Introducing your new favourite film star.

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“Anne Hathaway once told me that I shouldn’t judge myself too much.” 17-year-old actor Mackenzie Foy tells me down a crackly transatlantic call. She’s just woken up in LA and is lounging around in her pyjamas when we jump on a call. We’re currently musing over the best piece of advice that she’s received from the impressive list of cast-mates she’s amassed over the past few years. Her former colleagues include some of Hollywood’s finest: Michael Caine, Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Chastain and Matthew McConaughey, to name a few, and for a talent who hasn’t even reached the age of 18 yet, it’s a pretty impressive feat.

Born and raised in California, Foy has been acting almost her entire life. Securing her first movie role at the age of nine, she established herself as one to watch by playing Renesmee Cullen, the baby of Bella and Edward in the film adaption of Stephen Meyer’s vampy Twilight series. Progressing quickly up the ranks, she later bagged herself a lead spot in Christopher Nolan’s time-travel epic Interstellar as the young Murph Cooper; a role for which she won the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor and fully cemented herself as one of Hollywood’s most promising rising stars.

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Despite her trajectory of blockbuster hits and the string of complex characters she’s played, the one that she relates to the most is that of Clara from her upcoming flick, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The latest mega-movie from Disney, the film also stars Keira Knightly, Morgan Freeman and Dame Helen Mirren, and if that doesn’t scream box office success to you then nothing will.

“It was the day after the second test when I found out that I booked the role.” Foy explains of the moment she landed the lead role. “I was actually in the shower when my mom ran into the bathroom and told me Lasse [Hallström] was on the phone. He asked me if I would be Clara and, of course, I said yes! I was just ridiculously excited to go on a new adventure.” The film is based on E. T. A Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, within which the protagonist’s Christmas toy comes to life and whisks her off to a magical land populated by dolls. “It was amazing,” Mackenzie explains of her experience shooting the film. “It’s just like ‘wow, we’re doing this!’ The costumes, the hair, the make-up, the set design; everything is so detailed and absolutely stunning.”

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Coming out this November, the all-action fantastical film has been directed by three-time Oscar-nominee Hallström, the man behind tear-jerkers Chocolat and Dear John as well as a string of iconic ABBA music videos from “Take a Chance on Me” to “Gimme! Gimme!
Gimme!”. “It was really fun working with Lasse.” Foy explains. “In the beginning process for the film, Lasse and I had a lot of meetings where we would talk and develop Clara. I had a wonderful time creating Clara’s story with him.”

Aside from Hallström, Foy has already worked with some of Hollywood’s leading women, many of whom have been at the forefront of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. As part of a new generation of young female actors ready to make waves in the industry, I wonder what her thoughts are on the current women’s movement taking place in Hollywood. “My team is mainly women and they are incredibly strong,” she tells me. “It was cool to be able to be in a film where there are strong women and it shows that we have a lot to say, and we can wear a pretty dress whilst doing it!” And of course, in her own life, her mom takes centre stage. “My mom helps me in everything I do,” she explains. “She does it so gracefully and filled with joy that it’s really nice to be able to be her and going on this adventure with her.”

So what do you do after you’ve finished filming one of this year’s most anticipated flicks? “I’ll be working on my senior year, which is very exciting. It’s so cool to be finishing high school,” she tells me before adding, “I want to be a director once I finish high school. I pretty much want to make films that will make people end up looking at the world in a different way, so that they will feel inspired and learn something new!” If her string of success so far is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing Foy in the Best Director category in no time…

Taken from the SS18 Issue of Rollacoaster; out now and available to buy here.

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Jacqueline Harriet
Sue Choi
Ryan Cahill
Bridget Brager at The Wall Group using Herbal Essences
Georgie Eisdell at The Wall Group using NARS Cosmetics
With thanks to
The Dream Factory LA Studio