With Percy Jackson and the Olympians Season 1 coming to a close on Tuesday, January 30, Walker Scobell, Leah Sava Jeffries, and Aryan Simhadri are looking back on the adventure that was creating this Disney+ series. In the TV Insider video above, the golden trio shares the story of their first chemistry test as a group, revealing when they knew in their guts that they would be the show’s Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.
Scobell was cast first, and then came the search for Percy’s quest mates and best friends. Landing the coveted roles required a lot of work from the young actors, who were just 13 and 15 years old when they were cast. Scobell read with all of the Annabeth and Grover hopefuls, and it was well worth the effort. Their scene was from the Greyhound bus in Episode 3, when the demigods and satyr have just begun their quest. When Percy and Annabeth squabble about who will be in charge of the group (Percy wants to put it to a vote, Annabeth scoffs at the idea of anyone else being in charge), Grover sings the “Consensus” song in an attempt to mediate.
“I knew off the bat Leah was going to get it,” Scobell says of their first time acting together, adding that “they were both great. It was, I think, perfect casting.”
Jeffries recalls their huge height differences, and Simhadri jokes he misses the days when he was the tallest of the trio (Scobell and Jeffries are 15, Simhadri is 17). Simhadri remembers there being “five Grovers and three Annabeths” seen that day, but Scobell says there were actually 11 Grovers. “After I finished my chemistry read, they were like, ‘All right, we’re gonna do another one,’” Simhadri recalls. “Walker was like, ‘That wasn’t the end…?’”
We also had the trio look to the future and send their older selves a message about their time on the show, which they (and many fans) hope will get renewed for all of the five seasons the trio has envisioned creating. As for Scobell, he’s eager to reprise his role in an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson sequel book series, The Heroes of Olympus. See all of their responses in the full video above.
The Percy Jackson Season 1 finale, debuting at 9/8c on Disney+ on January 30, will feature the long-brewing Ares fight, where Scobell and Adam Copeland will face off in an epic sword battle. “That fight is the best in the show. I’m excited for people to see that,” says Simhadri. Viewers will also learn the identity of the lightning thief, the show’s season-long mystery. The trio tells TV Insider that they’ve loved seeing non-book readers be introduced to this beloved mythological tale.
“I’m really excited for non-book readers to see the big twist, see who stole the lightning bolt,” says Simhadri. “One of our favorite parts after every episode comes out is seeing the non-book readers’ reactions and their guesses on who stole the lightning [bolt] and their little subplots thoughts. It’s awesome. I’m really excited for non-book readers to see how it ends.”
“I like the little TikTok slideshows of ‘who I think is a traitor,’ ‘what I think of the traitor.’ I love to watch those. It’s just fun to see what the non-book readers think of it. And I don’t know, it’s cool,” says Scobell. “It’s weird to think about that this is some people’s first introduction to Percy Jackson.”
“It’s really cool” to see the positive fan reactions to the series on social media, says Jeffries. “I expected it to have [fan] edits and all these things and people thinking other things, but I didn’t know it would come out this way, and it’s really cool. On my [For You] page, every time I swipe up, it’s something new about Percy Jackson. I really liked the edits when they’re taking quotes or paragraphs and scenes from the books and putting it to the scene that we had in the episodes, like ‘you drool when you sleep.’”
“You drool when you sleep” is one of the first things Annabeth says to Percy when they meet at Camp Half-Blood in The Lightning Thief. Fans of the books know how important the Percy and Annabeth (aka “Percabeth”) relationship will be in potential future seasons, but non-book readers may have already caught onto the relationship that’s building between the characters in the “Percabeth” scenes strewn throughout Season 1. Scobell and Jeffries share which Percabeth scene was their favorite to film.
“I feel like it’s the obvious one: the Tunnel of Love sequence,” Scobell says, and Jeffries agrees.
“Obviously there’s nothing going on with Percy and Annabeth now,” Scobell continues. “I mean, they’re really good friends in the series, but it’s just a glimpse into what will happen, just kind of setting it up for The Last Olympian and Battle of the Labyrinth.”
“I feel like it was a slow burn while making it, but in the series, the way everything went by so fast, I feel like the time sped up,” Jeffries says, as Scobell adds, “It made sense while we were filming it.” The characters’ growing relationship does reflect on screen, as proven by the strong fan reactions to Scobell and Jeffries’ acting in pivotal Percabeth moments in Episode 5 and beyond. The Tunnel of Love sequence, where they meet Timothy Omundson’s Hephaestus and Annabeth saves Percy from being trapped in the god’s magical throne, will be important for the fictional duo moving forward.
“I think that scene especially will impact our performances, especially Season 3 — hopefully, if that happens — with The Titan’s Curse, when Annabeth is taken [by] Atlas,” Scobell says. He also loved the fan reactions to seeing Annabeth on the side of a cliff in the Underworld when she escaped from Cerberus in Episode 7. Fans of the books saw it as hints of foreshadowing to Heroes of Olympus book three, The Mark of Athena, which ends on a literal cliffhanger.
“It was so funny seeing everyone react to us in the Underworld, where Annabeth’s holding on to [the cliff],” Scobell goes on. “That was a cool parallel for the future maybe.”
Jeffries’ other favorite Percabeth moment is coming in the finale, when Annabeth wishes Percy luck before he goes to Olympus, where he’ll at last meet Zeus (the late Lance Reddick in his final TV performance). The scene was also Jeffries’ last one she filmed for Season 1, and it was the moment she teased in a previous interview with TV Insider that she said made Simhadri cry.
“That was a really good scene to shoot,” Jeffries says. While she notes the take where Simhadri cried didn’t make it into the final cut, the scene is still quite emotional. Every take influenced the others because “we were all just getting sad because of the wrapping and it was getting close to the end. But that was one of my most favorite parts.”
See what scene she’s talking about in the thunderous Percy Jackson Season 1 finale.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Season 1 Finale, Tuesday, January 30, 9/8c, Disney+