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Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington add some fire to 'Dragon' sequel

Djimon Hounsou is the voice of the power-hungry Drago Bludvist in "How to Train Your Dragon 2."
DreamWorks Animation

Joining the voice cast of “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” the highly anticipated follow up to the hit 2010 animated feature, are Djimon Hounsou and “Game of Thrones” actor Kit Harington.
Hounsou, a two-time Academy Award nominee, voices the villainous power-hungry Drago Bludvist, and Harrington plays his accomplice, a dragon trapper named Eret, son of Eret.
While menacing to the hero Viking Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel again), his beloved dragon Toothless, his father, Stoick (Gerard Butler, reprising his role) and all the residents of Berk, who coexist peacefully with dragons, the actors are quite friendly in person.
They spoke recently about joining the successful, family-friendly franchise, playing the baddies and what’s ahead.
Q: Djimon, your character is sort of an evil genius. How did you come up with the voice for Drago?
Hounsou: I felt extremely challenged because I remember seeing the first movie and I thought, “Wow, Gerry’s voice has so much power and presence in the story.” When I got called in for this I thought, “I have to outdo this man!” It challenged me that I was participating in a serious fight with him. (Speaking in a deep, sinister voice) “I am Drago Bludvist, the Drogonator” (He laughs.)
Q: Kit, why do you think the first “Dragons” was so popular?
Harington: It’s like any successful animated film. It crosses over. It’s not just a kids’ film. It deals with some very adult issues. The interesting part for me is the estranged parents. (Hiccup meets his long lost mom.) I haven’t seen many animated films where they deal with something that many kids in our world deal with, having parents who split up; a single father brings up a son, and then the son meets his estranged mother. That’s great for kids to go and see—parents dealing with it badly and well. It’s something they can relate to. One reason it’s so successful is that kids love fantasy. It you can show a boy growing up with a very specific talent (dragon flying) and they can aspire to have this talent that he has. In (this) movie, we take him through his teenage years. I think that’s what this movie is aiming towards teenagers as well, and the kind of strife they go through.
Q: Why did you want to work on this film and how did you go about developing your scary voice?
Hounsou: Having a son! I wanted to keep your legacy going and certainly being a part of an animated feature is quite important. More importantly, trying to come to some understanding of Drago, I saw the first one with my son and never dreamed of being in the second one, but I was quite impressed with Gerry’s work on it. When I realized that my character would have a confrontation with him—and with a name like Drago Bludvist—I can’t be limiting myself as to how much you are giving to a character like that because you are dealing with kids. Obviously, he is a bad guy and you have to stay with that. You can’t polish him or tone it down just because you are doing a film for kids. You are still a bad guy.
Q: What’s coming up next?
Hounsou: I’m in (the sci-fi fantasy)“Guardians of the Galaxy,” coming out August 1. I’m a humanoid, a killer machine. (He laughs.)
Harington: I’ve just finished a couple of films in England that come out next year. Then the never-ending “Thrones,” which just carries on. I get back to that in July. Then, for next year, I have no idea.