As part of our three-part interview series leading up to our review of Robert Rodriguez's superhero film We Can Be Heroes, we chatted with one of the film's young heroes.
Vivien Blair may be the youngest member of the cast, but she's already done some big things, including appearing in the role of Girl in the critically acclaimed film Bird Box, as well as in the recurring role of Hazel, Fran Drescher’s granddaughter, on NBC’s series Indebted. Blair, who plays Sharkboy and Lavagirl's daughter Guppy, is every bit as endearing to chat with as she is in Netflix's Sharkboy and Lavagirl sequel.
Vivien Blair Discusses Her Role in We Can Be Heroes
Maggie Lovitt (ML): So my first question is, have you seen the original Sharkboy and Lavagirl?
Vivien Blair (VB): Yes, I have! Many times actually. Once when I had the audition, once when I booked it, and once while I was filming it. It's a really good movie.
ML: So was your performance influenced at all by the original film?
VB: I have to say a little. I'm going to give Sharkboy a little bit of the credit because some of his moves in the original movie were pretty cool, but I feel like it was mostly original for me.
ML: So what was the audition process like for We Can Be Heroes?
VB: The audition process was actually pretty fun. I saw a lot of my friends at the audition too. Most of my friends, that are also in the acting business, look a lot like me and some of the roles I go out for. It was just one of those roles that I really wanted. And I booked it.
ML: What was your favorite part of shooting the film?
VB: Probably the stunts. The stunts were really fun. I feel like that's all I can say. It was so fun working with J.J., who was the stunt coordinator.
ML: You've done some really serious shows before this. So did you have a lot of fun doing something that was more kid-focused?
VB: Yes, like so much. A lot of my friends finally get to see a movie I'm in. I usually just showed them the clips that I'm in because they usually don't make the clips I'm in too scary. I can show my friends that one clip that I'm in and then I'm like, “Sorry, you can't see the rest it's too scary!” So I feel like being able to make a kid's movie with Robert (Rodriguez) is just amazing.
ML: Was there anyone in the cast that you were like, “Whoa, I can't believe I get to work with them!”
VB: I don't think I knew anyone in the cast. Now that I think of it, I think Andy Walken keeps popping up in films that I like to watch. We're going to watch a Christmas movie that I think is called A Christmas Story and Andy is the kid apparently!
ML: So do you do anything special to get into character for Guppy?
VB: I usually practiced my taekwondo stuff and pretended that I was a shark. Sometimes I would just play and pretend I'm a shark.
ML: So what kind of songs would be on Guppy’s playlist?
VB: Probably her dad's lullabies and maybe the actual We Can Be Heroes song by David Bowie.
ML: If you could pick one superpower, what superpower would you choose to have?
VB: To talk to animals. I love animals so much and being able to talk to them and understand them would be a dream come true.
ML: Do you have any real-life superheroes that you look up to?
VB: My parents. I honestly wouldn't be here if it weren't for them. My dad always makes sure to drive me everywhere and does all of the marketing for me. And my mom! She's gone with me to every set, she's done so much accounting and everything. She's just been here with me this whole journey and I really owe most of this to her.
ML: Do you have any favorite comic book superheroes?
VB: Yeah! In Marvel, I like Miss Marvel and then Squirrel Girl (because) she has a pet squirrel.
ML: Now I've always joked that I got into acting because I like set catering. So what has been your favorite meal on a set?
VB: Donuts! (giggles) At crafty, there's always donuts and on donut day I am very happy with crafty! On set, I think Robert overheard me saying that I really like Goldfish. When I came to the hangout trailer the next day, on top of the fridge was a bunch of packs of these Goldfish crackers and I was like “Wow!”
Every day I would just put my arms out and swipe all of the Goldfish crackers and then just sit down on a beanbag, grab a Mario Kart controller, and plow through ten bags of Goldfish. I was not eating healthy on set!
ML: Well, Goldfish crackers certainly sound like the perfect cracker for Guppy.
You can watch Vivien Blair go into a sharky frenzy as Sharkboy and Lavagirl's daughter Guppy Christmas Day on Netflix.
Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.
In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.