Chloë Grace Moretz, Algee Smith, and Raúl Castillo star in Mother/Android. Written and directed by Mattson Tomlin, Mother/Android follows Moretz’s Georgie and Smith’s Sam during a robot apocalypse. Georgia is pregnant and the couple must make their way through an android-filled No Man’s Land to make it to Boston so Georgia can safely deliver their baby.
Screen Rant spoke with Chloë Grace Moretz, Algee Smith, and Raúl Castillo about filming Mother/Android, the emotional toll of the film, and what it was like to be in this sci-fi action/horror hybrid.
Screen Rant: Chloë, you’ve taken on tough action-heavy roles before, but Georgia feels like a different character for you. You’re carrying this the 20-pound-belly, but you’re also carrying the hope of the film in the sense that George’s baby kind of represents the future of humanity. As an actress how do you approach a role like that?
Chloë Grace Moretz: I really wanted to be honest to the character. I felt that I got closer to Georgia than a lot of the other characters that I played before. I think being there with Mattson, really helped me get into the mind of Georgia and I think we really created a character that was incredibly multifaceted.
We didn’t want her to be this perfect mother. We didn’t want her to be this happy-go-lucky… Pregnancies are never easy and even in the midst of an apocalypse type of mother. We really wanted her to feel confused and at a true crossroads in her life and try to wonder if she’s making the right decision.
Should she have stayed with this guy? She’s having a baby, what does that mean for her? Should they bring a child into the world in this kind of climate, with everything going on around them? All those kinds of questions that are a little problematic are something that we wanted to lean into, and kind of not have her be this perfect, syrupy female character. We really want her to have facets to her that were not perfect.
Algee, Mother/Android felt like a horror movie at times, especially with your sequence in the house. Was that easy to tap into considering how possible the premise of this movie feels?
Algee Smith: It wasn’t easy. Even considering how possible it is. I think it wasn’t easy because of just having to really think about if I’m really in a world where robots are taking over and I’m about to die from robots, that’s not easy to think about. Chloë just brought up a point earlier – we carry these robots with us every day in our pocket. So it’s like thinking about my phone becoming a robot is kind of crazy.
But I think the sequence in the house was actually one of the funniest [sic] sequences that I did. Just seeing Chloe move around those walls like James Bond and coming through and doing what she does and then being able to give that emotion, that fear, yelling and screaming.
Raúl, you get one of the most interesting scenes in the movie because your character has a big secret. For me, I know you as Richie from Looking which is a decidedly warmer character. How fun was it to lean into this role and to be this character?
Raúl Castillo: It’s a fascinating character. I worked with Mattson on a film called Little Fish that he wrote and I was offered the role of Arthur and I read the script, and I was riveted from beginning to end. [Arthur] serves a certain function in the story and when he comes in, it just rocked my world.
It was exciting to read and, and more than anything, I was just moved [by] how personal it was to Mattson and how deeply invested he was in it as a filmmaker. So to me, whether it’s Looking or whether I’m working with someone like Andrew Haigh, or I’m working with someone like Mattson Tomlin, as long as they’re invested in the story and the character and they have a real earnest and a real passion for the story, that passion rubs off. It was such a rich character to portray. I was just excited, and he let me be creative and have fun with it. So it was a lot of fun.
Chloë, you get this really emotional scene at the end, can you talk a little bit about that and how you found that in you?
Chloë Grace Moretz: I think what was nice about that scene is it was towards the end of filming. What was really lucky with this story is we did shoot pretty chronologically. We were tired, we were worn down, and we had been so intensely connected to this baby, this child that we were growing that, by the time we got to this sequence – not to give away too much, but the child was there and it was and it was palpable. I felt like it just flowed [and] we didn’t have to work to get into that situation. It just, and I think that goes for a lot of the things in the film, they just float.
It didn’t feel like in other projects, where you have to get yourself into the mindset or really put yourself in that position, in this knot. It just felt like the circumstances were palpable. We were filming pre-vaccine so it was in the deep midst of COVID. Everyone was covered up in PPE. It felt kind of apocalyptic. We were surrounded by the pressures and emotional pressures from the current administration we were under, which switched while we were filming. But all these things were incredibly compounded on top of us. So to get into the situations that all of us were getting into it, I think it was just like lifting the edge of a scab and then the blood flowed in a lot of ways. So it was really beautiful and very cathartic.