Category: Interviews

“After Yang” selected at the Cannes Film Festival

Good news! Kogonada’s drama-sci-fi ‘After Yang‘ will debut in Un Certain Regard at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

From the Press Kit

[…] Rounding out the main cast of characters is mysterious Ada, bleached-blonde and Kohl-eyed. First seen sneaking around Jake’s empty house when the family is out, Ada also appears in some of Yang’s stored memories, a cipher. She has a connection to Yang that’s best left for audiences to discover.
For this pivotal role, a Kogonada addition to the short story, he had only one actor in mind: Haley Lu Richardson, the magnetic young actress who was a co-lead in Columbus and had key supporting turns in The Edge of Seventeen and Split.
“His vibe is purely creative, collaborative and peaceful,” says Richardson. “I literally love him and I want to be in anything he ever makes.”

“Haley Lu means so much to me” says the director, grateful for their collaboration. “I have a lot of trust in her. I put Columbus on her shoulders, and she carried it with such grace and determination. There was no place to hide in that film, not a lot of plot or coverage. She had to be present at all times, and she was more than that. Haley Lu attunes you to the moment and to unspoken layers of emotion.”

Richardson admits to becoming obsessed with the idea of playing Ada, taking cues from the script but also the makeup and hairstyling. “I was really transformed by those departments, which helped me find Ada even more,” she says. “She has a desperation to find herself as her own person.”

She also has come to appreciate the rarity of an artist like Kogonada. “I knew about the concept of ‘less is more’ but I didn’t understand fully how that correlates with acting and moviemaking until Columbus,” Richardson says.
“He just completely opened my mind to how much more powerful it can be when you use restraint and get people thinking about things instead of forcing a bunch of answers down their throat.” […]

Variety Streaming Room – Q&A

VARIETY – To tackle abortion through the lens of a road trip comedy required a sense of grace and wit from the cast and crew of “Unpregnant.” In finding this balance, director and co-writer Rachel Lee Goldenberg had a single guiding mission.

“My goal from the beginning, and still is, it’s just that I just want to normalize and de-stigmatize abortion,” Goldenberg told editor Jenelle Riley in the Variety Streaming Room presented by HBO Max. “I want people to be able to say the word, I want people to know that they can talk about it and that their friends can talk about it and that most Americans support abortion and that that fact is purposely hidden.”

“Unpregnant” sees estranged high school students Veronica and Bailey rekindle their friendship to drive from Missouri to New Mexico so Veronica can get an abortion at a clinic that provides the service without her parents’ mission.

“When we were doing the scene, actually driving into the clinic and all those extras were there protesting and everything, that felt very real and intense,” Haley Lu Richardson said, who plays Veronica. “That actually shocked me in my core.”

Not all moments in the movie are so heavy, particularly thanks to Barbie Ferreira’s Bailey, an emo zoomer distinguished by a shock of green hair. Her dry sense of humor invigorates “Unpregnant,” but its also a method of deflection so that she doesn’t have to deal with her feelings.

“I feel like if I get myself to a place where I’m ready to be emotional, for me, it takes time and intention. I can’t just turn it on,” Ferreira said. “I like to just watch like mindless reality TV, and try to just like go to sleep really early and wake up and have a fresh new day, because it’s hard to get out of that.”

The buddy comedy finds a sweet spot in unveiling absurdity of reality, such as when Veronica points out the backward logic in teens being able to “birth a human child,” but needing parental consent for an abortion.

“There’s so much inherent comedy and in life,” Goldenberg said. “The guiding principle when people in bad faith have said, ‘oh, this, this movie thinks abortion is funny.’ It’s like, we’re never making jokes about abortion. All the jokes are coming from why is it so hard to get this abortion? Like why is this journey so hard? And so that really frees us to let inherent humor.”

‘The First Time’ With Haley Lu Richardson

Actress talks Unpregnant, starring in a Lifetime movie, and sobbing to Viola Davis

In Unpregnant, Haley Lu Richardson stars as a pregnant teenager from Missouri who embarks on a road trip to the nearest abortion clinic in Albuquerque with the help of a former friend. As the film streams on HBO Max, Richardson chatted with Rolling Stone for The First Time.

Richardson kicks off things by remembering the first time she saw herself on TV. She was in eighth grade and appeared in a Sylvan Learning Center commercial in her home state of Arizona. “It was a very proud moment for me,” she says, noting that her entire family saw it and passed it around on email chains. “I think my role was a kid that was struggling with homework at the breakfast table with my parents, and you see me struggling. And then flash forward to me — I had to smile and nod to the instructor tutor lady like I was a changed woman or something.”

