Madeline Carroll (now 14) and Callan McAuliffe (now 15) star in a sweet story of first love called “Flipped,” based on the popular book by Wendelin Van Draanen. I spoke to them about acting in a story set three decades before they were born, what movies they like to watch, and what it was like to work with one of Hollywood’s top directors, Rob Reiner. The biggest surprise was Callan’s accent. He’s Australian!
Did you have to learn about life in the 1960’s to play those characters?
Callan: I watched some old movies and TV shows but it wasn’t too hard. They dressed us up and did our hair so it was easy to feel so we were in the moment as soon as we got on the set.
Madeline: The set made you feel like you were in the 1960’s, the hair and clothes.
What is the biggest difference between the 1960’s and now?
Callan: Technology. They don’t have video games, internet, Twitter.
Madeline: IM, Facebook…
Did you have a favorite of the old-fashioned clothes you had to wear?
Callan: I hated them all!
Madeline: They were good for the movie but made me feel really awkward. They were actually old clothes so they were kind of stiff.
Do kids today behave differently?
Callan: I reckon it’s pretty similar. Hair and clothes and internet aside, it’s pretty similar.
Madeline: I think they’re pretty similar, too, but more — mean girls are meaner. Same feelings, but maybe they show it more.
What did Juli learn from the visit to her uncle?
Madeline: She became closer to her family and her dad. She didn’t care what Bryce thought anymore. She saw that her uncle was so kind and innocent, why would she want to fit in with with kids at school who were mean. It was another piece of the puzzle. She didn’t really care what Bryce thought after she saw her uncle. If Bryce would have had the sickly uncle, he would have been more embarrassed about it because of the way his dad acted. He would not have been proud; he would have been more embarrassed and not wanted him around.
What advice did the director, Rob Reiner, give you?
Callan: He gave me the script and said, “Do what you can and if you suck, I’ll tell you.”
Madeline: He would just say, “How would you do it?”
Did you have fun playing with the other kids in the movie between scenes?
Madeline: Yes, it was really fun. In other things that I’ve worked on, there haven’t been many other kids. We had so many extras in this big huge room and we’d go in and play games and cards and stuff.
What are you doing next?
Madeline: I just finished a movie with Gerard Butler in Michigan. [“Machine Gun Preacher”]
Callan: I just finished an action film with Steven Spielberg in Pittsburgh. It was loads of fun. It’s called “I am Number Four.”
Madeline: That’s so funny that this movie was based on a book and both of us are working on new movies based on books. You have to be very careful because there are fans of the book and they get mad if you shorten a lot of stuff.
Callan: I also did an Australian miniseries based on a book. When there’s a book, you have to be careful because there are true fans of the book like “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings” who will get annoyed about the little nuances. Like I don’t have blue eyes but in the book Bryce does.
Would you ever like to direct a film?
Madeline: I think it’s really cool when people direct themselves in a movie.
Callan: There’d be a lot more work but you could do everything you wanted to do with it, make it your own.
What movies do you like best?
Madeline: “Phantom of the Opera,” Misery, which was directed by Rob. I told him if he ever makes another scary movie, I want to be in it! I like the Japanese horror films that are supposed to be scary but the dubbing is so bad they are funny. My brothers and I watched one called “Hair Extensions.” It was supposed to be scary but it was so funny!
Callan: I can do the “Chain Saw Massacre”-type things where it’s just some psycho going around killing everyone, but I can’t watch the supernatural ones, like when there’s a girl walking down the corridor with the lights flickering, I just run and hide! After seeing “The Ring,” I couldn’t look in the mirror for about a month.
What should people know about “Flipped?”
Madeline: People can take their whole family to it.
Callan: There’s no hair extensions in this film!
Madeline: Rob Reiner’s made so many films people still watch today. I hope this one will be a movie people will watch for a long time because it makes them feel good.