One of the actresses we had the chance to interview while on the set of The Best of Me was Liana Liberato who is playing the young Amanada Collier. She was so cute and bubbly and fun to talk to.
If you have seen the movie If I Stay then you will recognize her as she played Mia’s best friend Kim.
About Liana Liberato
Liana Liberato was born on August 20, 1995 in Galveston, Texas, USA as Liana Daine Liberato. She is an actress, known for Trust (2010), Erased (2012) and If I Stay (2014). She stars as Amanda Collier in the upcoming release of the book to movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me.
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Liana Liberato Q&A
May 13, 2014 – from the set of The Best of Me
How did you get involved in acting?
I did theatre when I was three just because my mom didn’t want me to be shy. And I was also the Tasmanian Devil so she wanted to get rid of me for a couple of hours, and so she just put me in some theatre.
And I just fell in love with it. It’s kind of the only thing that I ever really knew. I tried soccer and softball and everything like that, but I’d run the wrong way on the bases and I just wasn’t good.
And so, then when I was nine, I had always said I wanted to do it professionally, and I don’t know how my parents took me seriously, but they took a little leap of faith and decided to try it out and I never really left LA after that.
But, my parents still live in Texas. They live in Galveston with my family who’s in Houston. They moved out last year. I actually made them leave two days after my eighteenth birthday. I was like, “Sayonara. I’ll see you later.”
It was cool, and I visited them quite often. It’s actually convenient that I’m here because it’s only an hour flight.
You were in the movie “Trust.” Did that change the way you see social media?
Yes, it did. When I was filming, I just kind of got off all social media altogether because it did freak me out a little and it affected me.
But, it’s 2014. You kind of have to be involved in it now. I’m sure [Luke] Bracey said something completely opposite. He’s not a part of any of it.
But, I actually enjoy it. I think it’s just about doing it responsibly, which Trust taught me a lot about that.
How did you prepare for playing a time period that is probably before you were born?
Well, Michael Hoffman, the director, had us listen to music, and he would send us articles on stuff that was happening in this area at the time, and just stuff like that. It’s also pretty easy to get into it when you’re put in the clothes and her hair is done and everything like that, and you’re just kind of immersed in that while you’re filming. But, I mean, it’s not too different, I don’t think. Just because my character’s just like a normal teenage girl.
Instead of listens to her iPad or her iPod, she’s listening to her Walkman. Right?
Do you relate to Amanda?
Yes, absolutely. I feel like everyone kind of can just because she’s in that phase of life where nothing’s really tainted her view of life.
And so, she’s very driven, and that’s something that I share with her. She doesn’t really stop until she gets what she wants, and I do that to a fault sometimes. But, I also like the fact that she’s not exactly like me because when I first read the script, it kind of scared me.
The character scared me, which means I should do it because I don’t really ever like to be comfortable in my job. I like to be challenged. I don’t ever really want to be bored or too comfortable. So, I liked that we have a lot of differences and stuff.
What scared you about it? What was different? How was she so different, or what was scary about her?
Well, I did a lot of films that were very dramatic. I did Trust, and a lot of the time, my characters are victims by whatever it might be; by circumstance, by other people, or whatever, and Amanda isn’t a victim. She’s just this bright, bubbly, electric girl and I’ve never done anything like that before.
So, it definitely scared me. I was scared that I wouldn’t do it right, or I wouldn’t play justice to the book. But, that’s why I knew you’ve got to take some risks.
How did you work with Michelle [Monaghan] on creating the character?
We met before filming and sat down and kind of discussed what we wanted with the character; the similarities, the differences because there are some years in between, so there’s obviously going to be some differences.
But, we picked out a couple of mannerisms that we thought would be interesting. A lot of them didn’t even make it into the film because they kind of manifested into something completely different.
Originally, when we sat down and met, we wanted to do something with our ear, and I never did it, and it went to me doing it and playing with my necklace.
Every time Amanda was in a strenuous situation, she’d always go to her necklace, and as soon as I realized that, I’d text Michelle instantly.
