makeup tests ... It was like 'Narnia' boot camp!

    Walt Disney Pictures

    5. Did you feel like an outsider at first, with the main characters and director having already worked together in 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'?
    I was a little cynical at first. When I got there, they were playing table tennis with each other in the production office and sharing ice cream and sitting on each other's laps. [But] they were always ready for someone to come in [to play Caspian]. We all got along really well.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    6. Be honest, who's your favorite Pevensie kid?
    Oh, I don't have a favorite; they're like family -- that's rude! [Laughs.] Well, it's different ones for different things. My favorite one to eat pizza with is Anna [Popplewell]. My favorite one to go to the gym with is William [Moseley]. My favorite one to mock and be mocked by is Skandar [Keynes] and my favorite one to hug is Georgie [Henley].

    Walt Disney Pictures

    7. There's a romance between Caspian and Susan (Anna Popplewell) in the movie that's not in the book. Were you comfortable with that?
    We were anxious about it. I felt a responsibility to tell the story honestly because these books are so well loved, particularly in the country that I'm from. But I think it's actually been handled quite delicately and I'm quite pleased about it. It's a sweet, mature take on it really.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    8. Are you recognized yet when you go out?
    Not on a regular basis. You'd be surprised how people don't put two and two together. I was on a plane from New York to L.A. and the only movie that was playing was 'Stardust'. And the first 10 minutes of that movie is pretty much just me. I was thinking, "Oh no, this is embarrassing, everyone's going to be looking at me." And ... nothing! Nothing ... so maybe no one will recognize me in 'Caspian' either.

    Paramount

    9. Have you seen all the fan sites devoted to you on MySpace and such?
    Oh yeah, I've been on a couple of those. It's dangerous! I went on when I first got the job to see how big [the film] was, and it was saying "I hate Ben Barnes as Caspian. He's too old, he's got the wrong color hair," and I thought, "This isn't healthy." And then I went on again recently ... and it was saying, "I'm so sick of reading [about] Ben Barnes and seeing his picture on posters." So I feel I must steer clear of them from now on.

    David Livingston, Getty Images

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