I recently got the chance to talk to Britt Flatmo about her role in JJ Abrams new film, ‘Super 8’. Here, Britt talks about how she got involved in the project, how she got into acting and what’s coming up for her in 2011…
Hey Britt. Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me – ‘Super 8’ is currently in UK cinemas as of August 5th. I’ve watched the trailer and can safely say it’s set to be 2011’s summer film.
Thank you! I was really excited to be a part of such an amazing film.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of the film before, what is the general plotline?
It’s a story about a group of close friends back in the 70’s who decide to make a zombie movie (don’t forget to stay through the credits) and they experience a few “bumps” along the way.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play ‘Charles’ (Riley Griffiths) sister, ‘Peg’. She is kind of a plain girl and a bit of a bookworm. She has a sense of humor too.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned and went on tape for a film called ‘Darlings’. About four months later, I was in New York for the premiere of ‘Life As We Know It’ and I got a call from my manager telling me that I booked a feature film called ‘Super 8’….I had no idea what she was talking about. I was excited that I booked something, but I didn’t know what I booked. When I found out that JJ Abrams was the writer/director and Steven Spielberg was the executive producer – I freaked out!!
I’ve heard this film being compared to stuff like ‘Cloverfield’ – obviously another of JJ Abrams projects – and Steven Spielberg’s ‘ET’ – how would you say this film tries to be innovative?
Funny you should say that – in my mind the film is also reminiscent of ‘The Goonies’, because the group of kids are so close and they are there for each other no matter what. I think J.J. is always trying to find new ways to entertain audiences. I loved that he took a chance on a cast of kids that were basically unknown actors. Also, I like the fact that he keeps a lot of his projects secret. I don’t want to know everything about a movie before I spend money to see it. It’s like opening all your presents before Christmas and then you have nothing to open on the big day! JJ gets that.
The film stars Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Riley Griffiths and Ryan Lee – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? It must have been great to work with JJ Abrams, who is foremost recognised as one of the best directors of the 21st century…
It was a lot of fun and I made some new friends. The cast and crew were amazing. J.J. has a great sense of humor and was really patient working with all of us kids. We had fun on set, but when it came time to shoot our scenes, we were all very professional. Steven Spielberg came to set one day and I got to meet him…that was pretty cool!
If you encountered an alien creature on a set of train tracks – what would you do?
Let’s talk a bit about you Britt. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
When I was little I wanted to sing and dance, just like the actors in all my favorite musicals – (‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘State Fair’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Unsinkable Molly Brown’, ‘Hello Dolly’…..) – I didn’t watch a lot of TV because we didn’t have cable, so I watched old musicals and movies instead. When I was five, I had the opportunity to audition for a musical, ‘Les Miserables’ – I was hooked!! After years of doing theatre in Seattle, I went to a TV/film workshop and met my manager who thought I should come to L.A. So, in the summer of 2007, my mom and I drove to California for the summer….and I have been here ever since. I love living in California doing TV/Film. Someday, I hope to have a music career and be on Broadway!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
If you really love to perform and act, then you should follow your dreams. You can do that in Hollywood or in your own city. But it’s not all glamorous, like you see on TV. It’s a lot of hard work, sacrifice, long hours on set – it takes a lot of patience too. You also can’t take it personally when you don’t get an audition, callback or booking. When I leave an audition I “tie it in a bow and let it go”. I know that as long as I did my very best, I can’t stress or worry about booking the job because I have no control over that. I am also fortunate to have the love and support of my family too – I couldn’t do this without them.
If you could recommend a film or TV series to someone, what would you choose and why?
‘Gone With The Wind’. I love old movies. This film has everything – history, beautiful costumes and scenery, every emotion, great actors – Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were wonderful actors!
You’ve had a number of different roles on a range of different mainstream projects – who have been your favourite actors to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
I have worked with some really wonderful actors so far. I worked a month in Atlanta on the film, ‘Life As We Know It’ and I really enjoyed working with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. They were both so much fun to work with. I remember Josh telling me, “Britt, remember to always find time for fun”. I think that’s great advice because you can get really busy with classes, memorizing sides and scripts and going to auditions and call backs. In my case, I still need time to be able to do all of that and also schoolwork and chores.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
I really don’t like to watch the news because it makes me feel sad and sometimes angry. I am concerned about people who are homeless and who don’t have enough food to eat. The mistreatment of animals and taking care of our Earth – those are issues that are important to me.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’re in production on a film called ‘A Detour In Life’…
Well, I am shooting a commercial this week, so I am excited about that. Production for ‘A Detour in Life’ is supposed to start this fall. This will be my first lead role in a film and I get to ride horses on a horse ranch, so I am looking forward to that! There is another project that I am waiting to hear about – I will let you know how that goes.
Thanks for the interview!