Hi Rachel! So, how did you become a part of the movie?
I think very early on in the writing process Harmony knew that he wanted to have a role for me in it. It sort of developed that way naturally. We knew that we both wanted to work on something so I think he sort of wrote it so I would be in it in some way, shape or form. Then it became an ensemble with four girls and it just sort of worked perfectly.
What kind of music and films influenced you to get into character?
The film is very much now, so the girls and I were listening to a lot of Drake. I was listening to a lot of Gucci Mane, who is in the film. Anything that teenagers and early college students are really into right now, sort of just like pop culture inspired music. As far as films go, Into The Void-I really visually loved the way that looked and was sort of imagining that energy.
What was the vibe like on set?
It was so much fun. Harmony's vibe as a director sort of shapes everybody's energy because he's so spontaneous and really lets the actors develop their own characters. It really lightens the mood. The girls and I got along so well. We shared a trailer and part of the process of getting into character was just becoming friends and interacting and joking around. We really had a special time together.
How many hours total do you guys think you spent in bathing suits?
Oh my god, it feels like the entire film. The sequence where we're in bikinis and we get arrested and then we spent the night in jail...it just went on forever and ever. We were all joking in the beginning about how we were self-conscious and nervous, but towards the end of the shoot, walking out in a bathing suit was nothing. It felt normal because we did it for so long. But it felt like it lasted forever.
The music fits so perfectly with every scene in the film. What's your favorite song off the soundtrack?
That's hard. I love the fact that the Britney Spears is in there. It brings that part of the film to where every girl of a certain age can sort of relate. Girls just, they know her songs, they sing it with their friends, so I felt like that really brought a lot of reality into the film.
What was it like to shoot and carry a gun? Was it scary?
For me it was very scary. I'd never shot or even held a gun before so it was intimidating. I felt better because there was always someone on standby who was an expert, an arms expert or something, but yeah it was definitely intimidating for me at first and not something that I'm used to at all.
Harmony went down and tried to experience the real spring break. Were any of the party scenes based off real events experienced by him or any of the cast or crew?
Well, the interesting thing about that is that all of the extras that were in those party scenes were actually locals on spring break. A lot of the college campus scenes were actually kids that lived there. Harmony really felt that it was important to make it as real as possible. We purposefully shot during spring break so we could get a lot of that real life action. It was definitely inspired by real life events.
What was it like working with Gucci Mane and the ATL Twins?
It was great. Harmony and I have both been fans of Gucci Mane for a long time so it was really, really exciting to have him be involved. The ATL Twins were fun. I feel like just having them onscreen, they're such a striking presence. They're quite creepy so I felt like that brought another aspect to Alien's character, having this sort of alien-looking crew.
Did Gucci let anyone try on his jewelry?
Yeah, he did! I think it was Vanessa who got a photo taken where she was wearing his chain in the strip club scene. I think it was the ice cream cone.
That's pretty amazing.
I know I was like, "Damn, that could've been me."
With all of the guns, drinking and nudity, do you worry about influencing kids into thinking crime is cool?
No, I don't, because the film is rated R. It's for adults, and if a parent feels that they can allow their child to see this film, then I feel like it's the responsibility of the parent to explain what it is that they should or should not take from it. It's a movie.
Harmony has this talent for finding unique characters to cast in his films. Is he like that in real life? Making friends with the weirdos in the room?
Definitely. Harmony and I have been together about eight years so I've witnessed him constantly see someone—whether it be a taxi cab driver or someone who works in a grocery store—if someone stands out to him, he is fearless. He'll go up to them, strike up a conversation and before you know it, he's got their phone number and is making a mental note. He definitely is always finding characters. It is amazing. Sometimes the characters find him. I know in the past in a lot of his films, characters have just been around during filming and they almost literally just walk onto the set and Harmony makes it work. He has a real gift for finding the real freakers out there.
How is Harmony different in your daily personal life compared to being at work?
Nothing so different. Obviously, he's very distracted when he's working on a film, he's only focused on the film, and he has to sort of come back to reality and remember he still needs to take out the trash.
What's a moment from filming that you'll always remember?
I really, really love the scene where James is playing the Britney Spears song. That scene was shot during magic hour so we only had one hour per day to shoot it and we did it over the course of three days. I feel like with the sunset, the water and the bathing suits—which had the sunset and the tiger prints on them—it's such a beautiful scene and I feel really lucky to have been a part of it.
In the movie, the characters want to get away and become somebody new. Did you have a time in your life where you got away and kind of "found yourself?"
No, I actually didn't. My parents were very, very strict with me so a lot of my friends were going on spring break and I was never allowed to go. I missed out on the debauchery that is spring break. Maybe that's why I was so comfortable with getting in there and doing the nudity and some of those more intense scenes. In my own way, it was my way of experiencing something that I hadn't before. I made up for lost time.