Alexandra the great
Portraying a tough character and getting doused with water was all in a day's work for up-and-coming star of San Andreas
You've probably seen Alexandra Daddario in many movies, but never really knew who she was - until now.
The US actress has had small parts here and there, such as in 2011's Hall Pass, and more notably in the Percy Jackson fantasy film franchise.
But it was her breakout role as a seductive reporter who gets naked for a sex scene with Woody Harrelson in the first season of last year's Emmy-nominated crime drama True Detective which garnered her fan attention.
Now, the 29-year-old starlet with the piercing blue eyes has her biggest hit so far with San Andreas, which is showing here and has grossed over US$152 million (S$206 million) worldwide.
In it, she plays Blake Gaines, the daughter of Ray (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino).
Ray and Emma go all out to rescue her from a 9.1-magnitude earthquake that destroys much of Los Angeles.
We spoke with Daddario at the movie's recent press junket at the JW Marriott hotel about what it was like working on such a physically demanding disaster flick.
What made you want to take on this role?
She's a strong character, very tough and knowledgeable, but also a normal girl whom people could relate to.
I think that human beings are tough and weak, and vulnerable and strong at the same time and I found all of that in her. And she was a leader as well.
I think it was important to portray a woman on screen... in a position of power.
Of course, playing Dwayne's daughter makes me feel a lot tougher than I actually am. And obviously working with all these wonderful people and being able to go to Australia for work was exciting.
We got to try all these different kinds of stunts. We worked in a water tank and that was incredibly exciting for my own personal adventure... I thought it mimicked the adventure that Blake goes on. It was a very thrilling opportunity.
I'm in the movie and I cried when I saw it for the first time, even though I knew exactly what's going to happen next. I cared about what happens so much to these people and I think that's a testament of how focused we were in creating the characters.
What was the most physically challenging stunt you had to do for San Andreas?
I got to work in a giant water tank - I think it's the biggest in the world. And I've never seen anything like it in my life. I think it posed a great deal of difficulty based on how complicated it was for just everybody.
But it was incredibly fascinating at the same time. It has floors that go up and down and they suck water in and out of it that they throw on actors that are tied to a rope. You get pushed back by the weight of the water.
It was extraordinary to be able to experience... what my character was going through. It was challenging, but it was amazing how precise it was and how much fun it was, something that could have been a complete disaster so to speak. It helped me with my character since I was able to actually go through what she was going through.
Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Since I moved to Los Angeles, I've been in small ones, nothing too big. Nothing really happened or fell off the walls. Probably the biggest thing that happened was my dog jumped into my arms.
You were great in True Detective. That role was more dialogue-driven and San Andreas is obviously more action-packed. What does each medium offer you at this stage in your career and do you have a favourite?
I think that there are ways to tell similar stories in both mediums.
I think True Detective is quite amazing because it told almost a movie story. It told a 10-hour movie. And I think that there's really no huge difference between the two, except the pace is faster in television.
I only went on (post-apocalyptic comedy) The Last Man On Earth for one episode just so that I could make out with (lead actor) Will Forte.
It's really quite astounding what's happening in the television world with Netflix and Amazon, it gives actors the opportunities to tell more stories and be part of different projects.
I feel lucky to be in a time where there are so many different opportunities out there as an actor...
When you do a movie of this scale, no matter what you do after, it's going to be a lot smaller. The food won't be as good as on a movie like this; it was so good.