Back left
Back right

Becky G and Alex Neusteadter A.X.L. Interview

Kidzworld talks with the young stars of the new Sci-Fi/action film.

Aug 22, 2018

By: Lynn Barker

Young actor Alex Neusteadter (TV series “Colony”) and singer/actress Becky G (Rebbeca Marie Gomez, Power Rangersyellow ranger) star as young couple Miles and Sara who are falling in love after finding an abandoned “experiment”, an advanced robotic dog called A.X.L. (Attack Exploration Logistics) developed for the military. Seeing that the “dog” has positive human characteristics, can bond to its owner and maybe even has a soul, the couple protects him from the military who badly want him back.

On set it's selfie timeOn set it's selfie time

Alex and Becky told press all about their characters, fun with motocross and Becky’s attempt to drive a humungous truck after just getting her license to drive!

Q:  Alex, how is your character Miles involved in the story?

  • Alex: It’s about Miles who finds this robotic dog and this woman in the same time period and this really changes his perspective on the world and the story is seeing how those relationships grow over time.

Alex NeustaedterAlex Neustaedter

Q: Describe your character Miles for us.

  • Alex: Miles is a quiet and focused kid and this is kind of his soul passion, it’s all he’s ever known. He’s grown up being a rider in the motocross world. He’s more comfortable around bikes and machines than around other people so when he meets A.X.L., it’s kind of familiar ground for him. That’s why he’s so open to him at first and he also finds that human element to A.X.L. too and that really opens him up for letting Sara into his life and really helps him push personally to be able to eventually fall in love with her.

Miles hopes this very strange dog is friendlyMiles hopes this very strange dog is friendlyCourtesy of Open Road Films

Q: Becky, who is your character Sara?

  • Becky: Sara is pretty bad-ass if you ask me. I think she can hold her own. She’s very strong. Growing up it was just her and her mom. They took on a lot. Taking care of another rich family and their family which is a little bit of a broken home. I think Sara tries to avoid that ‘That doesn’t affect me’ but when she meets Miles, it’s the first time she starts to really acknowledge who she really is.

Becky GBecky G

Q: Alex, what is Miles’ first impression of Sara and how does that change?

  • Alex: Miles’ first impression of Sara is that she has it all. She is connected to (rich family) the Fontaines and little does he know that she feels like a guest in her own home. They start to have this breakthrough conversation and he sees that she is really down to earth and she does have issues she is dealing with just like he is.

Miles introduces Sara to A.X.L.Miles introduces Sara to A.X.L.Courtesy of Open Road Films

Q: So tell us about working with Becky G playing Sara.

  • Alex: I love what she’s brought to the character and her energy and the vibe she brings to set every day. She’s super fun to work with and super smart and has a lot of interesting inputs through the story and her character. We got super lucky (to get) her.

Q: And how about Alex MacNicoll as Sam, the rich kid?  

  • Alex: Alex and I have gotten to be pretty good friends so we had that trust and we kind of could let it all out (in scenes together). It’s a lot of fun to work with somebody you are really close with because you’re so comfortable around them.

A.X.L. has many capabilitiesA.X.L. has many capabilitiesCourtesy of Open Road Films

Q: Both of you talk more about the relationship between Miles, Sara and the “dog” A.X.L.

  • Alex: (Miles) sees through (his actions) that he is really just a sweet animal. I don’t think that Miles has any intention to harm or doing anything bad to him. He only sees the goodness in him. So, once that gets exposed, A.X.L. sees the same in Miles and it kind of clicks.
  • Becky: Sara sees that he’s not just a robot who is doing things he’s told. This is a one of a kind creation that has a heart. Not literally but inside of him somewhere he knows right from wrong and he has a soul. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Sara brings A.X.L. and Miles to her little get-away place, her graffiti room and this is where she goes and can put it all out through the spray-can, through her art. When A.X.L. connects to that, that’s when they connect on another level. He’s not just Miles’ toy.

Inside Sara's colorful Graffiti RoomInside Sara's colorful Graffiti RoomCourtesy of Open Road Films

Q: We understand that, although CGI was added in post production, there was a big puppet of A.X.L. on set for you to work with. How is that as an actor?

  • Alex: As an actor, there is nothing better than having a life-sized puppet of him because you can see the scale of him and get up close and touch him and feel his response. Like if you slap him here, there is a guy above (puppeteer) who is controlling him who will move him so you have a direct reaction to what he is doing at all times. His ears go up, his eyes move. It’s like a dream come true to work with that.
  • Becky: A.X.L. is a very special character and being actually able to work with him and not the visual effects version, pretending that he is there (on set), is very helpful for us actors. To be able to actually touch him and look at him in the eyes (is great). From his eyes changing color to his ears moving, all helpful.

Q: Alex, what is Miles’ relationship with his dad Chuck (played by Thomas Jane) like?

  • Alex:  We have a super close relationship but, at times, we don’t understand each other. He thinks he knows what’s best for me and I think I know so there’s that dynamic playing, just like a lot of fathers and sons. It’s fun to work with Thomas. He’s super fun and such a character that it’s cool to hear his stories and talk to him.

Miles tries to bond with A.X.L.Miles tries to bond with A.X.L.Courtesy of Open Road Films

Q: There is some motocross action in the film. Did you enjoy that?

  • Alex: I love it. I’ve become a fan of it. I watch Supercross every weekend. It was awesome to be a part of that, to film it all and show people what that world is like and what those riders do.

Miles and Sara get friendly as A.X.L. looks onMiles and Sara get friendly as A.X.L. looks onCourtesy of Open Road Films

Q: Becky, we understand you had to get your driver’s license to play the role?

  • Becky: (laughs) Something people may not know about this film is that I didn’t have my license until I got the role of Sara. It was only because in the script it says that Sara drives this massive truck. I know how to drive but it had to be put right in this exact spot, swooping in. I might not be able to do that. I knew the pressure was going to be on.

Q: Why should people enjoy seeing A.X.L.?

  • Alex: There is something that all ages are going to be able to relate to whether it be the motocross world, the love story or the relationship between a boy and his dog. It has a lot of elements that combine together in a great story.
  • Becky: Sara is a very special character, close to my heart because I feel like I helped develop her. Go watch it because you’ll get a little part of my heart in it.

Courtesy of Open Road Films

See A.X.L. in theaters August 24th!

Have Your Say

Kidzworld would love to hear from you! Express your feelings and opinions below or with a comment on your Kidzworld profile. How cool would it be to find and bond with an advanced robotic dog? Are you a fan of either Alex or Becky G? Did you see him in “Colony” or know her music or her portrayal of the Yellow Ranger in the latest Power Rangers film? Don’t be shy. Let us know below!