found that swimming with the dolphins during the filming of award-winning "Eye Of The Dolphin
" was an amazing cross-species experience.
In "Eye Of The Dolphin", (in theaters August 24), Schroeder plays a troubled teen whose circumstances force her to move to the Bahamas where her father is a dolphin researcher.
During filming, she is pulled through crystal clear tropical waters by dolphins and she'll never be the same for it, "Dolphins have a kind of spiritual presence - it's incredible how they affect you. Their energy, the power they give off is so uplifting. It's in the noises they make, their body language, how they react to you, how they love being pet, and how silly and playful they act."
Each dolphin is distinct, "Kayla, the big mama, is protective. Bryland, -- the baby boy squirts the camera to get attention. Salvador, a real kisser -- bobs up and touches you on the lips."
This experience raised questions for Schroeder, "We don't seem to understand them very well, but they seem to sense what we may be feeling. It's hard for us to comprehend what they're thinking, but the dolphins have it down, even if we don't."
Schroeder is no stranger to physically demanding roles. In Prey
she played a tourist attacked by lions and in Gracie
she played a teen soccer star, preparing by training for six months with professional soccer players.
"With 'Eye Of The Dolphin' the producers thought they would need a stunt double for the scenes with dolphins in the open ocean. Schroeder quickly proved she could handle the task. She says, "The dolphins know when you're out of air and need to get back to the surface, almost before you do -- they guide you back up."