Making their own Fight Club. The highly anticipated queer comedy Bottoms follows two high school girls who try to hook up with cheerleaders by starting a self-defense group.
The upcoming film marks the second collaboration between director Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott. The twosome previously teamed up on the critically acclaimed feature Shiva Baby, in which Sennott starred with Dianna Agron and Molly Gordon.
In March 2023, the duo recalled how they developed the concept for an LGBTQIA+ film that explores the ups and downs of high school.
“We knew the feeling of what we wanted to make. Then we went and brainstormed ideas. There was this giant whiteboard where we had a photo of us in front of it and we wrote out everything we wanted to put in a movie,” Sennott told Alternative Press during a joint interview. “I feel like we’re able to push each other and balance each other out. [We’ve gotten] into a place in [our] relationship where we can shoot ideas back and forth where you’re like, ‘I’m about to say maybe the dumbest thing ever and I know she’s not going to judge me.'”
Seligman, for her part, hinted at how humor plays a large role in the film. “It was really freeing because it hadn’t really been so grounded in reality. Writing from Rachel’s perspective, with her sense of humor, was really liberating,” the director noted. “Especially with queer female characters to allow them to do whatever the f—k you wanted in the movie, it was completely different, and really fun, too.”
“We always heard it in [Ayo’s] voice, and I think you can see that in the movie. She’s so amazing and she brings so much of her comedic timing and voice to it. I even remember having our meeting at that coffee shop on 7th Avenue that was like, ‘We’re writing a movie that you’re gonna star in.’ And Ayo was like, ‘OK. Yeah,'” the Bodies Bodies Bodies actress added. “Ayo was so special because it felt like we all know each other. We’ve been with each other on the ground level, even the basement level. Just being able to come together on such a bigger scale was incredible.”
Seligman also had nothing but praise for The Bear star’s performance, saying, “The fact that we got to do that on the level that we did was amazing. Ayo is incredible, and I feel like on the page, Josie is usually read as passive, more insecure, and small, but Ayo made it jump off the page, really made it her own. I love the character that we wrote, but it could have [gone] so many different ways and her way allowed Josie to have so much personality. So, I’m very grateful that she ended up being part of that.”
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