September 12, 2015 04:40 PM

You’d think shooting a space epic with no less a director than Ridley Scott would raise your IQ at least a couple of points. Perhaps, says The Martian star Kate Mara – but only briefly.

“I was definitely smarter when shooting [The Martian], but I’ve lost it all now,” says Mara in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“I forget everything that I Google-searched,” she adds, flanked by her cast members, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Peña and Jeff Daniels.

Kate Mara
Maarten De Boer/Getty

Matt Damon stars in the film, which opens on Oct. 2, as a botanist sent along with a crew of fellow astronauts on a mission to Mars, where he’s stranded after a windstorm. With strong reviews, The Martian is one of the early hits of the festival, with Damon’s botanist fighting desperately to stay alive and get back home.

“I think that’s the thing about the film,” says Ejiofor, “you come out of it feeling a little smarter, and you wonder whether you can get through all those situations.”

Asked if any of them were now inspired to go to space, the cast’s reactions seems decidedly mixed. “I’d love it,” says Pe a, while the rest of cast nixed the idea. “If I was about a hundred times smarter, I’d love to assist people going into space,” says Ejiofor, laughing.

But they all agree that the arduousness of the shoot – wearing 30-lb. spacesuits and being strung up on wires – was a terrific workout. “I was in great shape,” says Peña.

“I was in better shape,” counters Mara.

For full coverage of the 2015 Toronto Film Festival – including the hottest premieres, the biggest stars and the buzziest films – check out, and

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