From breaking down slut-shaming in “Booksmart” to guiding tween boys in “Good Boys,” Molly Gordon has had a busy summer. Gordon’s role as Hannah in “Good Boys,” opening August 16th, finds herself bargaining with the hilarious sixth grade Beanbag Boys (Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams) while encouraging them to pursue their developing interests.
The breakout star sits down with The Knockturnal to talk wokeness, the importance of female directors, and of course, wrangling good boys.
The Knockturnal: First of all, congratulations on such a huge season. Between Booksmart and now Good Boys, how’s your summer going?
Molly Gordon: It’s been good, thank you. I feel it’s been gratuitous they came out around the same time, and I saw them both last summer so I just feel lucky that they got rolled out in that way. It’s been great.
The Knockturnal: It’s not gratuitous! It’s just the summer of Molly Gordon, you have to think of it that way. Haha. But both films to me– not to totally bookend them– they are both very woke, for lack of a better term. What drew you to both or either roles?
Molly Gordon: I think what drew me to Booksmart was I just thought it was such an amazing script, and [director] Olivia Wilde is spectacular and [costar] Beanie Feldstein is one of my closest friends in the world so getting to work with her was the best. And what drew me to “Good Boys” is I hadn’t seen a movie tackle that at this specific age in this new time of technology where you can find out things so young and kids are a little bit more advanced at a younger age. I was excited to tell that story. Both of them I think were just really smart and funny comedies.
The Knockturnal: I agree. For Good Boys, your character Hannah has this really fun role that kind of takes on an older sister presence, imparting your wisdom on the Beanbag Boys. When Hannah says that when you’re little you become friends with someone because your parents are friends or they live close by, and then that scene is directly juxtaposed with seeing the little boys wrecking havoc at this frat house and giving payback kind of cosmically to these guys who are going through this crazy hazing ritual and your on-screen boyfriend Benji who is kind of a jerk. Do you think the Beanbag Boys would grow up to be these frat boys, or was that showing how you’re breaking this inevitable cycle with this new generation?
Molly Gordon: Yeah, I kind of felt like we were breaking the cycle because what I like about my character was that she looked at Benji’s behavior and that’s kind of why she takes it out on the boys a little bit. She’s like “I don’t want you to end up like him. You have to understand to treat women with respect, you can’t lie, you can’t be an asshole.” And I feel like we’re living in a time where people have the space to be more honest about when things are messed up. I like to think that the kids would end up being better. I like that the comedy doesn’t come out of them being mean to other people. They actually learn about consent and how to be nice to girls and how to be nice to each other. I like that part of the movie.
The Knockturnal: Even though it’s still kind of raunchy, it’s very innocent how they’re looking through it. The messages are like “drugs are bad” and everything like that.
Molly Gordon: I think that was a hard line to toe and I think [screenwriters] Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky ended up really pulling that off because it’s hard to be raunchy with still having a good moral compass at the center.
The Knockturnal: I totally agree. So to wrap up, what’s next for you? What else do you have in the works, or what else are you excited about going forward?
Molly Gordon: I’m doing these two movies. I just flew in this morning from Toronto– I’m doing a romantic comedy there, and then I’m doing this indie in New York this summer as well. They’re both from two first-time female directors, and that’s been a fun adventure. I have some other things in the fall, but that’s what I’m doing right now.
Until then, catch Molly Gordon in Good Boys, opening Friday, August 16th.