If you’ve watched Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, then you will undoubtedly remember actress Raffey Cassidy as undisputedly the best thing about it. Playing the robotic Athena, she stole the show with her performance, easily holding her own against leads George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. We spoke to her about her experiences making the film…
You played Athena in Tomorrowland: A World Beyond – what was it like to film?
It was very, very fun to film! There were so many different things in it – a road movie, comedy, action – that I think people had so much fun watching it. And yes, it was very fun to film too, because I got to do lots of stunts, and many different things.
How did you first become involved with Tomorrowland?
I did a self-tape at home, did some Skype cools, and then I went over to London and did another audition, went to America and did another audition, and then in the end I found out that I got the role, which was really cool!
If you had to pick a particular highlight from the filming experience, what would it be?
Probably the stunts – action was a very big part of the film. We all got to train together a lot of the time, and we all had fun doing them, because we had such an amazing stunt team.
It definitely seems like a very action-packed film – did you have to do much training for it?
Yeah, there was a lot! It was quite intense, but so much fun. I did about two to three months of swimming, gymnastics and martial arts at home, and then I went over to Canada and did another three months on martial arts and gymnastics, so it was very intense, but so fun to get to do all of those different things. I loved doing them!
What were your main inspirations for Athena?
The character from Paper Moon [1973, directed by Peter Bogdanovich] – the little girl, Addie Loggins – I think Athena was very much like that!
What do you like most about Athena?
Probably how optimistic she is. She think of the bright side in a bad situation, and can calm the other characters down when they’re quite frantic and worried about something.
Her role is to seek out potential Tomorrowland candidates. What sort of qualities does she look out for?
She looks for optimism; that they can always see the bright side; imaginative – I think caring for people, because if someone’s only focused on themselves, they’re not going to be very good in a team.
There are some big stars in the film, like George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. What were they like to work with?
Oh so much fun! Every single one was very down to earth and so much fun to work with, very caring, and I learned so much from every single one!
There’s a lot of a CGI and special effects in Tomorrowland. What was it like to work with so much green-screen?
Surprising, there wasn’t too much green screen. Some backgrounds would be green screen, but a lot of the props were there. If there was green screen, [director] Brad Bird had such a vivid imagination of what was there, so you could really understand and get to know what’s there.
What were your favourite parts of the movie?
My favourite part to film was probably the ‘blast from the past’ sequence, because there was so much action, and at the start of it Katie had a big scene – that was a cool sequence.
Tonally, Tomorrowland’s quite a unique film. How did the experience of making it compare to other things you’ve worked on?
It was completely different, because filming was for a very long time. Everyone on set became like a big family – I’ve never worked on something on as big a scale as Tomorrowland, so it was very fun, and I got to do so many different things.
How was your final scene to film?
It was very, very fun. Everyone was so thoughtful, as it was an emotional scene, and the set was kept very quiet so everyone could really get into it. It was a fun day, and an emotional day
George Clooney’s got a reputation as a bit of a prankster on set – did he ever try to put you off?
[Laughs] Luckily I got away quite lightly, but I got to be part of one, which was really cool. There was this one day where we were on a black monorail, the doors would open, we would all be standing there and the door would be on the outside, so they couldn’t see what was going on inside. So George thought it would be funny if while the door was closed we all ran to the side of the monorail, so we did, and then they opened, and no one was there!