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Carina Battrick talks starring in Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut

Carina Battrick plays the role of Michelle in the Netflix movie Feel the Beat. In the movie, Sofia Carson plays about a failed Broadway dancer who returns to her hometown to train a group of young dancers. Carina Battrick also stars in the upcoming movie Falling alongside Oscar nominated actor Viggo Mortensen. The movie is Mortensen’s directorial debut and is set to screen at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Carina Battrick plays Little Sarah who is shown in flashbacks as the younger sister of the main character. YEM spoke with Carina Battrick about her budding career.
Young Entertainment Mag: How old were you when you first started acting? Why did you decide you wanted to act?
Carina Battrick: I actually started dancing before I was walking. My first actual role was when I was four years old, portraying Tory Spelling in a TV show Broke and Famous. I think due to the fact that I am the middle child I would always need to work extra hard to get attention. Actually I learned to read by reading scripts. I also naturally gravitate towards people, so acting is a great way to meet different people and learn more about the world outside of my comfort zone. I could approach any kid in a playground when I was younger and ask: Do you want to be my friend?
YEM: You have a love of reading and books. Has this passion influenced you as an actor?
Carina: Yes, actually reading books is a great way to get into acting. I was really inspired when I started reading the Harry Potter book series and then I watched the movies. I believe that in that moment I knew I wanted to act. To see on screen what you have read in a book and to see if it matched what you imagined while reading is a really amazing experience. When you are reading your imagination is your only limit and to see it come to life on screen it makes it real for you.
YEM: Who is your character Little Sarah in Falling?
Carina: My character little Sarah appears in the flashbacks as the younger Laura Linney who plays Viggo Mortensen’s sister in the movie. Her character is important because it shows the unconditional love a daughter has towards her father. Her character also helps show more dimensions of Viggo’s father portrayed by the legendary Lance Henriksen from a daughter’s point of view.
YEM: Falling is quite a dramatic film. How did you prepare for your role?
Carina: Because the script was very adult oriented my mom explained to me the scenes in the best child friendly way possible. My character is the younger version of Laura Linney’s character. She plays Viggo’s Sister. In my scenes I am not aware of what happens to her when she grows up and then the really adult topics come up.
YEM: What was it like to be directed by Viggo Mortensen?
Carina: Working with Viggo was almost surreal. I have not personally watched his movies since they are mostly for adults but I saw him at the Oscars in 2019 when he was nominated for an Oscar for Green Book. When I saw him at the recall audition I was starstruck and super excited. He has a really amazing voice that is really calming. Viggo is very patient as director and really helps you do your best on set. He also carries himself like a regular person and not like a celebrity.
YEM: You also appear in the film Feel the Beat. Can you tell us about your character in this movie?
Carina: It is a dance movie with Sofia Carson. After failing to find success on Broadway, April returns to her hometown and is recruited to train a misfit group of young dancers. I am part of the main cast of the 9 students that Sofia teaches how to dance. Being part of the movie was amazing since I am a dancer in real life so it was really special to be able to work with the famous choreographer Mia Michaels on the dance routines. Michelle is one of the youngest dancers of the cast. She is the younger sister of Nick portrayed by Wolfgang Novogratz as Sofia’s love interest in the movie.

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YEM: As a dancer yourself, how was it to get to perform choreographed routines?
Carina: Because I am a dancer I am used to dancing all the time. The routines were beautifully choreographed by the famous Mia Michaels. The hard part has been that we had very little time to master the routines. In my dance school we learn our dances for many months before we perform them in a competition but because the entire process of filming was just a few months and there were so many dances, it was more about having a great time then dance perfection.
 
YEM: What kind of acting projects are you looking forward to making in the future? 
Carina: This one is a hard question since I have so many. My three favourite movie types are superheroes, fairy tales and spy movies. If I could only pick one dream character it would be Rapunzel. I think she is an amazing character. She is my favourite of all the Disney princesses. Rapunzel is independent, smart, funny, resourceful and very beautiful. She never gives up until she finds out who she really is. Her life was tough because she had to live in a locked castle for most of her early years and learn about the real world later in life.
YEM: What do you like to do outside of acting?
Carina: Dancing, swimming and spending time with my family are among my favourite things to do. I am a competitive dancer so it is a big part of my life. In the summer I love to swim but summers are so short in Canada. I do try to swim as much as I can in the two months of summer we have here. Usually in the summer we go to the beach but this year due to Covid we couldn’t go. I have two sisters who are also my best friends so we do everything together. We love to play pretend and dance.

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