Last Thursday I had the chance to be part of a roundtable interview with the two cast members of The Longest Ride, the upcoming Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson visited Minneapolis as part of their press tour around the country. Unfortunately I was unable to see the screening of the film, but here’s the synopsis:
THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke (Eastwood), a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia (Robertson), a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.
Thanks ALLIED for co-ordinating the interview roundup in a downtown Minneapolis Hotel. I arrived 10 minutes early and there was still another interview going on in the room. As I was leaning against the wall in the hallway, Scott Eastwood walked by in front of me. I was immediately struck by how much he looked like his dad Clint, but most definitely he’s not 5’11’ as is listed on IMDb. You’ll figure it out from the photo I posted below. Just FYI I’m 5’3″ and I didn’t wear heels at the time.
In any case, both are warm and affable. Britt is especially cordial and sweet, I haven’t seen her in anything yet but I’m a fan now. Both seem to be in good spirits and answered our questions cheerfully. There are about a dozen interviewers in the roundtable. Now, lesson learned – whenever you participate in a roundtable interview, make sure to ask the question you REALLY want the answers to. My second question to Britt was going to be about Tomorrowland and Scott about Suicide Squad, two big-budget movies in a totally different genre than this one.
In any case, my question is marked with an asterisk (*) in front of it.
Spoiler alert! Be warned that some of the conversation might touch some plot points.
Q: In the movie, there are a lot of scenes with bull riding. I read that you did all the stunts yourself, so I’m curious what encouraged you to do that and what are your thoughts on that experience?
Scott: Well I’ve been a big fan of rodeo actually, since I was a kid. Rodeo is different than PBR [Professional Bull Riders – ed] but I’m a big fan since I’m a kid. Sorry I can’t remember what age I was but I went to the Salinas rodeo and I remember seeing these guys and thinking that they’re bigger than life. So I became a fan of the PBR and one of my best friends has this Buck A Bull and he kept calling and calling and he said, ‘If you don’t buck a bull while you’re doing this, you’ll never hear the end of it from me” [laughs] So…
Britt: Is it just for him?
Scott: No, it wasn’t just for him. I mean y’know, these guys, going to play a bull rider and hanging out with these guys for four months, and having the respect that I had for them that I had, y’know it’s only right that I do it one time if I were going to portray someone who does that stuff.
Q: So how do you feel about it afterwards?
Scott: Well I thought I won’t do it again [laughter fills the whole room] No, I thought it was awesome, it was an adrenaline rush. The video will actually premier in Jimmy Fallon in about a week from now [April 8 – ed]
Q: So when you guys filmed this, what time of year, because it looked kind of hot some of the time? I’m sure it could get quite grueling, especially the material you wore when you’re riding. So do you have any stories as to how hot it was, as I know that North Carolina gets pretty…
Britt: Very, very warm. I mean, I’m used to it as I’m from North Carolina so I’m used to being in the humid, humid heat. But this was in the middle of Summer, y’know, I don’t even know if there are really stories. I can’t complain about it because then I’ll lose my cred…
Scott: The North Carolina cred?
Britt: Yes exactly. So how about you? Did you have any trouble with the weather?
Scott: I like it, I like the heat. I’m a warm weather guy so I liked it.
Q: As far as the novel? Has either of you read this book before you did this film? Have you read Nicholas Sparks before?
Britt: I did not read the book before I auditioned. But I read it after I got the part and I have read his previous novels so I’m obviously familiar with his work, and also the movies that are based on his books. I waited until I got the part before indulging.
Scott: I hadn’t read the book but I was a fan of The Notebook so that’s the extent of my knowledge of Nicholas Sparks beyond the fact that he had a lot of successful movies, but each I was a fan of The Notebook.
Q*: Just to tie that to the question… Was there an audition process for you both?
Britt: I had met with one of the producers Marty Bowen two or three months before the shooting n he had given me the script n he thought that I might be right for the part. So I went and audition for the part with director George Tillman Jr. After the audition they told me I had the part but I was still pretty skeptical at that point. Then they brought me in to read with Scott and a few other guys and I got the part.
Q*: Scott, So you auditioned with her then?
