By her own admission — and Instagram caption — Nina Dobrev had lost track of date, time zone and location by the time she arrived in Austin, Tex., for SXSW, on the heels of weeks’ worth of travel between Los Angeles for the Oscars and Paris for fashion week, where she attended the Louis Vuitton show.
Sitting down for a moment to chat between promotional commitments, Dobrev opts to sit on the floor by the window at The Line hotel, coffee in one hand, Loewe bag in the other, her knees pulled up around her.
“Oh, this is so fun,” she says — and any sign of travel woes (or geographical confusion, for that matter) one might expect are absent.
Dobrev is at the festival with her film “Run This Town,” which stars Damian Lewis, Mena Massoud, Ben Platt and Scott Speedman and tells the story surrounding the fall of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
“He was like a mini-Trump before Trump happened,” she says of Ford. “With his statements and his declarations, and his inappropriate behavior. We should have seen it as a warning.”
Dobrev plays a law student, Ashley, who graduates and discovers she can’t get a job in her field of choice.
“A lot of kids now will go to school, they’ll get in debt, and then now there are no jobs in the workforce. And lawmakers and politicians who are 30, 40 years older than us are passing laws that are going to affect us long after they’re gone, and so there’s a gap in understanding. The film is basically about that gap and what’s happening with Millennials, and their struggles and what their issues are.”
Dobrev was attracted to the arc of her character, Ashley, who struggles with sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Unfortunately, it happens a lot to a lot of women in their workplace,” she says. “And especially now, after Time’s Up and after the [#MeToo] movement, there is a zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. And, unfortunately, Ashley is subjected to some pretty disgusting behavior at her workplace.”
The actress is busy with press for her CBS show “Fam,” which is currently airing and awaiting confirmation on a second season. The show is shot in front of a live audience, an experience Dobrev found exhilarating.
“It’s like nothing else,” she says. “It’s like doing theater without doing theater. I really like it.”
Her next film release will be action-thriller “Lucky Day,” which she hopes is then followed by a romantic comedy.
“Straight comedies, romantic comedies, anything in that genre or world. I really want to bring back the Nineties rom-com, the way ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ did. They sort of turned the genre on its head and had a fresh, unique perspective on it,” she says. “I’ve been writing as well — I wrote a romantic comedy that we just finally sold — and it’s been a fun medium for me to explore. I want to keep learning.”
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