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Teen movies & # 39; excited me to be young & nbsp; & nbsp;: NPR



Beanie Feldstein, left and Kaitlyn Dever, play Molly and Amy, two star students who decide they need to grab four years of high school celebrating one night in “/>

Booksmart.

Annapurna Pictures


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Annapurna Pictures

Just after Olivia Wilde saw Lady Bird ̵

1; The 2017 film about the loving, disturbing, infinitely complicated relationship between a teenage daughter and her mother – her first impulse was to pick up the phone to ring the mother Now when the credits roll on Wilde's new movie Booksmart the audience calls their old high school best friends.

These are the friends who got you through adolescence, says Wilde – those who knew you best allowed you to be vulnerable and saw you in a way that was "more intense and intimate" than romantic relationships. Wilde continues to have these friendships today – this film says she is "my way of honoring the female friendships that have sustained me".

Booksmart tells the story of two-star students went to the Ivy League. For years, Molly and Amy have graduated first, but the night before their graduation, they realize that the children who attended also entered good schools. Concerned that they missed out, the two friends decide to cling to four years of high school for one night.

Wilde says Booksmart is a "love letter" for movies & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; who defined her youth – and she hopes it will help today's teens "celebrate being young." Wilde says she is "infinitely inspired" by young people: "They really make me optimistic about the future, which is difficult these days," she says.

This is Wilde's direct debut, and she says pre-release jitters are both far better and far worse. "I've never been so eager to release anything to the world, but I've never been so proud," she says.

Interview Highlights

Pushing back against the stereotypical "boxes" of teenfilm

You think this is going to be a movie about two nerdy young women who are eager to assimilate to be accepted by their peers. What it really is is the story of two very clever young women who are unapologetic about their intelligence who go through a transformation to realize that they have misunderstood their peers to be one-dimensional when in fact all around them are also very wise. They just lived their lives differently.

We wanted the audience to go on this journey to realize that any stereotype they expect from a high school film is actually not what it looks like – and that there are complexity and nuance to those characters that I hope will inspire people to allow the same complexity in their peers and in themselves today.

On celebration of Platonic friendships

Society gives us so much context for the romantic relationship – there are so many love songs about romantic relationships … the middle and the end begin. We have very few love songs, movies, stories of friendship – platonic friendship – and yet it is in many ways deeper. …

People realize this later in life after maybe romance comes and goes – that these friendships are incredibly significant. And I hope this movie will allow people to look around and appreciate these friendships even more.

How the actors Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein were preparing to depict a "layered deep" 10-year friendship

They knew that to create this chemistry, they had to have to build a story. … So I suggested that they live together [during the making of the movie] and during pre-production too. Because they needed to spend enough time together, where they were no longer charmed by a friendship news. They had to sink into it a little more and spend some time getting to know each other in all kinds of moods. …

They lived together in LA for at least 10 weeks, and they spent every waking moment together and they ran to work together – and what they created is a texture that you can feel when you watch the movie. 19659008] On teen friendships as a training ground for loyalty and fraud

There is something in these very intense friendships in our youth where every form of resistance is seen as fraud. And there is a decisive scene in the movie where a sign reveals that she is not actually on board with the plan, as the other thought they had agreed. And at that moment there is a crack – there is a crack between this very, very intense union.

I wanted to emphasize that this kind of trauma to a young relationship is something that is needed for relationships to develop and for us as individuals to develop. You must be able to tell your closest ally: I disagree with you. I am my own individual. And then we have really worked hard on that argument and show that in order for these two to continue as friends, they must go through this kind of traumatic break.

On Aim to Make a "Hymn" to the Generation Z generation born in the mid 90's and early 2000 & # 39 ; erne

I grew up seeing The Breakfast Club and Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Say Something, Ferris Bueller & # 39; s Day Off Clueless – and these movies were more than just movies for me as a young person; they kind of contextualized the young experience for me. They made me excited to be young and that was my goal with this movie – it was to give this young generation – Generation Z – the opportunity to feel they had been immortalized. …

It must be so hard to be a young person right now. We have put them in such a difficult situation. … They have decided to demand another paradigm. They say: We must change the way we look at sex, sexuality, politics. They incorporate politically into their individual identities, and they really understand the meaning of their voice.

Actors Kaitlyn Dever, left and Beanie Feldstein work with director Olivia Wilde on the sentence Booksmart.

Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures


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Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Actors Kaitlyn Dever, left and Beanie Feldstein work with director Olivia Wilde on the sentence Booksmart.

Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

On asking her Generation Z to cast members to make the script authentic

When I hired them, I picked them up and said, "We must read the script and every time something feels unauthorized, I want you to raise your hand and tell me. If there is a moment you think might sound more organic, I just want you to rewrite it in your own voice. "…

Sometimes it was just one kind of snake that would be a little more natural. Sometimes it would be something more important like: There was a line in the script where Molly told Amy: "You've been out for two years and you've never had a lesbian experience. I want it for you." And when we traveled, the girls rang me and said, "You know, Life, we don't really say" lesbian experience, "we just wanted to say experience."

And I thought: That's good. Change it. It is wonderful. … Things have really changed … Ten 13 years ago when I played a young, beautiful woman on network television on The O.C. It was a very different conversation. It was about owning labels and being very upfront about labels. … It was another conversation at that time.

If this film of female friendship could have been made by a man

I am sure it could, and it would just feel a little different. … Men can make stories about women – like Bo Burnham's amazing movie Eighth grade . … I urge men to control films about women, and I urge women to lead movies about men – because we have to break out of this assumption that female directors are here to tell "the lady stories". … It is not necessary to separate us. …

Amy Heckerling both instructed the Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless and it is likely that many people grew up on these movies did not realize they were both ruled of a woman. … I hope [audience Booksmart ] just feels it is a good movie that feels authentic and fun, and that when they look up and see that it is a woman, they say: "Oh , that's interesting. "

Mallory Yu and Sarah Handel produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Beth Novey adapted it to the Internet.


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