As Tess Carroll, a young hot shot sailor who pulls Charlie St. Cloud out of his self-imposed exile, Amanda Crew's confident performance is tempered by her ability to go Molly Ringwald on us at a moment's notice.
A spunky young actress from Canada, Crew got some great news about the role of Tess on her birthday and feels supremely grateful to be in this summer's big tear-jerker as Zac Efron's love interest.
Crew sat down with a group of mom bloggers who were invited to screen Charlie St. Cloud and chat with the actors afterward. She spilled on her insecurities, her life in Hollywood, and what it was like to kiss the man behind People's Hottest Body.
You found out on your birthday that you got the role?
It was on my birthday I found out I was doing the chemistry test with him.
What’s a chemistry test?
Basically we just make out for hours. They’re like, is there chemistry there? (laughs) No.
Usually when you audition for a movie, you read with the director or with another actor. So the chemistry read is to read with whoever has been cast, in this case Zac. I was like, “Oh my god, I’m going to be reading with Zac Efron.”
To be considered for the role was such an honor and it’s always nice to read with another actor. It’s one thing to read with a casting director, but when you’re actually reading with the person who has the part, you can connect with them further. And hopefully, have chemistry.
What was it like to kiss Zac Efron?
Well, I wasn’t kissing Zac Efron, I was kissing Charlie St. Cloud (laughs).
He is such a down to earth, honest, genuine guy. He’s not guarded, he’s just there. He was an amazing person to work with, so these scenes weren’t difficult. You know ... I love my job.
How much experience with sailing did you have? You were awesome.
You know a couple of people said, “You really looked like you knew what you were doing.” Thank God, because I really didn’t.
We did a lot of sailing training before. You definitely get a grip on it. But I’m not athletic and I’m kind of a klutz so I was falling down a lot and I had a lot of bruises all over my body. They always had to put in an extra 20 minutes in hair and makeup just to cover up my legs.
Are there any ways you’re similar to your character?
What I loved about this character was that she had so many layers to her. She’s strong, she’s independent, she knows what she wants in life. She’s going to go for it, and she’s unapologetic about it. She’s not going to let anyone stand in the way of that. So I really admired that about this character.
She was going to sail around the world by herself, which is really ambitious and brave. I think it’s a great role model for girls.
And love was going to have to wait?
I don’t think she ever expected love to come into the equation, and when it did, she couldn’t deny there was this connection with this person. Yeah, I could run away and deny it, but when you feel that connection with someone, it’s crazy. It’s totally scary. Love is scary.
But I love that she didn’t run away from it. How can you?
How did you get started as a young actor?
My mom saw that I had this passion for acting but she wouldn’t let me get an agent until I was about 15 or 16 because she wanted to make sure I was really passionate about this and it was what I wanted to do. Because you have to be pretty stable to get into this career, mentally.
I think for anyone, make sure this is what you want to do. If you’re passionate about it, don’t let anyone stand in your way. Take classes and do what you’ve gotta do. Just know that it’s not an easy road.
Do you like living in LA now?
I’ve been fortunate to find a really solid group of friends who are normal and stable and grounded and not swept up by this whole Hollywood thing.
I have a lot of friends who are in the industry and not in the industry. They don’t care at the end of the day that I’m doing this movie with Zac Efron. They’re happy for me, but that’s not our conversation. At the end of the day that’s a job, and it’s part of me but not who I am.
So we’re not going to see you in the tabloids doing something crazy anytime soon?
Definitely not. I like to have fun, but not that kind of fun.