If you have seen Britt Robertson’s on-screen performances, you’ll recognize her as the passionate, caring college student from The Longest Ride. And this Friday, you’ll get to know her as the science aficionado striving to change the world in Disney’s new release Tomorrowland, in theaters everywhere on May 22. If you’ve never heard of Britt Robertson, allow us to introduce you. She’s a Southern girl currently residing in Los Angeles. As any proper South Carolinian does, she loves sweet tea, looks up to her mother and, like everyone we know, she is dreaming of a vacation in the Maldives. Welcome Britt Robertson, today’s FACE of the South.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Greenville, SC. My family is still there, and I try to visit as often as possible. I was able to visit recently while I was on the east coast after filming The Longest Ride. I am the oldest of seven brothers and sisters, so it is easier for me to come to them.
What made you decide to move to Los Angeles?
Being an actor in a small town was not really going to work. Once I decided that this was what I wanted, my parents’ initial reaction was to figure out how to make it happen. It was my grandmother’s idea to move out to L.A., and once I got an agent, she moved out there with me. I was about 13.
What do you miss most about living in the South?
Definitely the food—sweet tea and chicken and dumplings. Chicken and dumplings is my favorite meal and reminds me most of home. It is hard to find in L.A. I have found sweet tea, but it is not the same; it doesn’t have the authentic taste that you get back home. I also miss the people. They are always so kind. Always looking out for one another.
What attracted you to the script of Tomorrowland? Have you always been attracted to mystery/adventure films?
Most importantly, I have always been interested in storytelling. After reading the script, I fell in love with the meaning behind the story. Casey’s (Britt’s character) mindset was appealing. She is driven, not like a lot of people her age. She is always looking toward the future in a positive way.
What, if any, aspects do you see of yourself in Casey Newton?
I like to think I am hopeful, not always, but I am trying to adopt more of that in myself. Overall, we are not very similar. She is definitely more technically adept than I am. I look at her as a better version of myself.
The cast of Tomorrowland includes some showstoppers, including George Clooney, Tim McGraw and Hugh Laurie. Did you find this inspiring or intimidating, and why?
Before the first meeting with George, Hugh and Tim, I was a little unsure—unsure how to act, what to expect and if they would even be interested in taking the time to talk to me. After that first meeting, they put my mind at ease. They were great people to work with.
The movie was filmed in Spain, British Columbia and different spots in Florida (including Disney parks). Which was your favorite location and why?
Valencia, Spain, had to be my favorite. The people were just wonderful. I have not done a lot of traveling in my life, so this was a special experience.
Tomorrowland is your second big movie of 2015. When you can find time, what is your favorite way to relax and unwind?
I am happiest when I can just be home and can be outside. I love to play with my dogs, swim, relax, and watch movies and TV. I am currently re-watching “Modern Family”—it is hilarious! I just finished “Jinx” and plan to re-watch that. It was one of the most fascinating things I have seen on television.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and what would be included in your travel essentials?
The Maldives. I have never been because it is so far, but I hear it is gorgeous. I will be in the area soon and have considered making a pit stop. Since this is just a fantasy, I would include my dogs, my Apple TV, my surfboard and an aquarium, or something to collect fish.
Can you tell us something people would be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be interested to find out that I am heavily involved in baseball. I watch about three hours a day, every day. I am a New York Mets fan.
If you could choose another career, what would it be and why?
I would open a nice, high-end cleaning service. I love to clean; it makes me really happy, and I am really good at it. I would create a luxury cleaning service; bump it up a notch. I am not sure how it would stand out, but that would be my goal.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you?
Recently, after the Tomorrowland premiere, George Clooney gave me some great advice. He has said this to me before, but he reiterated, “Make the most of your opportunities. This is a movie that could mean something for you and your career. Take advantage of the opportunities as they are given to you.”
Who are some women you admire, and why?
I look up to my mom. She is a wonderful woman who has worked so hard to have a career and a really beautiful family. Even with a large family, she always gives her time and consideration, but has never lost herself or her identity. It is hard to choose any celebrities. I can say I admire people like Angelina Jolie and Amal Clooney, based on their work, but that does not mean I know—or can admire—them as people.
What has been the most challenging part of your career?
Once I got the part of Casey in Tomorrowland, I saw it as an opportunity, but more than that, I knew it would be difficult and challenging. I had to break through my own thoughts. I developed a new technique of acting and adapted to the technical aspects of the film. It really took me out of my comfort zone.
What advice would you give young females looking to pursue their career in the arts?
Be confident in what you want to do, and don’t get too caught up in the ideas of fame. Be focused and work really hard. Most importantly, be nice to people. You have no idea how far being kind will get you. People love kindness.
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends.
I love a good bath, my dogs Buddy and Clyde (we will count those as one) and sweatpants. I love sweatpants!
A special thanks to Britt for talking with us. Tomorrowland opens nationwide this Friday.