From writer/director Bethany Ashton Wolf and based on the novel by best-selling author Heidi McLaughlin, Forever My Girl is a story of romance and inspiration that follows what happens when country music superstar Liam Page (Alex Roe) returns home and reunites with his high school sweetheart Josie Preston (Jessica Rothe), after leaving her at the altar eight years prior. As he tries to rebuild the bridges that he burned years earlier, Liam reconnects with his small-town roots, the girl he left behind, and the daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) he never knew he had.
At the film’s Los Angeles press day, Collider got the opportunity to sit down and chat with actor Alex Roe for this 1-on-1 interview about why he wanted to sign on for Forever My Girl, his character’s journey, the romance between Josie and Lima, working with his scene stealing co-star Abby Ryder Fortson, and having to sing on film for the first time. He also talked about his new Freeform series Siren (premiering on March 29th), a thriller in which mermaid legends come to life, and the underwater work he’s done, as well as what he looks for in a project.
I think it’s great. It’s so feel-good. I think a lot of that is in Jessica’s representation of Josie. When Liam comes back, she could have played it in a way that was a little meaner, but I think it’s a really strong statement that she makes by having done the forgiveness and having lived a life that is full. She’s got her own flower shop, she’s raised a kid, she’s got an amazing community around her. Because there isn’t that level of meanness and she’s been strong and been able to create this life for herself, when Liam comes in, you start to believe in them, as a trio, in some way. He seems to be the missing piece to a puzzle that was full already, but you see why it works, which is a nice thing.
What was it about Liam that made you want to play him?
ROE: Liam’s a real man-child when we meet him, and that’s interesting for me to play. He starts off as incredibly flawed and he can’t look after himself. He’s made so many bad decisions in his life, and I liked seeing him try to figure it all out.
What was it like to work and collaborate with your writer/director Bethany Ashton Wolf?
ROE: Bethany was so full of love, and I think the movie has this real integrity because it was made with integrity. She really is full of love. It’s kind of impossible to hate someone or something that’s full of love.
Along with Liam and Josie, the third piece of that puzzle is Billy, played by Abby Ryder Fortson. What was it like to work with her and to not have her steal absolutely every scene that she’s in?
ROE: She did steal the show, in every scene, but rightly so. The movie is, in so many ways, about her. Josie and Liam’s rekindling of their relationships only happens because of her. I think Liam expects Josie is never going to forgive him again, but he wants to be a part of this young girl’s life. Josie definitely isn’t ready to get into anything with Liam, but she feels like her daughter deserves a chance to maybe get to know her dad. Through that, a window gets opened and a romance between the two of them blossoms. Abby is such an incredible talent. She’s really smart, and way smarter than me. She’s down to improvise. It’s was really eye-opening, as an actor, to remember what it is to enjoy this. Nerves are not a factor with her. She just has fun on set. I think it happens often, when people work with children, that they rediscover why they’re doing it. It’s fun.