CG caught up with Amanda for some good old-fashioned girl talk where she told us all about her awkward moments on set, what the cast did together when the cameras weren't rolling and of course, what it was like to lock lips with Zac! Amanda Crew: Well, I think number one is Zac Efron. And there are so many different messages in the story about life and living in the moment. Tess is not just a pretty girl - she has morals, she's strong, and she knows what she wants in life.CG: What was your reaction when you found out you'd be playing Zac Efron's love interest? I met with Burr Steers, the director, first and then got the call on my birthday that I’d be doing a chemistry read with Zac which was just like, ‘Oh my God! I was actually in my agent’s office (when they called to say I’d gotten the part), and I’ve got a photo of me because I’m hunched over crying. What I loved about this character was she’s such a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants in life. You work so hard and you have your ups and downs in this industry where you question, ‘Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? A lot of the time it’s just the pretty girl who serves as the love interest and that’s it. He showed me a lot of her work and we watched different movies for different reasons to see this dynamic (in) this love relationship. I think part of that is to do with the fact that he’s not this guarded guy, ‘I’m God. I didn’t know him before he had all this success but I feel like the person I’m meeting today is the same person as before all the success hit him. It was everything from doing various acting exercises, me and Zac together just to get comfortable and not be scared to take risks in front of each other and falling on our faces. He showed us a lot of old films and different actors and actresses to look at, like Vanessa Redgrave. We had a lot of different sailing coaches and trainers on the set. On the scenes on the boat he’d constantly check in with me, ‘Touch this,’ or, ‘Play with this rope, tie this up,’ so Zac and I actually looked like we knew what we were doing. They just want to know what he’s like and, thankfully, I have only amazing things to say about him. We did a lot of work with repetition, actor exercises where you just repeat back and forth.
So when it came to [the kiss] we would just kind of nuzzle.
’ After all that hard work you have that moment of, ‘I earned this and I deserve this,’ and you’re validated. What I was drawn to in the character was it’s really hard to find strong roles for girls my age.
One specifically was this guy named Sterling Ashcroft. Well, so far I’ve met a lot of Zac’s fans because they would be around the set. Well, I’d met him before because we’d done chemistry reads and screen tests. The first time I met him in the chemistry read, obviously he’s a good-looking guy but I was never that girl that had his poster above my bed, but when I met him, all of a sudden he has this effect on people. All of a sudden I’m turning into a 12-year-old girl and giggling. It’s crazy but it’s kind of like actors’ boot camp.
AC: I've done some of those scenes before so I was never really nervous. At first, I was like "I don't know if I really like this," but when you're sailing on your own it's a really exhilarating feeling. CG: Do you have any fun stories from when the cameras weren't filming? AC: We hung out any moment that we weren't filming - Zac, Auggie [he plays Alistair], Davy [he plays Sully].
We spent so much time together before we started filming - we had rehearsals and sailing training. Both Zac and I had personal trainers because we wanted to look like we could actually sail those boats. It was always a challenge to figure out places to go because Zac can't just go anywhere. Any crazy fan encounters when you were spending all this time with Zac?