"This was going to be my litmus test," the actor says of taking his daughter to sit through her first movie, Cars 3

By Kara Warner
June 17, 2017 09:55 AM
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Although she might not remember it in the years to come, Armie Hammer‘s daughter recently checked off a major first – sitting through a full-length movie in a theater.

“This was her first time going with me to sit through a movie,” Hammer, 30, tells PEOPLE of bringing daughter Harper with him to the Cars 3 premiere. “This was going to be my litmus test, and it proves that anyone can watch this movie if a 2½-year-old girl can watch it and be completely enthralled the whole time.”

In the film Hammer plays rookie racer Jackson Storm, an arrogant challenger to longtime favorite Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). Harper had no trouble identifying which character was her Dad’s.

“At one point in one of the scenes that was kind of quiet, she turns to me and she goes, ‘Dada, that’s your voice up there! ‘I go, ‘Yeah yeah, shh.’ And the woman behind me started laughing and [Harper] goes ‘Okay okay,’ and she turned back to watching the movie.”

For much more on Armie Hammer and Cars 3, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands now.

Hammer, who also has 5-month-old son Ford with wife Elizabeth, 34, says this first bit of theatergoing was a smashing success – aided in large part by the fact that the theater in question was at Disneyland.

“She was so excited to be there,” he says. “And afterwards she got to see all her favorite characters and go on the rides, she was hog heaven.”

Another unexpected bonus to Hammer’s involvement in the film? Disney/Pixar swag.

“The toys are great,” he says of the Cars 3 merchandise that recently arrived at his house. “My daughter loves all of them. Literally all of them. I like the remote-controlled car, there’s one that flips upside down and all kinds of fun stuff. That’s the thing about Disney/Pixar, the blessings are bountiful when it comes to cool toys for your kids.”

Cars 3 is now playing in theaters.