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Zoe Bernard talks about ‘Asteroid City,’ and being a drummer

Young actress Zoe Bernard spoke about starring in the new film “Asteroid City,” and about being a drummer.

Celia Bermejo and Zoe Bernard on set of 'Asteroid City'
Actress Celia Bermejo and Zoe Bernard on set of 'Asteroid City.' Photo Courtesy of Focus Features
Actress Celia Bermejo and Zoe Bernard on set of 'Asteroid City.' Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

Young actress Zoe Bernard spoke about starring in the new Focus Features film “Asteroid City,” and about being a drummer.

‘Asteroid City’

On her experience in the film “Asteroid City,” she said, “It was surreal. I really had no idea what to expect. I was excited just to go to Spain. But it was a very busy time. We spent the whole first week just quarantining and dealing with all the Covid protocols.”

“We also took that time to get all our schooling done,” she said. “We had a regular classroom set up with all the kids. And it was just like school except we would go swimming in the hotel pool for our physical education. We did that so we would bank hours and not have to do any more schooling once we started filming.”

“The filming days were pretty long,” she admitted. “There were times when we would have to just sit and clap for hours in the sun. And when we would take a break, it would be awesome because there were no trailers, so we would just stand in the shade and talk to Maya Hawke or Hope Davis or Tom Hanks.”

“Tom was one of my favorite people on set because he would bring a riddle every day written on the inside of his mask. I started doing the same thing. He is so good that I could not stump him at all, and I was getting the hardest riddles I could find,” she said.

“This is a movie should be watched a few times. I started understanding more and more each time I’ve watched it,” she said.

“My favorite part of filming was when we started filming in ‘Asteroid City’,” she said. “Before that we filmed at a nearby airplane hangar that was turned into a set. Just seeing the Massachusetts for the first time and how everything was so realistic was just incredible.”

“You could walk into the gas station in Asteroid City that was created just for the movie and every detail was there down to the type of motor oil that was on the counter. Everything was from the 1950s,” she said.

“The costumes were also incredible,” she said. “I got to work with an Academy Award-winning costume designer. My costume was an authentic 1950s school girl outfit.”

Portraying Bernice in ‘Asteroid City’

On playing the character Bernice, she said, “Well for me, Bernice was very close to who I was at that time. We were all sitting together learning as we were going so all the curiosity that we had to show was real.”

“When the alien came down, we were all just looking at a light in the sky, but we imagined what it would be like to have an alien coming into your classroom. It was so much fun,” she said.

Working with director Wes Anderson and Scarlett Johansson

On working with “Asteroid City” director Wes Anderson, she said, “Wes is a perfectionist in a great way. It was awesome seeing the way he worked. He paid attention to every detail. Working with Wes, he likes to have you say each line in so many different ways. So, I really could not come up with a character in the way that I would have normally if I was working with another director.”

“I had to let him really just tell me exactly what he wanted it to look like and sound like. We were basically in his hands, and he was molding us to the way he wanted it to be. What an amazing experience.

“Scarlett is super super nice and was friendly, especially to the kids,” she added

Music inspirations

Regarding her music inspirations, she said, “I really have grown up around music my whole life. My sister was in a band when I was little and we would watch her performances and I would see her on stage. I didn’t really consciously think about that’s what I wanted to do.”

“Once I started playing the drums, I realized how much I liked it, and how it came naturally for me. I also like most genres of music, but my favorite right now is rock. I’m inspired by all the drummers from the ’60s and ’70s. They were just some amazing people that came out of that time period. Of course, I also love many of the current drummers too,” she elaborated.

Zoe Bernard: The drummer

Speaking of music, she is the drummer of Kids Tribute and a School of Rock band.

“I just got off tour with my San Diego School Of Rock house band,” she said. “It was a crazy nine days touring three different states. We went from Ohio at the Cleveland Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame all the way down to Nashville Tennessee. I love playing the drums.”

“With my Kid Tributes Band, I only play the drums in a couple songs,” she said. “In this band, I play mainly the bass, but I also play the keys and the guitar in many songs.”

“Being in Kid Tributes has really allowed me to bring my other instruments (other than drums) up to a performance level. Now, I just really love them all with drums and bass being my top two,” she acknowledged.

“On any given day, I am practicing music for at least four hours. I started playing the saxophone recently too. That’s definitely the hardest one of all to pick up. I have about 10 hours a week of music lessons,” she said.

The digital age

On being a young actress and musician in the digital age, now with streaming and technology being so prevalent, she said, “Well, I definitely know that everything that I do can be posted on social media. I think that puts a level of pressure that has not been there for previous generations. Maybe that’s good or maybe it’s not. I haven’t yet figured that out.”

Advice for aspiring actors and musicians

For young and aspiring actors and musicians, she encouraged them to “just put the time into what they love doing and keep trying to do their best.” “Eventually, something will click,” she said.

Dream acting partners

On her dream acting partners, she shared, “I would love to work with Tom Hanks again. We didn’t get to say goodbye because of the locations where we were all working on at the last day of filming.”

Success

On her definition of the word success, Bernard said, “Success means that I am doing what I want to do and enjoying it. It’s important to love what you do. I don’t think it’s about making a certain amount of money or gaining a certain number of followers.”

To learn more about Zoe Bernard, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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