As an unpaid freelance journalist, it can be quite hard to feel appreciated as a writer from time to time. Sometimes I don’t know whether I can even call myself a journalist because it isn’t my full time job and it certainly doesn’t pay any bills. Nevertheless, there are times when a pocket of magic and sparkle comes your way in the form of a behind the scenes or an exclusive interview that you hold your hand up extremely high to land it. That is exactly what happened to me last month. I got the chance to interview rising star Raffey Cassidy, the thirteen year old British actress in Disney’s latest film Tomorrowland. Read on for her incredible answers.
Having just turned into a teenager, Raffey Cassidy has gone above and beyond what most thirteen-year-olds have achieved. She began her acting career in 2009 on British TV, and a few short years later she has filmed alongside Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman and now Hollywood royalty George Clooney in her latest film, Disney’s Tomorrowland: A World Beyond. She plays Athena, a central character to the story who in Cassidy’s own words is optimistic and mysterious.
With Tomorrowland now out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK, Candid had the pleasure of speaking with Raffey about all things Tomorrowland, the future and life as a thirteen-year-old actress.
What’s your take on Tomorrowland?
I think it’s really cool. There are lots of different things that I like about it: the adventure and comedy. I also like the message that a humble, individual person can do anything.
The action sequences were great. You got to drive a car! How was that?
It was very fun, I had perhaps ten lessons. There’s one scene – I think it’s in the blue room which is really cool – where you see me driving and then Jade, my stunt double, is lying there [after being thrown out of the car]. It’s very cool that I got to do some of the driving because I’m only thirteen.
There was the fighting as well. Did you do most of that yourself?
I trained for so long to be able to do the majority of the stunts; it was an amazing experience. I was lucky to do them because they were so much fun.
What’s your favourite part of the film?
Probably the scene at Blast From The Past [the collectibles store]. That was really cool. It was quite an intense scene, then it goes into action and it was quite an important scene for the storyline so that’s why I liked it most.
What do you think the future will be like?
I think it will be a very optimistic place. I hope that the future will become like Tomorrowland with lots of cool technology and lots of cool people.
What’s your perfect Tomorrowland?
For me, it would have less technology. I think jet packs are really cool and everything. It’s more so the communication side of things; I’d prefer it to be that we talk to everyone but more as we’re walking by each other, rather than through a computer screen.
Are you not really a fan of social media?
I don’t have social media. I text and stuff but I prefer how it was a long time ago when people went around to each other’s houses.
What do you think about Athena herself?
I think that she’s a really cool character. She has so many different characteristics which all come into play different parts of the story. She’s optimistic, she’s mysterious, and unlike any other character.
Would you say there are any similarities or differences between you and Athena?
I’d say that I’m quite optimistic like Athena. I like to see the bright side of a situation in life.
How was working with George Clooney and Britt Robinson?
It was so cool. They were down to earth, caring and I really got on with them and learned so much. It was just like a big family!
Have they given you any advice?
It was more like I watched them on set to see how they dealt with things. They both kept the set well-relaxed and were very professional.
Where you starstruck by them?
Inside I was like: “OMG.”
When you found out that you got the role, what did you do? What was your reaction?
I was very excited because it was so secretive. I don’t think I had even read the script by then. Obviously I knew the outline of the story, so I was excited to get to do all the different things that were involved in the film.
Who was the first person you called when you got the role?
My family were all at home. I said to them “Oh my God, I’ve just got the part in Tomorrowland!” whilst jumping up and down.
What does your future hold for you? Have you got any scripts or anything or taking a break?
Right now, it’s all about school at the moment, although I’d love to do another film too!
Do you want to stay in film? Or do you want to branch out to anything such as theatre?
I’d love to try anything. I go to quite a lot of theatre. I think it would be quite fun to go and try different things.
What’s your favourite film at the moment?
My all time favourite film is Hanna. I love that film.
Would you want a role like Hanna?
I’d love a role like Hanna!
Words by Faye Smith
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
What a lovely interviewee she was! I definitely see a bright future for her and can’t wait to see what roles she lands next. Look out for a review of Tomorrowland soon!
Love, Faye x