On Sunday June 12th I attended the premiere of “Vengeance.” A BJ Novak directorial debut, featuring an ensemble cast including Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher, Boyd Holbrook, J. Smith-Cameron, and Dove Cameron.
Vengeance is a darkly comic thriller following a journalist who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the mysterious death of a young woman. On the red carpet, I got to speak with Issa Rae. For Issa Rae, at this point in her career the most important thing for her is to do stuff with intention. She doesn’t want to keep busy for the sake of saying she’s doing something.
In the film, she provided comedic relief and overall guidance to BJ Novak’s character. While navigating how to tell his story, Novak’s character relied heavily on Issa for insight on how to tell a compelling true crime tale.
I also had the opportunity to speak with the wonderful J Smith Cameron. In our conversation she talks about coming from a theater background, which helps her prepare for her character by starting with the script. Her character is sweet but sassy, and definitely a protective mama bear.
Last but not least I had the pleasure of speaking with legendary producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions. Coming from a traditional horror film background, Vengeance is a different direction for Blum. During our chat he spoke about the difficulty with filming right before the start of the pandemic. When the pandemic hit they had to pause the production and pick back up again when regulations started to loosen. This posed it’s own challenges but overall they were able to overcome.
After the screening members of the cast approached the stage and did a Q&A Panel. Many members of the cast gave praise to BJ Novak. They were thrilled to be a part of the project. Ashton Kutcher spoke on the relevance of drug addiction, especially in the wake of the pandemic. As well as the increase of overdoses this last year.
The audience responded well to the film. Laughing along during the comedic parts, and remaining engaged as the plot began to turn and knew elements were revealed. BJ Novak himself was glowing with gratitude. It was evident he was proud of his work and excited to watch it on screen for the first time with a live audience.