London Mums meet Tomorrowland’s young star Raffey Cassidy

In between premieres and press conferences for her latest film, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, rising star Raffey Cassidy chatted with London Mums’ film critic, Freda Cooper, about working with George Clooney – and learning to drive!

Raffey Cassidy Britt Robertson and George Clooney

Her name might not be instantly recognisable – yet – but, for the squillions of fans of TV’s Mr Selfridge, Raffey Cassidy’s face is very familiar.  The 13 year old British actress played young Beatrice Selfridge but, as well as being in a TV hit, she’s also worked alongside some real Hollywood ‘A’ listers over the past few years: Charlize Theron in Snow White And The Huntsman and Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows (both in 2012) and, most recently, George Clooney, in Disney’s Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, currently on in cinemas.

Raffey Cassidy

Not that working with movie royalty has gone to her head.  She’s been acting for nearly half of her life and hasn’t decided if she’ll continue with it when she’s older.  “There wasn’t one moment or one day when I suddenly decided I wanted to be an actress,” she recalls.  “For now, I’m really happy with what I’m doing and really grateful for it.  I don’t know whether I’ll do this for the rest of my life.”

Raffey Cassidy

In Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, she plays Athena, an android who is wise and intelligent well beyond her appearance – “an old soul inside a young body” to use Raffey’s own words.  Which meant that the young actress found herself driving a car in the film.  Not only that, but one of her passengers was Clooney himself, who described the experience as “a little nerve wracking when you saw Raffey get behind the wheel, because she was only 12 years old!”  She had driving lessons, of course, but admits that she didn’t get to drive too much.  “I remember one scene when I was driving downhill and I had to stop just before I got to the kerb.  Britt (Robertson, her co-star) suddenly said “Stop!” and we were still on camera at the time!”

She has fond memories of working on the film last year.  “All of the sets were amazing, especially as every time you’d spot something new.  And everybody became just like a family.”  Even better for Raffey, her real family were there for most of the shoot, so it was a great working environment.

And the result is something of a scene-stealing performance in a demanding role.  If this is anything to go by, her acting future is so bright, she’ll need to wear those proverbial shades.  Rather like Tomorrowland itself.

Raffey Cassidy Tomorrowland pin

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is in cinemas now.  Read our review of this latest from Disney here.

About Freda Cooper

Film critic and radio presenter Freda Cooper has been a movie fan all her life - the best qualification for the job! A contributor to a number of film websites, she also presents her weekly podcast, Talking Pictures, a finalist in the UK Podcasters Awards. Her movie blog, formerly The Coops Review, is now also called Talking Pictures, and was shortlisted at this year's UK Blog Awards. And you can hear her film reviews every Friday morning on BBC Surrey and BBC Sussex!

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