The film follows a young, farm girl named Finley Tremaine (Madison), who dreams of becoming an actress. When a Hollywood film crew comes to her small town in Idaho to shoot a movie, Finley auditions to get a part in the film, which stars actor Jackson Stone (Behling). After her audition doesn't go as planned, Finley disguises herself as a cowboy named "Huck" and lands a role. However, Finley's secret becomes at risk of being revealed.
In an interview with TooFab, Madison opened up about working with Behling on the movie, which was filmed during the coronavirus pandemic. The 21-year-old actress revealed that she and Behling first met when they went to get Covid-19 tests before they traveled to Vancouver, Canada to shoot the film.
"We had a great time together," Madison said of Behling, 25. "We met each other for the first time in LA at our Covid test before we had to fly. The Covid test was the meeting. I think I went first. He was like, 'Ladies first.' So I got the Covid test and then we spent two weeks in the same apartment complex, but could never see each other because we were quarantining. So we did all of our pre-production over Zoom. But then once we got on set, I think we were both so thrilled after a period of not working to be back on a set doing what we love. And I think [we] both had such respect for each other and what we do."
"I had heard through so many of my friends who were binging 'All American' through the pandemic how brilliant he was and then [I] found out he was attached to the movie so I was like, 'How wonderful that our Prince Charming is Michael,'" Madison continued, adding that Behling is "so great" in the movie. "I'm so excited for people to get to see him in this new light...He kills it."
Madison -- who got to work with several different animals in the film -- said her favorite scene to shoot with Behling was when their characters rode horses together.
"I mean we got the giggles a lot, probably when we shouldn't have," she recalled, "but the horse racing scene was our favorite day, so much so that even on our lunch breaks we just continued riding the horses. We just rode around all day. And then we somehow convinced Michelle Johnston, who is our director, that we didn't have enough footage of us horseback riding so that we could ride some more and so she let us. It's all pretty much us on the horse, which is so much fun, and we were just trotting like crazy and running through the most beautiful field in Vancouver."
"A Cinderella Story: Starstruck" is the sixth installment in the "A Cinderella Story" franchise, which began with 2004's "A Cinderella Story" starring Hilary Duff.
Madison said she's the "biggest fan" of the franchise, so much so that she used to carry around the DVD of the first "Cinderella Story" film with her when she was a kid.
"I was really little when the first one came out," she told TooFab. "I was so much of a fan of the original 'Cinderella Story' that I had this little DVD case and I literally can remember exactly what it looked like and I used to take it with me on location wherever I would film so I had like my favorite movies with me. The first DVD in there was the original 'Cinderella Story' and I watched it over and over and over again and then [I've] seen all of the new ones that have come out. I'm such a fan of those. So when they sent ['Starstruck'] to me, my nostalgic childhood heart was like, 'Oh, if I could call my little self and tell her that this would happen one day she wouldn't believe it.' [I'm] a huge fan of the franchise and everyone who's involved in it and [I] was so excited to get to be a part of telling this new Cinderella."
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As for the overall message of "A Cinderella Story: Starstruck," Madison believes that "it's up to whatever [the] audience member is going through in order to kind of take whatever they maybe need to hear or see when they watch it."
"For me personally, elements that I would hope the people would take from it is ... the idea of not giving up," she continued. "I feel like we all hear no so many times in our lives or we feel like we'll never have that chance or 'Oh that could never happen for me' or 'I'm not this' or 'I'm not that.' I think [there's a] message of if you've got something special to give you know it in your gut and so you've got to work towards it and your time will come and your moment will come."
"[Also], I think just staying true to your heart and what you love and what you believe in," Madison concluded. "And kindness, it always wins in the world of Cinderella and I think it can always win in our lives as well."
Check out the full interview, above, to see more from Madison, including what she has in common with her character and who was her favorite animal costar!
"A Cinderella Story: Starstruck" is available now on digital and will be released on DVD on July 13th as well as on HBO Max later this year.