“An ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of the world that we live in”

Amand­la Sten­berg parle d’Eve­ry­thing, Eve­ry­thing.

Vocable (Anglais) - - Sommaire -

Cette se­maine, Amand­la Sten­berg est à l’af­fiche d’Eve­ry­thing, Eve­ry­thing. Elle y in­carne le rôle prin­ci­pal, ce­lui d’une jeune fille de 18 ans at­teinte d’une ma­la­die rare, cloi­trée chez elle, jus­qu’au jour où un beau jeune homme em­mé­nage dans la mai­son voi­sine. L’ac­trice, très mûre pour son âge, y voit une ma­nière d’af­fir­mer son iden­ti­té.

Vo­cable: What is Eve­ry­thing Eve­ry­thing about? Amand­la: It is about a girl who can't go out­side, and what hap­pens when she falls in love with the boy next door. The en­tire film is not real­ly ba­sed on rea­li­ty. In my eyes, it's more a piece of fan­ta­sy, or a mo­dern-day fai­ry­tale, be­cause the in­ter­ac­tions of the cha­rac­ters are ve­ry much real and na­tu­ral but the cir­cum­stances that they're in are pret­ty ab­surd. That's what gives the film its sense of hu­mour, but it is about es­ca­ping from li­mi­ta­tions pla­ced on you, from brea­king free of li­mi­ta­tions you may place on your­self, and about first love and ad­ven­ture.

2. Vo­cable: Why did you choose this role? Amand­la: When I re­cei­ved the script, I was sur­pri­sed that they were in­ter­es­ted in cas­ting me. Then I loo­ked fur­ther in­to it and saw that the book was writ­ten by a black wo­man and the main cha­rac­ters were writ­ten as Afri­canA­me­ri­cans, and I think that is so­me­thing that is pret­ty rare to see in these types of sto­ries. We get to see a lot of young adult ro­mance films fea­tu­ring white couples, but not ve­ry ma­ny fea­tu­ring in­ter-ra­cial couples, and then fea­tu­ring in­ter-ra­cial couples wi­thout ha­ving race be a conver­sa­tion in the film. What al­so drew me to it was that it was being di­rec­ted by a black wo­man, and I saw the op­por­tu­ni­ty to be a part of this pro­ject that I’d ne­ver seen be­fore.

3. Vo­cable: How im­por­tant was race in your choice? Amand­la: I'm bi-ra­cial, so I do live with pa­rents who were an in­ter-ra­cial couple and, when I was youn­ger, I just felt like I was ne­ver able to see ac­cu­rate re­pre­sen­ta­tions of them in films, or ac­cu­rate re­pre­sen­ta­tions of my­self as a bi­ra­cial kid. To see this cha­rac­ter car­rying a film, who is black and bi-ra­cial and wears her hair na­tu­ral felt real­ly spe­cial. I rea­lise it was im­por­tant for me to be a part of it, in or­der to create ac­cu­rate re­pre­sen­ta­tions that I feel es­pe­cial­ly Hol­ly­wood needs. 4. Vo­cable: Do you think that’s a ve­ry Ame­ri­can thought pro­cess? Amand­la: Maybe the same thing goes for other parts of the world, but I think, es­pe­cial­ly in Ame­ri­ca, it is an im­por­tant dia­logue. For ins­tance, wea­ring my hair na­tu­ral has al­ways been a point of dis­cus­sion, of conver­sa­tion. I used to get tea­sed for my hair and I felt like I ne­ver got to see cha­rac­ters like me. Ac­ting in this film is just a first step in terms of ope­ning the doors for other re­pre­sen­ta­tions to exist, and for other black girls to be able to be the main ro­man­tic love in­ter­est in a film, as op­po­sed to a se­con­da­ry cha­rac­ter or an ob­ject or ha­ving to be a part of a film where the fact that they are black is the point of their cha­rac­ter. Of­ten­times, when we have black wo­men in lead cha­rac­ters, their race is a point of dis­cus­sion. What's spe­cial about Eve­ry­thing, Eve­ry­thing is it's just sup­po­sed to be an ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of the world that we live in, which is in­crea­sin­gly di­verse.

5. Vo­cable: Do you plan on car­rying on your stu­dies now you've just gra­dua­ted? Amand­la: That’s the plan, but it de­pends on the pro­jects that I'm able to en­coun­ter. Ac­ting is a real­ly fan­tas­tic way to show people who I am and ho­pe­ful­ly to grab their at­ten­tion. Ul­ti­ma­te­ly, my goal is to be able to eli­mi­nate the fact that my race has so much to do with my ca­reer, but, at the same time, ma­king it a point of em­po­werment. La­ter this year, I'm going to be ma­king a film ba­sed on a book cen­tred around the events of the Black Lives Mat­ter Mo­ve­ment, but right now I'm wor­king on a film cal­led The Dar­kest Minds, which is ano­ther cha­rac­ter where race ne­ver is a conver­sa­tion, and ins­tead we just get to see me play a role that would tra­di­tio­nal­ly go to a white girl.

(Cour­tes­ty of War­ner Bros. Pic­tures)

(L-R) Nick Ro­bin­son as Ol­ly and Amand­la Sten­berg as Mad­dy.

(Ka­thy Hut­chins/NEWSCOM/SIPA)

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