by Natasha Wolff | September 17, 2015 3:00 pm
When it comes to an office’s pecking order, interns usually aren’t near the top. But when you’re talking about The Intern, the new movie from Nancy Meyers featuring Robert De Niro as the titular character, things can get a little confused.
Christina Scherer is making her big-screen debut in the film, which follows De Niro’s Ben as he attempts to get back in the game by interning for a company run by the young CEO Jules (Anne Hathaway). Scherer, 22, plays the assistant to Hathaway’s character, which makes her, in a way, Ben’s boss. Here, Scherer discusses how she landed the role, her own internship experience and the time that Meyers made her cry.
OK, so you’re in a movie called The Intern. I have to ask: what was your most memorable internship?
I’ve never interned anywhere! Does that ruin your question?
You’ve never been an apprentice of any sort?
I’m kind of almost doing an apprenticeship right now. I’m a photographer for a vintage clothing company, but it’s not paid. I just get my friends and I take pictures.
Ok. And what about your day job? How did you end up in The Intern?
I sent in an audition tape and then I got a meeting with Nancy. I ended up auditioning like five times, and each time I wore the same thing. You’re told when you’re growing up to wear the same outfit [to callbacks], but I felt so stupid after like the fifth time wearing the same pants and the same shirt. I was thinking that Nancy would think I don’t own any clothes. That was my worst fear. And then one day she saw me and asked, ‘Don’t you own anything else?’ I was like, ‘Yeah! I’m sorry!’ But it was OK—my worst fear came true.
And you lived to tell the tale!
I’m surviving. She wanted me to work on one scene and brought me back in with Anne Hathaway, so I did that scene, but there was another where I had to break down and cry in the middle of the it. Anne Hathaway was in the room and I felt a little nervous and I just didn’t do it. And I was like, oh well, I guess I didn’t book that. And then I got a call to do a read with Robert De Niro. I came in and Nancy was like, ‘Look, I really want you to have this role. You still haven’t cried for me. Go into that room and cry. Use this pressure, because if you don’t come in here and cry you can’t have the job.’
I went in the room and I cried for a long time and she took other people in before me. I cried for an hour and a half and when I went in, I was like, ‘I’m so sorry! I can’t cry anymore! This is horrible.’ I got a call saying I didn’t cry so they were moving on, but then I just sent Nancy a tape of me crying and finally she gave me the OK.
What about the role made you want to go through all of this?
I had read the script and it was so funny. I think a lot of the times when you read scripts you can see how they might be funny, but with this one it translated. I laughed out loud a few times. I also think Becky’s very relatable, and everyone has been in her shoes at one point in their life, in a place where they are overly qualified for a job and they are just trying their best but are not really good at what they are being told to do. It’s crazy that this is my first movie. It’s really a blessing.
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