Sara Paxton Gets to Live a Dream with "Aquamarine"

Sara Paxton on Mermaids, Her Costume, and "Aquamarine"

Sara Paxton in "Aquamarine.". © 20th Century Fox
Sara Paxton on Playing a Mermaid: Paxton plays a mermaid who winds up in a swimming pool and makes friends with two young girls in "Aquamarine," a teen comedy based on the novel by Alice Hoffman.

Paxton said playing a mermaid was amazing. “Being a mermaid has been like my dream since I was a little kid. I used to jump in the pool and think of mermaid names for myself and pretend I was a mermaid and swim like one.

It was really amazing to get to be one, actually.

It actually took two and a half hours to get into my tail. I spent four hours in makeup a day because it took two hours to do hair and makeup and then two and a half hours to squeeze my body into the tail, get it zipped up, glued in, airbrushed, painted, everything and then they would roll me onto a tarp and five guys on a stretcher would carry me like this like I was Cleopatra. And they’d sit me on the ground and flop me into the pool. It was an interesting experience.”

Sara Paxton’s Mermaid Secrets: “There was three different tails and one was animatronic so I would just sit there and it would do all the work moving around. And then one I could actually swim in and it was really difficult. I was like pretty buff there for a while. It all went away but I could actually swim in it. It bended and stuff. I could go really fast.”

Sara Paxton Had to Undergo Special Mermaid Training: “Luckily I’m a really strong swimmer already, but for a month beforehand, when I got to Australia, they required all three of us to have swimming lessons - which I thought were really stupid.

I had floaties and goggles like a three-year-old learning how to swim again. But it came in really handy because there were some really tough water scenes, like with wave machines. It’s a good thing that we put some muscle on and became strong swimmers. It was important.”

Sara Paxton Explains How She Got Hooked Up with “Aquamarine:” “What happened for me was JoJo [Levesque] and Emma [Roberts] had been hired and months went by.

They were hired first and I got the script from Fox and they were like, ‘We want you to read for another part.’ I was like, ‘My life’s dream is to play a mermaid. Can I please read the mermaid part?’

I went in and I was all alone. There [weren’t] any other girls there and I guess Elizabeth [Allen], the director, liked me and she had me stay for a while and then she made me sing and dance. I was kind of like, ‘Well, that’s weird,’ but she made me sing and dance to the camera. I felt really awkward but I think she wanted me to do that to see if I could take direction, no matter how crazy it was. Like just do what she wants without fear or anything. So I did it and I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I feel really great about this. I think this audition went really, really well.’ And I got the part.”

Sara Paxton Admits She Loves Mermaids: “I was obsessed with mermaids when I was little and I watched ‘Little Mermaid’ like every day. It still makes me cry. I’m not going to lie about that. When I was little, I used to go in the pool and tie my legs together and practice swimming. I was like, ‘Daddy, look, I’m Shelly the mermaid.’ I would just pretend so that’s why when I heard about this movie I was like, ‘I have to play that part and nothing is going to stop me.

I’m going to be a mermaid.’ I couldn’t believe it when I found out. I was like screaming and jumping around.”

Paxton believes most young girls are obsessed the mermaid legend. “I was attracted to mermaids when I was little because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, are they real? Are they really out there?’ And in every single story, mermaids are like the beautiful ones sitting on the rocks brushing their hair, singing. I think every girl is just like, ‘I just really want to be a mermaid.’ Especially with ‘The Little Mermaid’ being so popular and everything - and ‘Splash.’”

Sara Paxton’s Favorite Scene to Shoot: “I have to say the scene when I’m first introduced into the film was one of my favorites because it was like the first time. We’d already been shooting for like a month and a half and it was the first time that I was going to wear my tail full-on with the hair and everything.

It was so funny. The guys carry me out and everyone was clapping for me and cheering. They were like, ‘Yeah, Sara.’ I just felt really cool and I felt like for the first time I was wearing my tail and everything and it was just really fun to wear it. Everyone was like staring at me when I was swimming around in it so it was really cool.”

Speaking of her tail, Paxton says she didn’t get to keep it. “I wish. Oh my Gosh, the thing is like a piece of art. First of all, it’s like 150 pounds and eight feet long. I was heavy. And then once water got into it, because it was latex on the inside, I was like a sponge. I couldn’t move at all. I just lay there and JoJo and Emma were like, ‘Are you hungry? Do you want anything? Are you okay?’ I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I’m cool. I’m great, thanks.’ I was literally just laying there.”