FIRMLY IN THE SADDLE
Although horse riding wasn’t among her ‘special skills’ Britt Robertson manages to nail her role for new movie The Longest Ride
Britt Robertson, days away from turning 25, has news for those of us still living in the last century: actors don’t do resumes anymore.
“Resumes ... those don’t even really exist,” she says. “I mean, now people just look you up on imdb.com and that’s all you really need to know.”
She does at least “remember the days of the resume” so can drag her mind back to the ‘special skills’ section in which every wannabe actor would list things they could do that might impress a casting director.
“I had really weird stuff on there,” recalls Robertson, who moved from South Carolina to Los Angeles when she was 14 to pursue acting. (In order to not disrupt her siblings, it was Robertson’s grandmother who moved with her to LA.)
“I had a go-kart when I was a kid, so one of my special skills was ‘go-karting’ – like that’s even a special skill! I’m pretty sure I should have put ‘driving’, because that’s all it is.
“What else was on there? ‘Rollerblading’. I put ‘miming’ once, ’cos I took a miming class. Just bizarre stuff, trying to get a job.”
One that never made Robertson’s list was horse riding, a non-skill that came in handy for her new film, The Longest Ride.
In the latest romantic weepie from the pen of Nicholas ‘The Notebook’ Sparks, Robertson plays studious New Jersey girl Sophia, who is studying down south in North Carolina before taking an internship at a New York art gallery. Dragged away from her books for one night, her friends take her to a rodeo, where she happens to lock eyes with the hottest bull-bucking cowboy in the ring, Luke (played by Scott Eastwood). A star-crossed, hurdle-strewn love affair is born.
As is the norm when courting a cowboy, Sophia is encouraged to ride a horse. She does so, badly.
“There was no faking it,” laughs Robertson. “I’m pretty bad at horseback riding, I’m not gonna lie. It is way more difficult than I anticipated it being.” Scene nailed. Robertson, who has also had roles in Delivery Man alongside Vince Vaughn and Dan in Real Life with Steve Carell, also found it easy to, as she says, “fall in love, professionally” with Eastwood.
“We’re very much buddies and we pal around with each other and give each other a hard time. I think that’s where our chemistry was born out of, our playfulness,” she says.
While Eastwood is honest enough to admit he doesn’t have the old school manners of his character, Luke, Southern native Robertson is adamant such polite young men do exist.
“You just gotta look in the right places.”
Just as gentlemanly was her veteran Alan Alda, who enters the frame in The Longest Ride when Sophia and Luke come across a car accident on the way home from their first date.
“Any minute I could spend with him was a pleasure. He’s such a love in every meaning of the word – he loves people, he loves sharing his experiences,” Robertson says.
On the other hand, the bull riding isn’t something she’d partake of in her own spare time – even just as a spectator.
“It’s a really scary sport and I had no idea just how life threatening it is until I was right there,” she says.
This s is shaping as a big year in Robertson’s acting career. After The Longest Ride comes Tomorrowland – Disney’s mysterious, bigbudget adventure which she co-leads with George Clooney.
She’s a wayward tomboy who stumbles upon a secret world; Clooney is her initially gruff guide.
Then, possibly early next year, will come Cook, the tale of a girl who inherits a live-in chef. She stars in that with Eddie Murphy. It was directed by Australian Bruce Beresford.
“It was an incredible experience for me. It’s based on true friendship that the writer had with this man who came into her life,” Robertson explains.
All this big-time movie stuff comes as something of a relief to Robertson, now she has lost her security blanket: her character in TV series Under the Dome, Angie, was killed off while she was shooting Tomorrowland.
“I knew it was coming in the second season ... I definitely didn’t think it would be permanent,” she laughs. “But it was, sure enough. I was very happy, though, to see Stephen King wrote the episode that I died in; that was a privilege.”
Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood in a scene from film
The Longest Ride.