Female Filmmaker Friday: Olivia Wilde Makes Feature Directorial Debut with "Booksmart"

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"I wanted the film to take real tonal risks. I wanted it to be bold. I wanted it to feel as intense and unpredictable as it feels when you're young and you allow yourself to go on an adventure."

Olivia Wilde is an American actress, producer, and director. Mostly known for her acting, Wilde’s notable performances have come on House, Tron: Legacy, Meadowland, and The Lazarus Effect.

Having the dream of directing, Wilde directed a few short films, such as Free Hugs in 2011, and No Love Like Yours in 2016. She also practiced her talents in music videos for several artists.

Wilde now makes her directorial feature film debut with Booksmart, staring Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein. The film is about two high school seniors who have spent four years being great students, only to realize, not only are they getting in to good colleges, but everyone who “had fun” during high school is also getting in to good colleges. Feeling as though they’ve missed key life experiences, the two girls attempt to cram four years of “fun” into one night.

Of working on the film, Olivia observes: “It felt like we were all operating on this common frequency, but it was a collective effort…I’m all about working with people with enthusiasm, even if they’ve never been on a job before.”

When the job came Wilde’s way, it was a story that had been attempted by many over several years. Wilde loved the script, but felt it needed updating, and put it in the hands of screenwriter Katie Siberman, who jumped at the chance to work on a project helmed by Wilde on a story about young women.

The best high school films that stand the test of time are usually great depictions of a generation. Here’s hoping Wilde’s vision joins those classics.

Booksmart is in theaters today.