Lost's Young Ben is Astro Boy's know-it-all friend

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Sterling Beaumon, who plays the recurring role of young Ben Linus on ABC's Lost, told SCI FI Wire that he'll next appear—or rather be heard—in Astro Boy. Beaumon provides the voice of Sludge in the upcoming animated film, which also features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Bill Nighy and Kristen Bell, among others.

Set for release on Oct. 23 and based on the beloved Japanese manga by Osamu Tezuka, the big-screen adaptation of Astro Boy will tell the origin story of the little robot boy with superpowers. SCI FI Wire spoke to Beaumon during a recent exclusive interview. Following are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Were you at all familiar with Astro Boy before joining the voice cast?

Beaumon: I knew nothing about Astro Boy. And I still haven't gotten the script, because, once again [as with Lost], that's sort of secret. I never got the script. I just did my [lines]. Even though I have one of the lead parts, I never got the full script.

OK, but what can you tell us about Sludge?

Beaumon: Astro Boy [Highmore] is a son of Nicolas Cage's character [Dr. Tenma]. His actual son died, and he created a robot model. Sludge is Astro Boy's best friend. He does not have parents. He lives alone with his twin sister, played by Madeline Carroll, who was Annie on Lost. And he's a bit of a know-it-all.

Did you get to work with any of the other actors, or did you record all of your dialogue by yourself?

Beaumon: It's just me by myself in the studio. Except one of the days I was there recording, Madeline was there, too. She wasn't in the studio with me, but she was there.

Every actor who works on an animated film talks about how it's a different style of acting, how they can go into the studio dressed down and be relaxed. What was your experience?

Beaumon: It's so much harder, because you don't have any actors to play anything off of. You can't really go off and ad lib, because most of the time people have recorded before you. So you just can't go off book.

How much more than usual are you relying on your director [David Bowers], then, to steer you in the right direction?

Beaumon: Oh, a ton. A ton. He's the only one that knows what the other people are doing.