Crater follows Caleb Channing, who is about to be relocated to an idyllic faraway planet following his father’s death. To fulfill his dad’s last wish before leaving, he and his three best friends hijack a rover to explore a mysterious crater.

During the global press conference for the new Disney film, the cast reveals which coming of age, adventure films that they drew inspiration from when preparing for Crater. They also discuss forming a real-life bond and all the adventures they went on. Isaiah Russell-Bailey talks about what it was like to work closely with Kid Cudi as well.

Participating Talent:

  • McKenna Grace (“Addison”)
  • Isaiah Russell-Bailey (“Caleb”)
  • Orson Hong (“Borney”)
  • Thomas Boyce (“Marcus Tollefsoon”)
  • Billy Barratt (“Dylan Thomas”)

Films They Drew Inspiration From

Considering that many of the films this movie was modeled after, like The Goonies, Stand by Me, and Breakfast Club, came out well before any of these young actors were born, it was asked what films they watched as inspiration before they went to set. It is a little bit painful when they call them “old movies,” but it was nice to know they did dive into some great ones.

BILLY:  They came out before we were born, but I love all those old movies.  I love old music.  I love old movies.  I love all of that. I particularly just watched actors, act. I just watch other actors while they’re doing their thing in a movie and how they relate to the people. I also incorporate actual life experiences with people when I’m acting.

ISAIAH:  I watched Stand by Me in preparation for this film. And I watched it to see who Caleb related to in the film.  I felt like he related to River Phoenix’s character and Will Wheaton’s character.  I tried to add a bit of their characters to Caleb so I could make Caleb more well-rounded as a character.  I love Stand by Me and all those old adventure movies.  I’ve always been a ’90s and ’80s fan so watching those movies was really fun.

Working With Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi plays Caleb’s father in Crater, which means that Isaiah worked very closely with him. Of course everyone wanted to know what it was like working with him. Isaiah’s answer did not disappoint.

ISAIAH:  Working with Mr. Scott, also known as Kid Cudi, was a great experience.  We take the same approach to filming scenes.  We give ourselves freedom to explore them, in a way.  We rehearsed between takes, and we liked to stay in character between breaks sometimes.  Also, he’s an amazing artist.  I have Day ‘N’ Nite on repeat to this day. We bonded over our love of music and music production.  I like to make beats on my phone and computer. I would show them to him, and he would give me his thoughts.  Being able to work with someone who I connected with something other than acting, was pretty cool.

Forming A Bond & Going On Adventures

In Crater, these kids get together and have some wild adventures. They form what feels like an unbreakable bond. So did they form that bond in real life? And did they go on any adventures off-set? Both answers are yes!

BILLY:  We haven’t spoken in so long.  But yeah, we started out like that. When we started, it was great.  And throughout, we’ve stayed friends. We just haven’t spoken in ages.

THOMAS:  I love that question.  We have so many crazy stories. It’s so wild. During the shooting of all this, the call time would be seven, and we’d been done by six.  I know I was the oldest, so I had to stay an hour later than you guys most days.  But we were on set with each other the entire time.  And then whenever we’d go home, we were always with each other.  It was almost like having a sleepover for us.

ISAIAH:  We would go swimming, and then we’d go to paintball almost every weekend with the crew, which was really fun.  We live in all different places around the U.S., so we haven’t really gotten to see each other in person in a long while. Two years.

ORSON:  There was a sibling dynamic, I felt.  It was really nice to be able to connect with people on set and outside.

THOMAS:  Orson and I’s character’s Borney, and Marcus are really tight-knit friends. Me and Orson have many scenes where it’s just him and I.  And then there would be scenes with Billy and Mckenna and Isaiah.  And on those days, me and Orson would go in the rec room.  We would play Injustice and other video games together. We’d listen to music and just vibe for hours.

BILLY:  I forgot about the rec room.  That was a good room.

THOMAS:  Honestly, this is the best job in the world.  We got paid to hang out and have so much fun.  I think Orson and I definitely, our characters are so connected, and we had that opportunity to have our own connection off-screen.  So, that was wonderful.  I’ll never forget those Orson and Thomas days.

ISAIAH:  We had a lot of adventures outside of the set.  As I said, we played paintball almost every weekend.  We were in our apartment complexes and went to the pool all the time.  I feel like we got on our neighbor’s nerves, how loud we were.  And then, we also went on a lot of adventures throughout Louisiana.  We went to New Orleans for swamp tours.  We got to feed alligators. We got to try a lot of different foods.  I tried fried alligator and frog for the first time.  Alligator was good.  Frog had an interesting texture and taste.

ORSON:  I remember staying out late with all of you guys.  And I remember Billy playing me Nas’s Illmatic for the first time.  And playing me New York State of Mind.  That stuck with me.

THOMAS:  I’m about to unlock a memory for you guys.  Billy, Orson, Isaiah, and I used to go to the pool with pool noodles and have battles.

ISAIAH:  Full on battles.

THOMAS:  They were almost like these Shakespearian, Macbeth, brutal battles with these pool noodles.  And we’d team up and then we’d go against one another.  And it was wild.

Crater will be streaming on Disney+ starting May 12th.

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Tessa Smith

Tessa Smith AKA Mama's Geeky, is a journalist that covers geek and Disney culture on her own website, as well as freelances for other sites such as What's On Disney Plus and Screen Rant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing and loves all things geeky. She is a Disney Vacation Club member and a Founders Circle Member of Disney+. She is also an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes and a member of the Critics Choice Association. Tessa lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs named Sansa and Khaleesi.

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