Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves actor spoke about his spell-casting technique in the series.
Smith, who plays the sorcerer Simon Aumar, spoke to Digital Spy about the encouragement and input he got from directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein in developing his character’s movements.
“They had paired me with this choreographer, and she had a lot of really great ideas. We kind of just worked together to figure out what the spells were going to look like,” Smith began.
“She wanted more fluid, slow gestures, but I thought something that was almost similar to dance – like staccato, concise movements – would work better. So we kind of fused our styles. And then I brought the whole sign language thing to her.
“Because I feel like if spellcasting were a thing, it would be a form of language. I wanted to ground it in something real,” he explained.
The Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star also admitted that he willfully avoided one specific way of performing spells: “I knew I didn’t want to just go like this [sticks out right hand]. Every time I see that in movies, I’m like, ‘That’s lazy.’
“When people who have magic powers in movies, or just powers in general […] I feel like if magic were real, it wouldn’t just be simple.”
“Each spell will require either a material component or a roll component or some form of gesture. I wanted it to be as individual as it is in the game, through the movements.
“In the mirror, I would film myself doing it,” he revealed. “I would watch myself on the Zoom call with the choreographer, because she was in England, and I was in Ireland.
“So I would watch myself on the Zoom call, to make sure I would do it right. And she would record what we came up with together. She would record them, so I could practise them again.”
Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves is an adaptation of the iconic fantasy game. It was written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. The film stars Chris Pine alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justin Smith, Sophia Lillis, Hugh Grant and Daisy Head.