This story about Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever first appeared in the Actors/Directors/Screenwriters issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.
From the get-go, Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever knew they had something special on their hands with “Booksmart.” Director Olivia Wilde’s coming-of-age story about a modern high school friendship has not only received critical acclaim but has also resonated with many who saw pieces of themselves in Feldstein’s Molly and Dever’s Amy.
“It immediately stood out to me because of the love between Molly and Amy,” Dever, 22, said. “I’d never read anything like it. And then the fact that they’re two funny women and they’re funny because of their intelligence. It was really refreshing to get a script like that.”
“It was just so clear, reading it, that this was something you’d never seen before,” Feldstein, 26, added.
To prepare for the film, the two actresses lived together for 10 months. “It wasn’t like we went to Disneyland or went to an arcade — we just got to know each other and would sit on the floor with snacks and have heart-to-hearts and run lines,” Feldstein said. “We just became so comfortable with one another and true, true friends. Molly and Amy’s relationship is truly the center of the film. It’s not Molly or Amy — it’s the space between them and the love they have for one another. So if that didn’t work, we knew we wouldn’t have a foundation for the film.”
But beyond the relationship, Feldstein added, “Booksmart” also works because of the individuality afforded each character. “It’s so beautifully crafted because it kind of leans into these stereotypes of the nerdy girl, the hot girl, the skater girl or the theater kids,” she said. “And because there’s at least two of each kind of stereotype, it immediately debunks what that even means and expands every person into a fully complex character. This is a time in our society where we really want to put people in boxes, and I think this film really asks everyone, through my character because she’s so incredibly judgmental at the beginning of the film, to take a look at everyone in a complex way. I just love that.”
As does Dever. “I feel like this is the movie that everyone wanted growing up and never had,” she said. “And so that’s why it feels so special to be a part of it.”
To read more of the Actors/Directors/Screenwriters issue, click here.