I hope they walk away from Tomorrowland feeling very optimistic, and I want them to realize that the future isn’t a place that we’re going. It’s something we’re making. They can make it to be anything they want. – Raffey Cassidy
The talented Raffey Cassidy stars as Athena, a robot who changes people’s lives and is programmed to save the world, in Disney’s next blockbuster epic Tomorrowland. The young actress (she turns 14 this year) acts alongside mega superstars George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Thomas Robinson in this new flick. She already has an impressive film resume, including Snow White and the Huntsmen in which she shared the screen with A-list celebs Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Helmsworth.
We sat down with Raffey and learned ten fun facts about her time on the set of Tomorrowland.
How did you get the part?
I started off with a self tape, which is an audition at home with a video camera. Then I went to London to do a screen-test. Then I got to go to America for another screen-test. Once I found out that I got the part I was so excited. I couldn’t stop jumping up and down!
She didn’t know much about the part until she came to America.
For my first self-tape I didn’t know anything about the film. When I did the screen-test for London I did know more acts and knew a bit more about the part I was playing. When I came to America, I got to actually read the script.
She has serious ninja skills in the film! Was it all CGI?
None of it was CGI, well except for a scene where I was running. Unfortunately, I can’t run that fast so that was CGI. I trained for two months at swimming, gymnastics and martial arts. Then I went to Canada to train for another month before we started shooting in martial arts and gymnastics. I trained throughout the six months of filming. I’ve continued gymnastics and I really want to continue martial arts. But the place where I trained does sparring. If I could do it without sparring, I would definitely continue.
She visited Disneyland for the first time while filming. What was her favorite ride?
I liked Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, and California Screamin’ in California Adventure park. I love the adrenaline rush.
Athena gives Casey and young Frank a pin in the movie. What gift would Raffey give every child if she could?
That’s a good question. I would give them something from The World’s Fair. Maybe I would give them a jet pack, a Tomorrowland pin and since getting to Tomorrowland is pretty cool I would give them a paintbrush so they could create something.
What do Raffey and Athena have in common?
I’d say I’m an optimistic person. I always think there is a bright side to any situation. Athena also thinks that way.
Behind-the-scenes! Fake teeth?
I was chewing on an olive and my wobbly teeth fell out. They had to make flippers – which is a like a retainer with fake teeth on it. At first it was hard to speak, but then I got used to them. Thomas who played young Frank also had to have flippers. At the end of the film, we stomped on them so we would never have to use them again!
What was it like working with George Clooney and Brad Bird?
I learned so much from both of them. George is so professional and fun. Brad has a crazy imagination and is so creative.
George teased Raffey.
I always found it funny. I had to go to school during filming. He’d always tease me. If I had to go to school and he would stay on set, he would tease — oh you are going to school! I’d say, You are so mean!
What message do you want children to take away from the film?
I hope they walk away from Tomorrowland feeling very optimistic, and I want them to realize that the future isn’t a place that we’re going. It’s something we’re making. They can make it to be anything they want.
There is a lack of superheroes for young girls in films. Is Athena a super hero?
She is a superhero and in a way she creates one as well. She uses Casey to make her become a hero to save the world. I think Athena could be an idol for others because she is optimistic, intelligent and wise. She’s a bit like an old soul in a young body.
What does the term ‘girl power’ mean to you.
I think it means being independent and not needing anyone’s help, but also working together with other girls.
We love that Raffey refers to her character as an old soul. Talk about old souls, she had such poise in her answers!
Tomorrowland is in theaters now!
* We attended the junket and had a 1:1 with Raffey! Our opinions are own. First image taken by Shelby Barone other images supplied by Disney.