The actor and director wanted to make sure the newcomers all had fun making the adaptation of Eoin Colfer's book series, and the idea of making multiple films and becoming huge stars didn't cross their minds.
"I said, 'Don't get all worked up about stuff. We'll go to work today and we'll see what happens. I hope we make a good film, and I hope it'll be a nice time. The making of the film is the here-and-now. Don't worry about pressure. Every time somebody says to you about Harry Potter or how's it (the movie) going to change your life, there's no life to change. There's no Harry Potter...,' " Branagh tells Entertainment Tonight.
"It's important that they (child stars) feel and can convey to an audience... a sense of what it's like being a kid here. A beautiful moment in the life of the movie was when I took Ferdia (Shaw, actor) around the house for the first time. I imagine it would be a bit overwhelming, so I just came in with me and him, brought him up the stairs and he just went, 'Wow! Look at that!' Then we got him into his room and he looked at the bookshelves and he said, 'God, I've read all of these!' (I said), 'I know, you told us you had, that's why they're there!'"
Branagh is delighted with his choice of Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl II for the film, insisting the young star was exactly what he dreamed up when he started casting the project: "We wanted to find someone, if we could, who was Irish, because we're trying to allow that to be a distinctive flavour here," he shares. "And then we needed to find somebody who was not going to be overwhelmed or intimidated, who could see it for the beautiful opportunity it is and the fun that it is... He had the combination of that."