R | 1h 30min | Comedy | 16 March 2018 (USA)
Synopsis: Zoey Deutch stars as Rebellious, quick-witted Erica Vandross a 17-year-old firecracker living with her single mom Laurie and mom’s new boyfriend Bob in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. When Bob’s mentally unbalanced son Luke arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erica finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed. Mixing dark comedy and teenage angst writer-director Max Winkler and Matt Spicer re-imagine an unproduced script by Alex McAulay, creating a star vehicle for blossoming talent Zoey Deutch and elevating the teen movie to unpredictable new heights.
Matt Mungle: During early conversations with Director Max Winkler what were some of the things that you two discussed in regard to your character? What had to be accomplished for the film to work?
Zoey Deutch: Well we did a lot of reading and watching. Rebel without a cause, and rat catcher and fish tank. These movies with the kids are very much left alone to raise themselves and there is just a fundamental disconnect between the parents and the children and communication. Kids are just looking for some semblance of control.
MM: What about Erica intrigued you the most as an actress? As a female? And are they both the same?
ZD: Well she is fucking bold. And she is someone who makes frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, a distorted sense of self, and has a pattern of intense and unstable relationships. She’s complicated and fragile and intense and frustrating and I loved every bit of her.
MM: Talk about balancing Erica’s extreme personality with her more vulnerable side to make both feel organic and realistic. Did you have a dead set agenda or just let the moment and each individual scene move you?
ZD: Erica is just looking for some semblance of control. At 17, with all the changes that are taking place, the strange hormones running through your body and agents of change I think that all of Erica ‘s bad behavior comes from the fact that she feels very much out of control which desperately scares her. Between her father taking off when she was young Erica has found her entire identity through her very unhealthy relationship with her mother. Which is more like sisters than an authoritarian relationship. I think the film in a lot of ways is a journey of her discovering that there is real strength in vulnerability.
MM: It is hard, or I think it would be, to deliver some of the dialogue of your character and it feel relaxed and natural. Again, was it better to study the script or free flow it in an improve way, off the cuff? Did Max give you the room to breathe?
ZD: I am hyper prepared always. But that’s not mutually exclusive with being free and improving. Those two things work hand in hand, in my experience. And Max always gave me room to breathe. He is truly a generous filmmaker and collaborative in every single way.
MM: I am a fan of your diversity whether playing it reserved against Franco’s absurdness in Why Him to channeling a bit of your mom in Everybody Wants Some. Where does Erica rank on the scale of emotion and out of the box thinking?
ZD: Erica is a no fucks given human being. Experimenting with a put on male bravado but behind that you have to believe there’s a real fragility to her.
MM: Would you rather have unlimited sushi for life or unlimited tacos for life?
ZD: Tacos!!! I am so specific about my sushi that I know it would be too painful to be constantly disappointed by mediocre rolls and fish. Tacos are safer and also by far more appealing as a breakfast dish. I’m not interested in a spicy tuna 7:00 am moment.