Britt: Britt: did you already got the part when you auditioned with me?
Scott: You know, all these auditions blurred together. I honestly don’t remember.
Britt: hmmm, I didn’t realize that I didn’t know that.
Q: So you both read the books. I was there [at the screening] last night and I think Scott you might’ve answered this last night. Y’know it’s hard when you read the book, the you read the script and there’s changes. Was there anything in the book that you thought, oh I wish that had been in the movie?
Scott: that’s a great question, we had not been asked that question before. Actually you know what, I ‘m really proud how this movie turned out, extremely proud. And that doesn’t happen all the time. You do movies and sometimes they turned out well, so-so, so you go ‘well we gave that a shot.’ And that happens with great scripts, sometimes they turned to so-so movies, you get that with mediocre script and they turned into great movies. I think I really enjoyed in the book, that when Luke first met Sophia, Nicholas Sparks described it as ‘ a comfortable silence’ that you have with people and I think that happens with people you fall for. There’s something really nice about how she comfortable she felt with his silence, there doesn’t need to be words. And I strongly pushed my opinion about that scene when they first met, but I think some of them end up in the cutting room floor and that’s what happened. We did film a lot more of that opening scene.
Britt: Yeah… funny enough, before seeing the film there were a few things that I was curious to explore. Y’know, there are this stuff about Sophia’s life prior to her family, just where she comes from. I mean, it’s hard to relate to someone without knowing anything about their history. Actually that’s a big point that some people brought up… But now, seeing the movie, I don’t imagine it done any other way. A lot of the ideas that I miss or thought that might be interesting just don’t even work for the movie, I really am happy with the way it came out.
Scott: Some things just don’t work. I mean, I thought that the boyfriend thing…
Scott: … Now, I think it just doesn’t work at all. I mean, it’s very cliché, in words, what’s in a medium in words can be very different in picture, so we didn’t need that.
Q: The movie is a lot about sacrifice in love. I’m curious what you guys think personally about sacrificing your dreams for a relationship. Especially when you’re super young, what you might advise your characters?
Britt: Well, my personal thought about sacrificing for relationship in relation to the film… is that, there’s really nothing that you’re sacrificing in life if you’re choosing to made a decision that you want. I said this a few times, but it’s something that resonates in my life. I think it’s important for young people when they’re watching the film, Sophia made the choice to give up her internship and not be a part of New York like so she can be with Luke. So that’s the decision she wants to make. And that’s her choice. I think people have to look at their life in terms of the big picture and long term, and what matters most. It’s really about priorities, really. You kind of just have to prioritize and see what means the most, and what gonna make you happy. And that’s the choices that you make, based on those priorities.
Scott: I don’t think I can answer that [laughs]
Q: What made you guys choose this project over some other ones you could have been working on at the same time?
Scott: You mean, sorry, previous Nicholas Sparks’ films?
Q: No, just in general. Why you chose this one What made you guys choose this one over some other ones you could have been filming and working on at the same time?
Britt: Well, they chose me and I chose them for… I mean, they chose me, I auditioned for it and I got the part. But more than that, to answer your actual question, is that I’ve always had this nostalgic connection with Nicholas Sparks because it was almost something I was raised on. I mean, my mom loves his books, loves his films, so I’ve always… it’s almost like a bonding experience in the house almost, watching his movies. I think for me, that was a really cool element, for being a part of his movies and being a part of this film. Other than that, I really like the character Sophia. She’s a really strong woman and it’s an interesting story. And I also really love the director, George Tillman Jr. So tons of stuff.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. It’s never really one specific reason, I think it’s a lot reasons. In this case, I was a big fan of the director, George Tillman Jr., and also a fan of The Notebook. I also thought this one in particular has a certain machismo, a certain guy element to it…
Britt: Machismo! [laughs] I like that!
Scott: Machismo… yeah, that I like. It’s something that I like which I haven’t seen in movies in a long time.
Q: A lot of teenagers and high school kids are actually skeptical of Nicholas Sparks’ books and movies, because they’re seen as cheesy or cliché. So in your opinion, why would our age group want to go see this movie or what would draw them in?
