Leah Jeffries, star of Percy Jackson & the Olympians, talks about accepting Annabeth Chase as her own, Rick Riordan’s encouragement, and more.
On Disney+, Leah Jeffries plays the role of Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson series.
Rick Riordan defends Jeffries from criticism for her casting on the internet.
Jeffries wants to empower females by giving Annabeth a unique personality.
Every Wednesday, new Percy Jackson episodes air on Hulu and Disney+.
Leah Jeffries, who plays Annabeth Chase, one of the three main characters of the Disney+ series Percy Jackson & the Olympians, alongside Walker Scobell as the title character and Aryan Simhadri as Grover Underwood, is facing criticism from critics who are determined to stand in the way of their success. Unsurprisingly, even with author Rick Riordan’s support, there are poisonous trolls who won’t budge. In order to set herself apart from Alexandra Daddario’s portrayal of Annabeth in the 20th Century Studios films, Jeffries talked about taking on the role as her own.
“I pay attention to what people have to say and they try to bring me down,” Jefferies said to Essence Magazine. “They claim that you are not Elizabeth. She cannot be played the way Alexandra Daddario can. However, what’s the deal? They’re accurate. I can’t play like her because I’m not her. However, I’ll demonstrate to you my identity and approach to the role. I’m not attempting to emulate anyone. My desire is to be authentic and to ensure that other girls have my same sentiments.” In May 2022, Riordan responded to any criticism of Jeffries’ casting on his blog.
“Leah embodies Annabeth’s strength in this role with such passion and intensity. Young girls will look up to her as a role model, seeing in her the kind of hero they aspire to be,” Riordan wrote. However, bring up any issues you may have with this casting with me. Nobody else is to blame but yourself. We should all be able to agree that it is unacceptable for anyone to harass or bully a child online, regardless of anything else you learn from this essay. Even though Leah is a strong person and we have talked about the possibility of this kind of response as well as the tremendous strain this role will bring, the unjustified criticism she has seen online is unacceptable. They must Stop right now.” You can read the interview here to learn more, including remarks from Jeffries and showrunner Jonathan E. Steinberg. Disney+ and Hulu release new episodes of Percy Jackson & the Olympians every Wednesday.