Los Angeles, CA – September 20, 2023
Leah Sava Jeffries, known for her role in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” recently shared her insights into portraying a distinctive version of Annabeth Chase. The highly anticipated Disney+ series, based on Rick Riordan’s beloved book series, has garnered considerable attention ahead of its release later this year.
In an interview conducted before the commencement of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Jeffries spoke to Entertainment Weekly as part of their 2023 Fall TV preview. She discussed her unique portrayal of Annabeth and the impact she hopes to have on girls everywhere. Jeffries expressed her excitement about the project, describing her experience as “phenomenal and unbelievable.”
In her own words, Jeffries said, “I’m playing a character that is a different person, different hair color, different skin tones, and all that. That’s what the prototype was. Just to hear that I’m playing her different was like, ‘Wow, I’m now gonna be an inspiration to other girls.’ My experience filming the series has been phenomenal and unbelievable.”
The Percy Jackson franchise, previously adapted into two feature films, is receiving a fresh take with this Disney+ series. Rick Riordan, deeply involved as a writer and executive producer, aims to stay true to the source material, offering a faithful adaptation that was lacking in the films.
Leah Jeffries’ portrayal of Annabeth differs significantly from the character described in the books. While Annabeth is depicted as blonde and white in the novels, Jeffries, a Black actress, has taken on the role. This casting choice stirred some controversy, but it promises to offer a fresh perspective on the character.
Annabeth Chase was previously played by Alexandra Daddario in the Percy Jackson movies. Daddario, despite being a brunette, took on the role and left her mark on the franchise. Jeffries’ interpretation of Annabeth, while distinctive in appearance, will undoubtedly capture the essence of the character—a smart, strong, and capable demigod, mirroring the Annabeth fans adore from the books.
Furthermore, Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series, addressed the casting controversy, emphasizing that the series aims to be inclusive and speaks to all kids. He reiterated that the essence of the story is about embracing differences and recognizing them as strengths.
Leah Jeffries’ casting as Annabeth Chase in the Disney+ series is a significant step toward greater diversity and inclusivity within the Percy Jackson universe. It aligns with Rick Riordan’s original intention of creating a story that appeals to a broad audience and fosters a sense of belonging.
As the release date of Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+ approaches, fans eagerly await the opportunity to see Leah Jeffries’ unique portrayal of Annabeth and the transformative impact it may have.
For more updates on Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the latest entertainment news, stay tuned.