I wanted to first talk about how the movie really evoked powerful images of New York in the summer. Then I got bummed out about the Rockaways. Was that weird?
"Yeah, it was. Well, we made this movie in New York City in the summertime, so that element of realism was taken care of, you know? We were really sweating. We were really hot. The clothes that we were wearing we tried to make as practical as possible. A big part of this movie is Coney Island, the boardwalk, and the beach. Definitely. I actually didn’t even connect that that wasn’t even
there anymore until Naomi [Foner] said it last night, and that’s so hard for me to believe.
We made this movie last summer — it wasn’t that long ago, you know? Those beaches were so full of life, so full of colors, and skin. It was so amazing and so perfect for this movie. Yeah, it’s pretty devastating. New York and the people of New York are so amazing and resilient. I’m sure come this summer there’ll be some makeshift set-up to have fun, you know?"
We’ll figure something out! Are you at NYU right now? What are you majoring in? Can I ask?
What are some things besides acting that are interesting you?
“I’m definitely heavily interested in film. Somehow every class I take I relate it back to that, but I’ve taken all kinds of classes. I’ve taken a Victorian literature class. I’ve taken a class on mythical monsters. I’ve taken all kinds of different things. My goal is to create a major that’s insane. I really want to shock people
when I say what it is.”
Underwater expressionist painting?
Everyone is talking about this Sundance having lots of women having lots of sex. Why do you think we continue to be so fascinated by the idea of young women who are in control of their sexual lives?
“Well, people are fascinated with that because I think we’ve all
seen enough of guys pursuing girls, and guys getting girls, and guys sleeping
with girls, and choosing and pitting them against one another. I think it’s really
refreshing to see girls in the driver’s seat of that and making their own choices
because that’s how we really are now. It’s like Naomi said when she was growing
up; she didn’t have any one she could really identify with that was in the films
except for Katharine Hepburn. It was always a man. I think everyone is like
“guys, you know…whatever.” I think it’s time for us to see girls being the guys.”
A couple years ago everyone was into the manic-pixie dream girl, but you (and Elizabeth Olsen) don't play the manic-pixie dream girl, which is so unrealistic. Instead, both of you are flawed and weird and come from two totally different backgrounds, but have real, daunting issues. Is this an evolution of the manic-pixie?
“Yeah, I think so! I think that the girl that everyone thinks of does evolve every
whatever – however long it takes, but it does. For me, the girl that I played is
kind of a girl I think is a real young woman; a real relatable character and has
elements of a lot of different kinds of girls in one, which I feel like I am.”
“Yeah, for sure. For me, I’m the person that witnesses someone being rude at a coffee shop and I walk home, like, I should have said, 'What’s your problem, man?' You know what I mean? I’m that person. I feel badass in spirit, but overall a good-girl, but badass is trying to come out and when she does it’s like 'Woah! Where did that come from?' You know? I think I’m a mixture of both things.”
What’s more fun for you: the bad-ass or the good-girl? ‘Cause you’ve
definitely done both.
You did brunette earlier this year — which is so exciting, and now you’re
back to blonde. Who has more fun?
“I felt more myself being a blonde, but being a brunette was really trippy because
it did change my everything: my posture, my sense of humor.”
Photo: Everett Collection/Rex USA