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Willa Ford

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Page 66 of 115

PEOPLE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS "I make a big batch of chicken soup, like three or four times during the holiday season. So, like Christmas Eve: red wine and chicken soup — that's weird, but I dunno," she smiles. nice because it allowed all of us to bond and to live normal lives while we were filming. That was not a short shoot. For me, I think it was almost seven months. They were there —nine months? It was a long time to be away from your life. It's like going to boarding school." A boarding school fraught with exceptionally attractive matriculates. Does Casey have a favorite from the film? "I had fun with everybody. It would be really difficult for me to say that was my favorite person. I definitely, really enjoyed Lee Pace a lot. I was very lucky to have him as my boyfriend," she says thoughtfully. Drawn to the theater at a young age, this native New Yorker frequented the Broadway Playhouse regularly. "Every little girl sees Annie then wants to do it," she says wistfully. My furrowed brow causes her to recant her previous statement. "Not every little girl. I always knew I wanted to do it, but was always told 'no' —so, in my late teens, early 20s I tried to do something else, because that was not an option. Then I was like, 'I can't! Guys, this is enough. This is what I want to do. Get onboard or get out of my way!'" she exclaims excitedly. Casey went on to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, secured an agent, and five years later is acting in what is sure to be the year's biggest film. It's only been five years? That actually seems pretty quick to me, I tell her. "I think it's just the right amount of time. Sort of a gradual climb —I'm so much more in my skin than when I was younger," Casey muses Whether the future will propel her in the direction of film or television, is set in the stars. This Leo believes that it's all "sort of cosmic" and that the roles meant for her will ultimately find their way. "I wanted to do hundreds of different parts, but I didn't get them. It wasn't for me. It was for her. It's like, meant to be, in a weird way. Like, they drop into your lap," she philosophizes. "Like Skateland, I had gone in for the lead. Not right for it. Went in for the other female role. Not right for it. I was heartbroken. I so wanted to be a part of that film. Then they called me up and were like, 'If we expand this other part —would you be in the movie?'" In the end, it worked out and Casey landed the role that she was supposed to have. A similar fated occurrence unfurled when she was being cast for Breaking Dawn -Part 1. Casey was asked to return five times to audition for the part of Kate. Is that common to audition that many times? I ask. "No, it's definitely not common for that production. For some reason they took an extra long time deciding on me. But it happened, and I'm part of this massive thing!" says the wide-eyed actress. "It took me a long time to get to the place where I understood that your career is not a ladder; I heard that in a speech… Your career is not a ladder, it's a jungle gym. Go here, and here," she mimes lateral moves across an imaginary playground. "I've done so many different things and worked with so many different people in to getting where I am now," she says humbly. As the song goes, "Que sera, sera." With credits in television and film, as well as a producer credit under her belt, this starlet is on the rise. Casey recently assisted Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight) in casting her erotic thriller, Plush, in which she plays the role of Evie. Level-headed and ambitious, Casey has a number of projects bubbling under the surface. "A lot of what I've been doing lately is writing and producing. I have some things that are almost done —marinating and ready to put in the oven. But I'm scary superstitious and I feel like I'm going to jinx them," she adds before quieting herself. "Things are coming," she assures me. In early October, I caught up with Casey again as she was having her hair dyed hot pink for Girlrillaz, filmed in her former stomping grounds —New York City. That was all she could disclose at the time, but the title and pink hair were certainly enough to pique my interest. Keep your eyes open for Girlrillaz, and don't miss Casey in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2. ML MIAMI LIVING 65

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