White Girl is already getting great critical praise, and people are saying it has a similar feel to Kids by Larry Clark. Tell audiences what they can expect from the film.
Kids was a huge inspiration for Elizabeth Wood, and that was a peak into a specific sub-culture of New York City that was told so honestly that it shocked audiences when it came out, and I think that honesty and rawness is the pre-cursor to what Elizabeth would have done with White Girl. The big difference between the two movies is that where Kids took you in more as a voyeur into this world that you might not be familiar with- whether that be skate culture, or what have you, White Girl comes from a more personal perspective. And that’s not to take anything away from the brilliant Larry Clark, who is an amazing filmmaker, but he was obviously an outsider looking in, whereas White Girl is based on a white girl’s point of view having had that specific experience that the film is centered on. So, expect the honesty and rawness of Kids, but again, from a more personal point of view.
You have a tendency to play much nicer guys on screen. White Girl is a major departure from that kind of character as you shift over to the dark side- which you do so brilliantly and beautifully. Describe your character a bit for audiences and tell fans how it was to play someone a little more sleazy?
Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say, thank you! My character is really the epitome of white privilege. He is a white male in his thirties and he is in a very specific power position within the world; he runs a magazine and has access to a lot of money and uses his power in a self serving way. He’s not necessarily unaware of the world around him, but he comes from and exists in a world of such privilege that he exploits others without guilt. And there’s a moment in the film where the main character comes to him for help and he almost sees her in a new light, a switch kind of goes off for him, he almost sees her as a real person, or human being for the first time. I don’t want to call him a sociopath, but the truth is, he doesn’t look at other people as human beings, he looks at them as ways to serve himself. He’s definitely a narcissist- but there’s always a sense of narcissism when it comes to white privilege. The big dividing line is awareness. You’re either aware of your privilege, or not. A big message in this film is identifying how privileged you are and where you exist in the hierarchy of power play within the world. And, of all the things the main character goes through in the movie, it’s interesting to try and pinpoint when and if she ever becomes aware of her position in the world- which really always shifts, because she’s a woman. So, the character that I play is at the full position of privilege- he has everything at his feet, and because he is that privileged and choosing to not be aware of it, that is the ultimate narcissism. As far as playing a darker character, I’ve had that opportunity before in smaller movies and in theater and I always enjoy it immensely, but, unfortunately, when it comes to bigger budgets, those kind of characters aren’t represented as much or I’m not called to play them [chuckles.] So, Elizabeth was nice enough to let me spread my wings a little.