Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, is a step in the right direction for authentic representation of teen girls in film in many ways. One of the reasons it moves the needle, Wilde says, is that the characters were able to talk like teens do—meaning, pretty explicitly.
In an exclusive clip, Wilde tells us that it was her choice to have Booksmart have an R rating, because that meant that the characters—particularly Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein)—could behave like real high schoolers. "Sometimes when we watch a movie about high school that doesn't really feel authentic, it's because everybody is talking in a way that's very PG-13," she explains. "Young audiences recognize that right away. I really wanted the girls to make jokes and be natural, so we wanted to make it rated R so it could be realistic."
Trust a woman to understand the importance of being realistically, instead of stereotypically, portrayed. But, Booksmart had more than just Wilde at the helm; there were a lot of women in the crew (and cast, of course), something that was important to Wilde. Unfortunately, that's still a rarity in Hollywood. Wilde points out: "There are so many brilliant female directors, but it's kind of astonishing when you look at the numbers of studio films directed by women that were produced in the last 10 years. It's a very, very small percentage." But, she says, "With Booksmart, we had so many incredible women working on this film." It shows.
Booksmart hits theaters today (!!!). Watch the exclusive clip, below.