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Olivia Wilde has been acting in film and television for over two decades. Each role she embraces, she does so with the dexterity of somebody with experience years beyond what her filmography suggests on paper. And her passion and artistry extend further than acting. Aside from her well-known activism work, Wilde is an acclaimed producer of both topical documentaries (“Fear Us Women“) and indie features (“Meadowland“).
Wilde can now add feature film director to her growing list of accomplishments. The renaissance woman’s debut, “Booksmart,” is an unprecedentedly authentic look at young female friendship and a singular reimagining of the age-old coming-of-age genre, drawing inspiration from the director’s past, magical realism, and other similar genre films, while opportunely utilizing her music video-helming background.
Wilde - Booksmart - Screenwriter - Katie - Silberman
Recently, I sat down with Wilde, “Booksmart” screenwriter Katie Silberman (“Isn’t It Romantic“), as well as actors Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Mason Gooding, and Nico Hiraga. Immediately, upon walking into the room, one could feel the palpable camaraderie among the filmmakers and cast, one of the key ingredients to making this particular feature film work.
During the interview, in between the exceedingly enjoyable back-and-forth banter that parallels the film, we discussed Silberman’s auspicious adaption of Wilde’s story, the aforementioned chemistry that carried the film, coming-of-age inspiration, that amazing dance sequence, shooting on a 25-day schedule, a possible sequel, and more.
Film - Days
Is it true you shot the film in only 25 days?
Wilde: Officially, 25. With any other cast, it would’ve been almost impossible to make this film in that short amount of time. But because of the incredible professionalism of the cast, we were able to pull it off. The one thing that I asked of them was for everyone to be off book. And I stole this concept from working for Martin Scorsese [on “Vinyl“].
I knew we’d have about three takes for...
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