Raffey Cassidy is a British actress best known for her part as Athena staring alongside George Clooney in the Disney sci-fi movie Tomorrowland, (2015). Raffey also played the part of a young Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman, (2012). She was the young Eva Green in Dark Shadows, (2012) (She is right at the beginning of the film) and was in the TV series Mr Selfridge, (2013). It is rumoured that she is next to star alongside Brad Pitt…
In 2013 Raffey became the youngest child star ever to be included on Screen International’s influential list – ‘UK Stars Of Tomorrow’ (a list that previously picked the young Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Pattinson as names to watch).
When Raffey walked into the rooms in Soho we knew immediately that she was Molly Moon. Even though she didn’t look the part (Molly Moon in the book is ugly, with closely-set eyes and a potato nose) she had a pale Little Matchgirl quality that made her able to immediately be a believable orphan girl.
Then, when she started to act, she was so soulful and believable, that we saw we might have to change how Molly was in the film.
The film Molly, with Raffey being her, would be a scruffy, skinny pale girl. Just as much a misfit and just as bullied as Molly in the book, but instead of having bogie eyes, the film Molly would have beautiful eyes– like Raffey’s. Raffey’s eyes then became a huge focus of the film.
Interview with Raffey Cassidy
Q: How did you start acting?
A: Two of my older brothers Finney and Mossie and my older sister Grace are actors so acting is something I grew up around, but I started by accident I suppose. I was waiting outside the room while one of my brothers Mossie was in an audition. When he finished the casting directors saw me waiting and said they were also looking for a little girl, I think I was 7. I just happened to be there at the time so I went in to this room and showed them what I could do, which involved a lot of coughing and looking very ill! Luckily I got that part and had so much fun on set I just wanted to do more. My next job was a radio play and I got to work with my brother Mossie, it was so much fun.
Q: Why do you love acting?
A: I love acting because I get to meet lots of new people on set and also the thrill of getting to play a different person and be somebody else for the period of time that the shoot happens for. I’ve got a thing about make-up and prosthetics so it’s great to be around the make-up department – I go there whenever I can to just watch and sometime I get to mess around and have a go. I’ve been lucky enough to work with the stunts department quite a lot and that is very, very exciting – and hard work too, as you have to train hard and concentrate because safety is a big thing.
Q: How did you feel when you got the part in Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism?
A: When I got the part of Molly moon I was ecstatic! Chris Rowley called me and said we have chosen you to be Molly Moon. My dad was very excited, too excited in fact. He punched the air in excitement and pulled a muscle in his back – he was in pain for days!
Q: Were you ever scared or nervous when you were on set?
A: There may have been a few moments when I had butterflies in my tummy but everybody on set made me feel so comfortable and at home. Also things can be pretty busy on set so that takes your mind off any nerves.
Q: Do you think that you are quite similar to Molly Moon?
A: Molly is warm and caring with a great imagination and she’s quite brave and can be quite tough when she needs to be. I’d like to think I’m some of those things. Molly has a good sense of humour and I definitely share that with her – I have lots of brothers so you’ve got to enjoy a good practical joke.
Q: If you weren’t acting in the film, what other process would you have liked to be involved in?
A: There are so many things that I would have loved to be involved in on set. Make-up is one of the things that I would have loved to do, it’s so much fun. At home in my spare time I love to do prosthetics and make-up, which involves lots of fake blood! I use all different types of materials to create the cut or bruise or burn. Another thing that I would love to be on set is involved in the camera department, sticking the tape on the floor for the marks really excites me – and that’s probably all they would let me to do. All of the jobs on a film are interesting and I’d like to get to know what I can about them all.
Q: Did you do anything to prepare the role of Molly Moon?
A: The first thing I did was read the book again. I’d read it before but it was so exciting to read it knowing I would be playing Molly. That gave me a really good idea of who Molly was and the journey she takes in the book. When I got the script I read it all without thinking about my lines but just thinking about the story, all the characters and what Molly thought and did. I thought a lot about all of the things that Molly has been through like living in an orphanage and never seeing or knowing her parents and how that would feel. I would always read through the scenes for the next day at night because I read somewhere that sleeping just after you learn something helps – it works for me anyway.
Q: What was your favourite moment or thing that happened whilst filming?
A: I really enjoyed being on the wires and flying through the air. I’m a big fan of gymnastics and go to classes whenever I can and I just love doing stunts. I got to tumble upside down and around in mid-air. I also got to ride on a swing that was meant to look like I was sitting on a block of chocolate it was sooooooooo cool!
Q: Did anything really funny happen to you on set?
A: As part of my costume I had these boots that had hooks on each side to lace them up. The problem was that the lace from one boot was always catching on the hook from the other boot. One day I was walking off set and they both hooked round each other and I landed flat on the floor. At the time I was a little bit embarrassed when I turned and saw that not one single person hadn’t seen. But as soon as I jumped back up off the floor I burst out laughing – it still makes me laugh when I think about it, I’m just glad my brothers weren’t there to see it!