She explains how she got involved with Unpregnant. “I got sent the script and loved so many things about it,” she says, “but also recognized how ambitious and new of an endeavor it was to try to make a movie with this tone talking about the real important things we explore in the movie.”

Elsewhere in the clip, Richardson recalls starring in the Lifetime movie Escape from Polygamy, meeting Cole Sprouse on Five Feet Apart, and crying to a song on Nashville. She also cites the first time she met a personal idol: Viola Davis, following the actress’ 2017 Golden Globe win for Fences. “I can’t keep my cool around these types of people,” she says. “So I fangirl at every given moment…..I literally sobbed in front of her, which was very embarrassing.”

SOURCE ROLLING STONE

The Kelly Clarkson Show – Videos + Captures

Haley Lu was a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier today to promote Unpregnant. Watch the videos below

I have also added 229 high quality screencaptures to the gallery

Haley Lu for The Face Magazine

The Arizona-born actress takes a wild road trip with co-star Barbie Ferreira in Unpregnant, the Superbad of abortion movies.

“I’d love to play an alien,” the actress Haley Lu Richardson tells me over a Zoom call when I ask her what kind of role she’d like to tackle next. While it’s unclear whether she means the cyborg-headed, drooling kind that dry heaves into Sigourney Weaver’s ear or one more akin to the kitschy, operatic belter in The Fifth Element, one thing’s for certain: she’s done playing teenagers (well, maybe just one more).

Today, Richardson, with tousled hair and oversized glasses, is curled up on her couch in a tawny cardigan, despite the roasting, ashen weather outside of her Los Angeles beach home; she just wants to feel cosy, she explains.

For several years, Richardson has oscillated between Hollywood high-earners and more evocative, prestigious indie fare. For her performance in 2017’s Columbus, Richardson received a Gotham award nomination for Best Actress; her performance in Support the Girls the year after was also met with critical acclaim.

Following a string of early career desultory indies, Richardson broke out as Hailee Steinfeld’s frenemy in 2016’s millennial cult-ish classic The Edge of Seventeen, which led to her getting cast as a cheerleader tormented by a psychotic James McAvoy in the blockbuster Split. Last year, she starred opposite Cole Sprouse in Five Feet Apart, a terminal teen romance depicting the real life couple that inspired The Fault in Our Stars, in which her character suffers from cystic fibrosis. Then she got the call for Unpregnant, a HBO Max road trip abortion comedy in which she must get, well, unpregnant before her devout parents find out.

I inquire about her position as a career teen. ​“I’m drawn,” the actress pauses to let out a stifled burp, ​“to young adult stories when they also explore something with depth, or that’s real and universal,” she explains. ​“The worst kind of teen genre movies to read are the ones where it’s like ​‘teenage heartbreak!’ And I’m like, ​‘I don’t care!’ I’m 25 years old now, I really don’t care about that anymore.”

Richardson stars alongside Euphoria breakout Barbie Ferreira (“I’ve never seen an episode of that show,” she shared). The actress felt disoriented on the phone when she found out about the audition, a discordant jangle of her agent’s voices scrambling to describe Unpregnant​’s plot. ​“They were all trying to talk over each other trying to explain this movie, which, as it turns out, is very hard to explain.”

In brief, Unpregnant follows Veronica (Richardson), a 17-year old, straight A/​type A student who discovers that she’s pregnant in the stall of her high school bathroom. Mid-piss-on-the-stick, her former best friend, the band tee-wearing, Nickelodeon slime-haired Bailey (Ferreira) barges through the door.

Refreshingly, there’s not much debate in the film about whether or not Veronica will get an abortion: ​“It’s not a ​‘should I’ or ​‘shouldn’t I’ situation for her,” Richardson explains. Rather, it’s about how she’s going to get the procedure. Unpregnant is set in Missouri, one of 37 states in the US that requires parental involvement in a minor’s decision to get an abortion. So when Veronica’s dopey boyfriend (Alex MacNicoll) admits to a condom breaking during a recent car hump, she’s certain that she’s not ready to become a mother. The bad news? Veronica’s parents are ultra-religious, and telling her mother is out of the question. The nearest clinic that doesn’t require parental consent is some 1,000 miles away in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Veronica has exactly three days to get there and back before her sleepover coverup is found out. Only, she doesn’t have a car.

Unpregnant is the Superbad of abortion movies. It performs a genre-bending juggling act, finding a surprising balance between the earnest friendship at the core of Booksmart mixed with the high-octane adrenaline of Thelma & Louise. At its zaniest, the film enters hostage territory Cape Fear style, swapping out a tattoo-knuckled Robert DeNiro for an anti-choice couple with serious road rage. Continue reading

Post Archive:

Page 1 of 9 1 2 3 4 9