Austin Abrams’ character Max Broussard in “Do Revenge” could not be more different from his role in “Euphoria” as Ethan Lewis. And for a little bit, Abrams went back and forth between shooting the new Netflix movie (now streaming) and Season 2 of Sam Levinson’s HBO drama.
“It was really fun to go from a very nice, gentle, thoughtful guy to [an] egomaniac,” he said in an interview with TheWrap about his “Do Revenge” character. “That is just really flashy, really craving attention.”
Abrams stars alongside Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke in the young adult movie, directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The film follows Drea Torres (Mendes), fallen ‘it’ girl, and Eleanor Levetan (Maya Hawke), new girl in school, as they pair up to take down each other’s enemies, hence the title “Do Revenge.” Abrams plays Drea’s ex-boyfriend who leaks a steamy video meant only for his eyes.
“We had a lot of conversations for sure about the character. We had a lot of conversations about inspiration, which is kind of just an amalgamation of a lot of the guys that are in pop culture right now,” Abrams said. “It was a lot about what he wants and ego and things like that. It was his relationships and what he really wants and what he really feels towards Drea and what he’s really trying to get from everybody. That was personally a North Star.”
Set at a prestigious high school that feeds many of its students into coveted Ivy League colleges, “Do Revenge” addresses many of the topics, themes and (sometimes unfortunate) rights of passage that take place at that age.
“It shows how difficult it is to be in high school, how much you’re still trying to find yourself and find — at least for me, I remember not really knowing how I wanted to live and you’re still a little bit kind of living for other people,” Abrams said. “And gosh, really definitely craving other people’s validation. I remember that. And I feel like you really see that in the characters. It’s really wanting to be liked and loved and feel accepted.”
It becomes challenging to determine who is the good guy and who is the villain in “Do Revenge,” thanks to some twists and turns amongst the group of young students the film follows, played by Jonathan Daviss, Alisha Boe, Talia Ryder, Paris Berelc, Ava Capri, Rish Shah and Maia Reficco in addition to Abrams, Mendes and Hawke.
“There’s parts of Max I think we all can relate to, of wanting everyone to like us and and trying to feel good all the time through validation, through people saying that you look good,” Abrams said. “Or because [Max]’s organizing or he’s the head of all these clubs and things like that. It was really exploring the parts of myself of ego and kind of letting that run a little bit more, paying more attention to them and turning them up a little bit more. Really caring deeply how you looked and were perceived and stuff like that.”
“Do Revenge” has been marketed as a twist on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Strangers on a Train,” only set in high school and modernized. Without spoiling anything, Abrams agreed that certain characters in “Do Revenge” behave like those in “Strangers on a Train.”
“It is very fun, it is very glamorous, but there’s a strong price that everyone seems to pay for what they’re doing,” he said.
Though “Euphoria” can be described similarly, Abrams thinks the style of “Do Revenge” is different.
“This movie is so much more glamorous. It’s just a much more glamorous view of high school, but perhaps ‘Euphoria’ is glamorous in a different way,” he said. “Although it has very real aspects, there is a little bit of a heightened aspect. [“Do Revenge”] is a lot more poppy, very different colors. A lot of like, larger than life characters.”
“Do Revenge” is now streaming on Netflix.