Olivia Wilde adds director to her list of talents as she makes her directorial debut in the upcoming comedy, Booksmart.
On the eve of graduation, academic overachievers, Amy [Kaitlyn Dever] and Molly [Beanie Feldstein] suddenly realize that there was more to high school than keeping their heads in the books and getting into good colleges. On their last Summer before they embark on the next journey of their lives, the girls go from getting straight A’s to giving zero F’s. Determined to make up for lost time, Amy and Molly decide to cram all four years of missed fun into one epic night full of adventure and chaos!
The Knockturnal started our week off right with breakfast and conversation with director, Olivia Wilde and the entire cast of Booksmart, moderated by Emmy winning host, Keltie Knight. The cast got real cozy as they revealed high school secrets followed by a “compliment off” where Wilde went around to each cast member spewing compliments as she received some in return. Check out snippets of the conversation below!
Keltie Knight: Jessica, what was it like to work on a movie like this that has a heart and a soul and it’s all about people and relationships?
Jessica Elbaum: I mean for me I just enjoy working on movies that I want to see and movies that feel real and true to the time and to sort of what’s going on right now. So when I read the script, I knew that it would be a movie that I would want to see and a movie that hadn’t been made yet for this generation and then being able to make it with Olivia [Wilde] who I knew would bring so much to it was just sort of undeniable. So I just approach things by what I want to see and what I want to be apart of.
Olivia Wilde: You bring up a really important point though, these mid level movies aren’t made anymore and for a company to take it on, we were really lucky that Annapurna let us go nuts with it and cast exactly who we wanted which is something that I will be grateful for forever. But it was really inspiring to be apart of something that was not the obvious choice of what to make in this marketplace. It was like we were making a movie because we wanted it to be made. But it wasn’t like these corporate studio people in a room looking at a graph being like, one of these need to be made, we just willed it into being.
Keltie Knight: Do you ever get nervous, you seem so confident and sure of your choices but I’m assuming some of this was daunting?
Olivia Wilde: Well absolutely, but I think there’s a confidence from doing something that you really feel good about, that you’re really proud of and this was something that I gave my entire heart and soul to and I think the headline that I take away from that is, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to give your heart and soul into something. It’s terrifying because you just leap into it with reckless abandon but this was the most fulfilling, inspiring experience of my career. So at this point, actually in the shoes of a director for the first time on a feature level, I feel more confident than ever. I think that happens when you find your correct role, you’re like, okay I feel kind of good now.
Keltie Knight: How much of this was improv and how much of this was on the page?
Kaitlyn Dever: It depended on the day really, they were so loose with us. I will say the dancing was sort of like a spare of the moment sort of thing at the beginning of the movie where I pull up to Molly’s house and we just sort of, I get out of the car and we just start dancing. That was really supposed to be, Amy pulls up, Molly comes down the stairs and they drive away and then I just decided to get out of the car and start dancing.
Beanie Feldstein: Katie Silberman’s incredible writing is so off the page. You knew these girls, their banter and their wit and all the comedy just comes from their intelligence and their love for each other which we were just so obsessed with, so there were so many scenes that we wanted to stay directly to the page because her writing is that incredible. I’m literally going to start crying, I just loved it so much! But there were also other scenes where you wanted it to be loose, there’s two friends in their bedroom gabbing versus that witty banter that goes back and forth. It really just depended on the scene.
Booksmart is in theaters May 24.