What’s it like to audition for one of Hollywood’s preeminent filmmakers? Olivia Cooke found out first hand, after going through the process to star in Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.
“I auditioned in New York for the casting director, then was flown over to L.A. to read with Spielberg, and mix and match with a bunch of boys over two days there. Then I was flown [back] to New York,” Cooke said at the PEOPLE / EW / InStyle portrait studio during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where she was promoting the films Katie Says Goodbye and The Limehouse Golem.
The actress, who broke out in last year’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, said the audition was covered in a “veil of secrecy.” She was later given the script to read at the casting director’s office. “She said, ‘It’s looking good for you, that’s the reason why I wanted you to read the script. Do you like it?’ I’m like, ‘Of course I do!’ ”
For more on the Toronto International Film Festival, go to PEOPLE.com/tiff
Cooke found out she scored the role three days later, she said, while doing laundry. “I’m just like, ‘What is my life?’ It’s bizarre.”
WATCH: Flats on the Red Carpet?! Olivia Cooke Is Dying to Do It
Due out on March 30, 2018, Ready Player One tells the futuristic story of a virtual universe created in a world crumbling because of economic and environmental trauma. Cooke stars alongside Tye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn and Simon Pegg, among others. It’s set to be Spielberg’s next film, following this year’s The BFG.
“I think what I’ve learned with Ready Player One is patience and being durable and being prepared for anything,” Cooke said. “Because when you’ve got a tiny, tiny movie, your schedule is set. That you have to make these scenes on that day, we can’t go over. There’s no money to go over. On this big studio movie, there could be five units going on at once.”