HomeInterviewsOlivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever on Their Landmark Film, 'Booksmart'

Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever on Their Landmark Film, ‘Booksmart’

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Back in March, we caught Booksmart as it took SXSW by storm. Before anyone knew what to expect, we also chatted with director Olivia Wilde, co-writer Katie Silberman, and co-stars Beanie Feldstein, Molly Gordon, and Kaitlyn Dever to discuss the significance beyond being an updated, gender-reversed Superbad.

Katie Silberman
Co-writer Katie Silberman (center – left of Olivia Wilde). Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Katie Silberman (Co-Writer)

On creating a new spin on a familiar story:

“We were excited to make a movie where the story was women understanding themselves better. There are so many great movies about female friendships. We were excited to talk about kids this age and specifically what that world is about in a grander sense, needing to really see people in a different way and how you can think you have it all together but if you’re not willing to dig deeper into the layers of the people in your life, you’re not going to benefit.”

On building the world through the soundtrack:

“The music supervisor, this guy named Bryan Ling who is so talented as a manager, He and Olivia were able to create such a specific sound. She knew exactly what she wanted. The sounds of the movie are what she imagined from the beginning. But the two of them were able to curate; it’s like my favorite playlist that I will list to forever in perpetuity and that’s high praise.”

Olivia Wilde
Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Olivia Wilde (Director)

On building the world through the soundtrack:

“It’s a mixture of songs I listened to in high school. Everything from Jurassic 5 to some newer music like Cautious Clay, Run the Jewels, Lizzo, fun stuff.”

Molly Gordon (Triple A)

On how Olivia Wilde transitioned from acting and directing music videos:

She is extraordinary. A director has so much on her plate, but she remained so calm. We had a shorter shoot, I don’t know how she was able to pull everything off but she did. Basically, the whole shoot was [at night]. She remained so calm and collected and everyone loved her and I think she’s incredibly cool.

Molly Gordon Booksmart
Molly Gordon in Booksmart. Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Beanie Feldstein (Molly)

On what drew her to the project and its unique spin on a high school story told before:

“I’ve never seen a film with girls at the center of it and has basically two of every type (of character). And by doing that, it completely busts open the idea of a stereotype, of an archetype because you have two smart girls, then you have two hot girls and you realize they are much more than that. Two rich, crazy partiers can’t be the same. And I think by casting and creating this story unpacks them as you go and how you judge them. It’s so smart.

On the influence Olivia Wilde had as a first-time director:

“When [Olivia] came on, she had this insanely fresh vision of what the script could be. It was so high stakes, it was so funny, it was so warm. And I think there have been a few movies in the past that I was lucky enough to be in that give female friendship kind of a moment but the more of those the better.”

The Stars of Booksmart
Beanie Fedelstein (left) and Kaitlyn Dever (right) in Booksmart. Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures

Kaitlyn Dever (Amy)

On what separates her role from previous high schoolers she’s played:

I think the writing. Katie Silberman wrote an amazing script and I think that’s where it all starts. I think especially in the scripts that I’ve read, reading a young person on page, it can feel inauthentic and I think that Katie is such an incredible writer. She made [my character Amy] feel so real and honest and she seemed like me. She seemed like my best friend, a girl that I really know in my real life.

Booksmart is now playing in theaters nationwide.


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