Britt: The reason we’re proud of the film is just, because it’s good…
Scott: It’s not cliché…
Britt: Yeah, I mean because it’s a good movie. It means more than just the typical y’know, kissing in the rain or like, sex on the beach. Or whatever it is that happens in books or movies that make them cliché. I think it’s a story about love, it’s a story about two people finding their way in life. There are some really interesting relationships and like he [Scott] said, there’s the action aspect of it, which is fun for guys. Or even for women, I mean I got really rowdy during those scenes, just fired up for them. I think it’s an interesting movie to watch and not think about it as a Nicholas Sparks genre.
Q: How did you start out as a teen that help you prepare for your career as an actor?
Britt: Hey, how did you start out? I don’t even know this.
Scott: You mean, how did I start acting?
Britt: Yeah, that was the question right? [gesturing to the person asking the question, to which she nodded]
Scott: I’ve been in plays in high school. I’ve also had been in a videography class throughout high schools where we’d do short films for various programming that we see in high school. There’s a programming for an advanced videography class where you do video shown on Monday morning and stuff. And to be honest, y’know, I grew up around movie sets, so it just sort of, I’ll give it a shot after high school.
Britt: Yeah, same with me. I started with plays, I was in theater in South Carolina and I ended up snagging an agent in L.A. and just started auditioning. Y’know, pretty simple story.
Q: So what’s your favorite scene to film in this movie?
Scott: I like a lot of the bull riding aspect. We were down in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the bull riding for about a week. So we have a week doing PBR, with all the big trucks, the big lights, and all the bulls, and all the PBR guys. So that was a pretty exciting week. I had fun in that but the whole filming was pretty enjoyable.
Britt: Yeah, I like that the first date scene. That whole location, we shot that first date scene in this one location and also the very last scene of the movie where we took our clothes off and jumped in the lake. Those, I specifically love that location, I thought it was gorgeous, it was so much fun to be there. It was a hot Summer week and jumping in the pond, which was freezing. I don’t know how it could get that cold being so hot, so all that stuff was really fun.
Q: How was your experience working with the rest of the cast?
Britt: Well I didn’t really have a lot of cast to work with other than this guy. There was Melissa [Benoist] who played my sorority sister and Melissa is amazing. I’m actually a huge fan of her work, she was in Whiplash and that’s my favorite movie of this year. Obviously there’s Alan [Alda] was an absolute legend so working with him was a treat. That was an absolute delight.
Q: I know that you [pointing to Scott] said that you enjoyed rodeo when you’re younger, but did you guys have experience riding horses before filming this?
Scott: Yeah, I did. I still ride today. We have a couple of horses just north of L.A. so I go ride whenever I want to go riding. I love riding.
Britt: I didn’t know anything, I mean they gave me lessons but I’m pretty bad on the horses but I had to embrace it.
And that’s a wrap! 😀
The interview was only about 15-min long as there’s a photo-op right after. Towards the end of the interview, both Scott and Britt made a comment about the loud noise from music, construction and dog howling. Thankfully they’re such a good sport about the whole thing.
Thanks Britt & Scott for chatting with us!
The Longest Ride in out in theaters this Friday, April 10
Hope you enjoy the interview! Have you seen The Longest Ride? Well, what did you think?
28 thoughts on “The Longest Ride interview with cast member Scott Eastwood & Britt Robertson”
This is so cool, Ruth. Fine interview that has made me curious about the film. Well done.
Thanks Michael! Scott definitely has his dad’s looks & erm, machismo. I have yet to see him in anything yet though, but it was fun meeting both of these young actors.
I’d actually say 5’11 sounds about right. I’m 6’1 and I dated a girl who was 5’3 once, I was a full head taller than her, in that photo he is just under a head taller… eh who knows 🙂
Great read, that is too awesome that you got to meet these people and interview them!
You are tall! I dunno, I’m pretty good judge of height usually, Scott looks like he’s about 5’9 or 5’10 at most. It’s still pretty tall in my book, heck ANYONE is tall compared to me, ahah.
Yeah, it’s always fun meeting actors/filmmakers in the business, they seem to be pretty down to earth, too.