I was like, “Just so you know, when my character’s stressed, I play with my necklace,” and she was like, “You got it,”. And she was able to incorporate that into her character, which was so cool.
And also, one of the things that we had discussed is we kind of want this big 180 in our character. You kind of meet this Amanda as she’s very vibrant and nothing can really get in her way, and then towards the end of my storyline, when Dawson goes, you kind of begin to meet the Amanda that Michelle is playing.
And then Amanda, towards the end, will once again close that circle and become that young, driven girl that she’s really always been; that it was just masked over by all of these experiences in her life. So, we wanted that 180.
Favorite scene you filmed.
Okay. I think you girls will like this one. We have a rain scene where–which we have to do a pick-up later tonight, but everyone, you know, when you always ask like, “Where do you want to have your epic kiss?” and everyone’s like, “In the rain, obviously.
And so, I will say that we’ve had to go and go back and do a pick-up. We did a scene on the roof where we’re supposed to kiss about three–two and a half weeks ago or something–and I’m secretly like “Yes. We get to do it again.”
Luke’s probably over there like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I’m like, “Yes, it’s great,” because afterwards, Bracey and I were looking at each other going “We’re in the Nicholas Sparks movie.” That just solidifies it.
But, yes, no, so it just kind of solidifies the fact that you’re doing a Nicholas Sparks movie when you’re kissing a guy, a really attractive guy, in the rain.
How was the sex scene with him?
It was my first sex scene. It’s all about the atmosphere I think. Did you ask Bracey about this? You definitely did. It was stressful to say the least. It was really hot in the room.
I was also a little nervous, but having someone like Luke to play opposite, he’s just such a chill guy, and he’s so accepting and just open to whatever, which I thought was great.
He made me feel really comfortable, but it was a stressful day to say the least, but partially because we girls tend to get into our heads a little bit.
An actor told me this during a film that I was doing where I had to take off my jacket, and I was supposed to be in brown underwear.
And I was nervous that day, and the actor took me aside, and he said, “I just want you to know that the only person that’s looking at you is me.
“And the sound guy is making sure that your coat doesn’t mess with the sound and they can hear you properly. And the cinematographer is making sure the light is hitting me just right. And the director’s making sure your performance is just right.”
So, when I remind myself of those things, it makes me feel a lot better because I know really in that moment, it’s just me and Luke.
Why do you think that Amanda is so drawn to Dawson, because in the book, it seems that they’re really different when they’re in high school?
They are really different… That’s kind of a good thing, I think. They bring out parts of each other that I don’t think they would have seen if they weren’t together. I think it’s because he’s so mysterious and that just draws her in. And he’s also handsome.
But I think there’s something about him that really just intrigues her, and she doesn’t know anything about him, so she wants to know more.
And also the fact that all her life, Amanda’s been surrounded by these posh people and it’s all about the club and the country club, or wherever she goes.
And it’s all the same people, and I think she was looking for someone more grounded and level-headed and someone real. So, and she found that in him.
Do you prefer movies over television?
I actually built my resume on television and my guest star roles on TV, so I really have that to thank for all the opportunities that I got in film in the beginning.
But, as of right now, I don’t really have any intentions on going over to TV just because I don’t really like the idea of being stuck to one character for, like, seven years of my life.
I like a variety and I like trying different parts all the time. But, I will say that just me as a viewer, as an audience member, I think TV is in its prime right now and there’s such great television shows out.
I mean, I’m obsessed with “Walking Dead.” Honestly, if I could just be a zombie on Walking Dead–I don’t even want a big role. I just want a cameo kill on Walking Dead, then my life would be made.
But, I love television. I just don’t think I’d do it right now. Maybe later. Once I’m married and have a child, I want to stay in one place.
Luke Bracey did a shout out to my daughter for me. When my daughter showed it to her brother he texted me asking if there were any “hot” girls who could do a shout out to him. Liana was kind enough to oblige.
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