Callan McAuliffe is living the dream. The Flipped star spoke exclusively to SheKnows about appearing in the film that is being called Rob Reiner’s comeback movie. Just as River Phoenix, Jerry O’Connell and Corey Feldman discovered by starring in Stand By Me, appearing in a coming of age story courtesy of director Rob Reiner could easily be the path to stardom.
For the Australian actor Callan McAuliffe, even getting an audition with Rob Reiner was a victory. His journey from Down Under to Hollywood began with a dislocated kneecap. Yes, it’s true, the sports crazy kid felt he needed to do something to keep his mind active while he was recovering and what he found was acting. The rest, as they say, is history.
Flipped star Callan confides in SheKnows
SheKnows: What was it like for you working alongside a legend in Rob Reiner on Flipped?
Callan McAuliffe: It was one of the most phenomenal experiences of my life. I’ve done small things in Australia. It was one of the highlights of my life. Rob Reiner knows what he is doing [laughs]. He’s also a big fan of movies and thus, knows what he wants. He has worked with the same people for years and that makes it really easy. Everyone knows him and gets along. There are never any on set fights or arguments. [Laughs] He even had a swear jar on set to keep it kid friendly. If we were on the set and someone swore, Rob would stop everything and bring the swear jar over for a donation!
SheKnows: Did you read the book (Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen) before tackling the role?
Callan McAuliffe: Yeah! I wasn’t going to work for Rob Reiner and not read the book [laughs]. It’s actually my favorite genre right now.
Flipped by the book
SheKnows: Do you think Flipped is faithful to the novel?
Callan McAuliffe: Absolutely, Flipped is almost on the dot throughout the entire thing. Other than my character having blue eyes and brown hair — it stayed true to the book.
SheKnows: What attracted you to your character?
Callan McAuliffe: I guess I can identify because he is a boy, but it’s a period film so everything is different. He has a similar personality to me.
SheKnows: Why do you think the film is called Flipped?
Callan McAuliffe: I don’t want to give away too much and spoil the film, but let’s just say there’s a little flip that does happen in the story. But, it’s a great title.
Flipped: Capturing teenage love and loathing
SheKnows: Working with your co-star, Madeline Carroll, was it difficult to portray utter dislike for a girl that you are actually quite fond of?
Callan McAuliffe: It is sort of challenging [laughs] because she is so nice. Also, when we filmed, we didn’t do it in chronological order so I have to remember where I am on the love or hate scale!
SheKnows: Could you personally relate to what your character goes through? Did you ever have a girl crush on you that you were completely not into?
Callan McAuliffe: [Laughs] I’ve never had that experience in my life — always been the other way around.
SheKnows: Growing up in Australia, did you ever think you’d be making a Hollywood movie with Rob Reiner?
Callan McAuliffe: Never. Never in a million years. I just started acting to have something to do. I started acting because I dislocated my kneecap and I needed something to do. I got an agent and went on commercials. I was attending a sports intensive school and acting just filled that void.
SheKnows: What are the life lessons you gleaned from Flipped?
Callan McAuliffe: Perseverance! If you like a girl, keep on pushing it. It’s worth the effort.
SheKnows: What did you make of the concept of telling the story of two kids falling in and out of love from each person’s perspective?
Callan McAuliffe: It’s a fantastic concept, breaks up the film into teams, like Twilight and Edward and Jacob — you get the two sides that are in every story.