In a truly global effort, Australian actress Maia Mitchell and Argentinian ex-model Camila Morrone headed to Dallas to play out-of-work BFFs in Augustine Frizzell’s female buddy comedy, “Never Goin’ Back.” The Sundance Film Festival first-timers chatted with WWD about their Sundance style, on-screen wardrobe (bootie shorts, pastels and lots of Scrunchies), and what makes their friendship in the film so special.
WWD: Did you two know each other before you shot the film?
Camila Morrone: I knew her boyfriend [actor/comedian/musician Rudy Mancuso] through some friends. I probably read with six or seven girls, and they were all great and everyone’s talented, but it was just something that clicked naturally. I think we both felt it.
WWD: What are your first impressions of Sundance?
C.M.: The town is so cute. Everyone’s in Uggs and big jackets and you run into your friends on the street.
WWD: What did you pack?
Maia Mitchell: I just brought a lot of sweaters and a big coat. I was like, “I’m not going to try to be too glam.” I don’t want to be that girl hobbling around in heels, falling in snow.
C.M.: I like being warm. I brought a bunch of puffy Moncler jackets that I’m just gonna be living in for the next, like, two days and that’s it.
WWD: How does your style differ from your character’s?
C.M.: First of all, our characters’ style is Goodwill hand-me-down, bootie shorts, neon colors, pastels.
M.M.: But they always look stylish in their own kind of way. I couldn’t pull it off the way my character does. So much jewelry and Scrunchies up my arm and runny makeup.
WWD: You shot this film in Texas in the summer. What was that like?
M.M.: We were sweating all over each other.
C.M.: We got down and dirty. We had oil in our hair every day.
WWD: This film is based on the director’s life. Did that add some pressure?
M.M.: It was a little bit of pressure at the start when I found out that it was based on her life and her upbringing, but she kind of trusted us with it, and was like, “Just do your version of it, do you,” and really gave us that freedom.
WWD: How would you describe the relationship between your characters in the film?
C.M.: Essentially, the whole movie is following these rowdy, disturbed, fun, bold characters through a week in their life.
M.M.: What’s unique about it is that no matter what happens, and no matter what mistakes they make and whatever goes wrong in the movie, they’re supporting each other. It’s really reflective of friendships I’ve had in my life with women and girls, and that’s the main reason I wanted to do the film.
WWD: What about the sexual undertones?
M.M.: They just love each other, and they don’t put a label on it. They’ve definitely hooked up before, and they’re exploring, and I think that’s natural. I did that with my friends when I was that age.
C.M.: I like that’s it’s kind of a mystery. You never really know what goes on between them.
WWD: Cami, do you still model?
C.M.: I stopped modeling to focus on acting a year-and-a-half ago. I was always doing theater and auditions and commercials, and it was kind of a stepping stone, but acting has always been the thing I’ve wanted to do. Modeling was just a path to getting there.
WWD: Maia, any plans to do more music?
M.M.: My boyfriend’s a musician and started releasing music. We were just collaborating on [the song “Sirens,” released late last year] once. It’s not something I’m pursuing.
WWD: What’s next for you?
M.M.: I’ve been on “The Fosters” for a while. We have a spin-off that we’re starting in a couple of months. It takes place when they’re 24 years old, so it’s a big jump forward, and they’ve finished college and they’re pursuing their careers. Rather than seeing it through the eyes of two moms, you’re seeing it through the eyes of two 24-year-old women. We’re going to have a bunch of new series regulars, as well as a bunch of the original cast recurring.
WWD: Any plans for Cami to guest star?
M.M.: That would be fun, wouldn’t it? It’s a lot faster. You have to get it in two takes.
C.M.: Two takes? I’ve never done that! I may come watch you and decide if I can handle it.
WWD: Cami, you star in “Death Wish” with Bruce Willis, out on March 2. Any other films in the works?
C.M.: After this I’m going to finish a movie called “Valley Girl,” which is an MGM studio remake of the film from the Eighties [that starred] Nicolas Cage. I’m just opening and closing the movie with Alicia Silverstone and that’s it. I was just completely geeking out just ‘cause she is, you know, Cher [from “Clueless”], but she’s also not, and I wanted to [say] “As if!” She would probably think I was so weird if I did that [so I] totally held it in.