That is so cool you got to meet those people. My ‘dream’ is to keep up this blog and get it known locally well enough that I can get talking with local filmmakers, as our film industry is doing really well despite NO support from our gvment or ‘cineplexes’ whatsoever. I’d love to support our industry as much as I can cos it needs it badly.
Cool, my daughters really want to see this movie. So there are only two degrees of separation between me and one of the Eastwoods 😉
Hope you enjoy it Nostra, I think it’ll be a good one to see w/ the whole family. This is as close as I could get to Clint Eastwood, ahah.
Scott Eastwood really has his dad’s looks!!!
This looks like a very family friendly film. I hope it pans out well for all concerned, Ruth!
Hi Kevin! Yes he does, I was quite shocked when I saw him walked in front of me. It’s like seeing a young Clint Eastwood, though I think his dad’s taller. Hmmm, well there seems to be a lot of sex scenes so I don’t know how family friendly this film is, ahah.
Always great to get a pic with the stars! Another fine interview, albeit for a movie I’m unlikely to see.
Ahah, I hear ya Mark. I might give it a rent as I quite like Jack Huston who has a small role in the film.
Cool post. You know how I feel about Scott Eastwood, but despite that, I’m not excited for this movie at all.
Also, I’m so jealous that you talked to him, took a photo with him (with his arm around you!), stood next to him, breathed the same air…
Ha..ha.. you’re not even gonna rent this for your boy Scott? 😉 Y’know, I was more impressed by Britt from the interview, I just realized I put my arms around her instead of around him, ahah. But they’re both nice though, I wish them the best of luck in their careers.
Nope, not even a rental. I’ll just stare at pics of him on Google or something.
Looking forward to seeing them in Tomorrowland and Suicide Squad 🙂
Ahah, too funny! Well for me it’s not enough, I’d even see a bad movie if my crush is in it 😉
I am looking forward to those two movies, I wish I had been able to ask my question about it.
Nice post Ruth. I doubt I’ll ever see this one, but it’s great to see that Eastwood and Robertson have other projects on the way. I’m really looking forward to Suicide Squad and Tomorrowland.
I’ll probably rent this one Josh but yeah excited for those two upcoming movies!
Really great interview Ruth, they both appear to be friendly people. It must have been great getting into a round table with these two.
Yeah it’s always nice to chat w/ people who are in the business. They’re both cordial so that’s always a bonus!
OH YES girl I am so jealous!!! I thought he was taller too haha! Of course you get to meet the guy you have no interest in. PS not sure why the like button is not coming up. But yes I like like it. 🙂
Hey, since you live close to LA, I bet you might run into him one day. Scott is good looking, just not my type. Isn’t that funny how we always get what we don’t have, ahah. Who knows maybe YOU’LL run into Stanley and I’ll be the one being super jealous!!
Actually Scott is from San Diego, I just found that out. A friend of mine her client’s brother knows him. I will probably never see him, but most likely Stanley. And when I do I will take a pic with him to make you jealous haha!
Great job Ruth!!
I stumbled across your site today when I seen you were chatting about Prince. As soon as I seen your site I thought you were the lady I met last year at The Longest Ride interview and I seen by this post that yes, it is you. You and I chatted on the way out of the interview and exchanged cards.
That interview was on April 2nd and on April 4th, my 24 year old son was killed in a car accident in St Paul. That same son that I had brought to the movie premiere on April 1st and who’s home I stayed in the night before to do this interview. I never did write my interview.
It’s been a year and obviously my heart is broken forever. There is this to say though, this invite to do this interview allowed me to come and spend time with my son. I was with him two days before his accident because of The Longest Ride. For that I will forever be grateful; Glad to see you still writing Ruth! I still write for the website Book Journey.
Hello Sheila. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing ok today considering what you’ve been through. I can’t even comprehend losing a child as I don’t have kids myself, but I pray that you have found some kind of solace that help you through each day. I lost my mother suddenly on my 16th birthday and I know that such loss is not something one can *get over.* I’m glad you are still writing Sheila, I will stop by and check it out. I hope one day we can meet again and catch up. It was such a highlight meeting you that day, perhaps more so than the interview itself. So thank you!