Netflix’s coming-of-age romantic drama Along for the Ride is out later this week on May 6. Directed and written by Sofia Alvarez, the film stars Emma Pasarow and Belmont Cameli in the lead roles, with Kate Bosworth, Andie MacDowell, and Dermot Mulroney rounding out the main cast.
“It’s Auden’s last summer before college and she’s spending it in picturesque Colby Beach,” says the synopsis. “While other teens party in the sun, loner Auden spends her time roaming the streets after everyone else is asleep. Everything changes when she meets Eli, a charming and mysterious fellow insomniac. On their nightly adventures, Eli challenges Auden to a quest to live out all her childhood dreams. Their connection pushes them to confront why they’ve been content living life in the shadows as they begin to show each other how to live life to the fullest.”
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Along for the Ride stars Emma Pasarow & Belmont Cameli about their characters, their real-life friendship, and more.
Tyler Treese: Congrats to you both on the film. I thought it turned out really great. Emma, your character, Auden, is going on this quest to sort of do everything she missed out on during her childhood. Playing Connect 4, she’s riding in a shopping cart, just doing all these hijinks. During filming, what did you get to experience for the first time?
Emma Pasarow: Oh, I’m gonna be honest, almost everything that Auden experienced for the first time was my first time. I had played Connect 4 before, but I never had never been in a food fight, never been night swimming, never raced around in shopping carts. I am in that way, very similar to Auden. So this was just a dream. Also, most of those things happened in the middle of the night, which also kind of adds to the fun of trying new things.
Belmont, you both have just great chemistry on-screen. What did you do off-screen in order to build that bond?
Belmont Cameli: Oh, thank you, man. The first time I met Emma in person, when we were in North Carolina, we went out and had dinner and I ordered a chicken sandwich with fries and I popped some ketchup down on my plate. Apparently, it was like a little more ketchup than usual.
Emma: A full half of the plate was ketchup.
Belmont: Look, I like it. I like ketchup, which is kind of sinful being from Chicago, but she immediately started giving me crap for it. I was like, we’re gonna be very fast friends and we have been. Emma and I hang out constantly. I love her family and she knows mine, and we spend a lot of time together. Especially in North Carolina, we were inseparable. If we weren’t on set together, we were together off-set and it was extremely enjoyable.
Emma, you couldn’t get two cooler on-screen moms than Andy McDowell and Kate Bosworth. How was it getting to act alongside these great veteran actresses?
Emma: It was an absolute dream come true. They’re not only incredibly talented, as we all know, but they’re extraordinary people. So generous, so open, and they really became mentors to me. There were a couple of times where we’d be in a scene and I would, because I was so mesmerized by their performance, I would forget a line because they’re just so good and so kind. I was afraid that I would feel nervous to act with them, but they’re so generous that it was really lovely.
Belmont, your character is a competitive BMX rider. So I gotta ask, what were your BMX skills like before this? Can you do any tricks?
Belmont: Before I got the role, I grew up on a BMX bike and everybody else had the 12 speed, but I was like, “Nah, I’m gonna do tricks.” Really all I did was like ride over a soda can and make it sound like a motorcycle, but I can bunny hop pretty good and it ends there. Like I can get up the curb. But I got to get back on a bike for this, which was so much fun, and the stunt team and the supervisors, and meeting Ryan Nyquist and hanging out with all the local North Carolina BMX community was so much fun for me. I still have the bike. I’m still on it all the time and I’m getting better slowly, but yeah, I can’t do anything that Rob Armour, my stunt double, can do because that man is fantastic.
Emma, I know some actors tend to skip source material and just go off the script while others soak it all in. So I was curious if you read the novel that the film is based on?
Emma: Oh yeah. I read it many, many times. It was so wonderful and such a special tool to have not only the book but then also the script. Even in the inconsistencies between the two, it was all information that I would lock away. So, Eli and Jake and the book are brothers. In the movie, they’re not, but the clue there is, okay, this is a really small town where everyone knows each other and is basically family. It was so useful then to take all of this information and the books from Auden’s perspective, so I really got to dig into her psyche.
Belmont, like any couple we see Auden and Eli have their up and downs throughout the film. What was it like filming the real heart-to-heart moments?
Belmont: Those are really special. We spent a lot of time talking about what those moments meant for each character. How they would come into them and how they would leave those scenes. I think some of those scenes were probably my favorite to shoot with Emma because we got to play around a lot, with meaning, intention, and objective. For either of them to grow, they have to come apart to come back together. So that makes the ending all that much better when they finally realize and actualize their relationship.