Auditioning for a coveted Hollywood role is stressful under any circumstances — and, according to Olivia Cooke, it can be even more so when the project in question is being spearheaded by one of the great Hollywood directors of the past 40+ years.
In March 2018, Steven Spielberg will bring to the screen an adaptation of Ready Player One, the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline about a boy in a dystopian future who enters into a ubiquitous virtual-reality video game to unravel a mystery — whose clues involve classic ’80s games — left by the system’s creator. Cooke will star opposite Tye Sheridan in the potential blockbuster, and as she told Entertainment Weekly at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (where she’s doing press for Katie Says Goodbye and The Limehouse Golem), it was a coast-to-coast(-to coast) process.
“I auditioned in New York for the casting director, then was flown over to L.A. to read with Spielberg, and mix and match with a bunch of boys over two days there. Then I was flown [back] to New York,” she told EW.com. After reading the script in a casting director’s office, she was informed that “‘It’s looking good for you, that’s the reason why I wanted you to read the script. Do you like it?’ I’m like, ‘Of course I do!’”
Cooke, previously seen on the big screen in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and in a recurring role on TV’s Bates Motel, says that the “bizarre” turn of events that led to her casting taught her to always be ready when opportunities arise. “I think what I’ve learned with Ready Player One is patience and being durable and being prepared for anything,” she told EW.com. “Because when you’ve got a tiny, tiny movie, your schedule is set. That you have to make these scenes on that day, we can’t go over. There’s no money to go over. On this big studio movie, there could be five units going on at once.”
You can read about (and watch) Cooke’s entire interview at EW.com. Ready Player One, starring Sheridan, Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, and T.J. Miller, uploads to theaters on March 30, 2018.
Olivia Cooke in ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’: Watch a trailer: