Avery Arendes stars in Apple of My Eye, a film about a teenage rider who loses her eyesight and is no longer able to ride. Instead of a dog, the animal companion she is given is a miniature horse, by the name of Apple. Avery also appeared in Albion: The Enchanted Stallion.
1. Tell us about your character, Bailey Andrews, in Apple of My Eye.
Bailey, she was very complex; she was a very strong and brave teenage girl. She went through a lot through the course of the film. I kind of relate to her because I’m a rider just like she was. She’s basically just someone that wanted to ride but it was taken away from her.
2. What can you tell us about the horse you were riding for the first few scenes?
The horse’s name was Cole and riding at the barn, I actually met the girl that normally rides him, like the horse’s owner – and actually am now really good friends with her. She’s like one of my best friends to this day. He was a really calm horse, he was really fun to ride. I remember being on set and telling my dad that I had never had so much fun as riding that horse. He was amazing.
3. Minis are notoriously “bratty” – what was Apple, the mini that was featured in Apple of My Eye, like?
She was fun to play with and obviously adorable, but like all horses she had her days. She liked to bite, a lot … and if she got a little mad, she would kick, but she’s a mini so it didn’t hurt very much.
4. When did you start riding?
I’ve kind of been riding my whole life. I got real experience and training for the first film I was in, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion. I think I was riding for two years before we filmed the first one.
5. You were also in Albion: The Enchanted Stallion; tell us about that experience.
That was really cool. I was 13 when we filmed it. I got to travel to Bulgaria for five weeks to film it. I worked with some incredible people like Jennifer Morrison and John Cleese, Debra Messing – they were wonderful. It was a good opportunity for me to learn about a lot of acting, working with such experienced people. I got to work with these amazing horses. The horses in the film were Friesians, and they were these big, gigantic horses who were so sweet, so it was really cool.
6. What was the most difficult scene to play in Apple of My Eye?
In Apple of My Eye, some of the more emotional scenes, such as the one where Apple is in danger, or when I found out that I was going blind, just the scenes where I had to go to a place that was darker, that was harder for me to relate to.
7. What did you enjoy most about working with horses?
My first time on set, I was nervous because everything was so new and I was away from home. But I love being around horses especially since I had been riding before I started filming. Being around the horses on set made me happy and was a little piece of home while I was so far away, especially when I filmed in Bulgaria.
8. What was the funniest thing to happen whilst filming?
Probably anything that happened with Liam McIntyre, who played my dad. I worked with him on the film before, in Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, so we had a good relationship before this film. He’s just a wonderful person, and he’s so sweet and so funny … So we were filming this one scene – I think it was a montage of these happy things happening in the backyard and he was there … I just remember that being a really good day.
9. How did you get into acting?
My father is a teamster, so he drives for a lot of films. On one of the films, four years ago, the film needed extras, and he’s like it’s summer, and I have a daughter, she can do it … he wanted me to do it so I could stay with him, because he was driving a lot, travelling a lot … so I originally was just an extra just to be able to spend time with my dad, but I thought being on set was the coolest thing ever, and I fell in love with it. I told him that I wanted to continue to do it. From there, one of the producers from that film contacted me for Albion and so on and so forth.
10. Do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
I don’t have anything scheduled at the moment because summer just started and I was focusing on school; and my sophomore year is really important … this summer I have acting classes a lot, and my family and I are working on some other things.