“It was so refreshing to read a story about female friendship that was so true … I think we all have had that friend at one point in time,” says Kaitlyn Dever about “Booksmart,” the critically acclaimed comedy about a pair of overachievers determined to finally cut loose the night before they graduate from high school. “And the great thing about them is that they aren’t afraid that they’re smart. They’re not self-conscious about it. They are so proud, and they have so much drive.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Dever about “Booksmart” as well as her role in Netflix‘s limited series “Unbelievable” above.
Dever plays Amy opposite Beanie Feldstein as her best friend Molly. Together they decide to make up for lost time on one wild night in a story that has been compared to “Superbad.” But it’s a rare R-rated teen comedy fronted by women. And it’s not just in front of the camera where women take center stage. It’s also directed by a woman (Olivia Wilde, in her feature filmmaking debut). It’s written by women (Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman). And it’s produced mostly by women (Silberman, Megan Ellison, Chelsea Barnard and Jessica Elbaum, along with David Distenfield).
It was an “incredible” experience for Dever to work on a set with so many women. “I’ve realized that women are just naturally more comfortable around women,” she explains, and it was especially beneficial for her and Feldstein to work so closely with real-life friends Wilde and Silberman. “Having that relationship right in front of us every single day was definitely really important for the both of us.”
“Booksmart” also presented Dever with the opportunity to play a character who is matter-of-factly queer, which is even rarer for a lead in a teen comedy. “In the past when we’ve seen a queer character they’re solely there to be the gay character in the movie, and maybe the butt of the joke, or maybe we wouldn’t see it in a female best friendship … I don’t think we get to see that very often at all really.” Not only that, Amy gets to explore her sexuality the way straight characters take for granted, and “that just blew me away.”
Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.