Actress Amandla Stenberg will be making her debut as a lead actress in '90s throwback film As You Are.
In a new interview, the 17-year-old, who is also a budding filmmaker herself, tells V magazine that she scored the starring role because she asked "a lot of questions" about the film and its portrayal of women while Skyping with writer and director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.
“He told me the reason he cast me was I asked him a lot of questions,” she reveals with a laugh. “I was almost criticising the way he portrayed women [in the script]—asking about it. He was like, ‘Okay, you need to be in my movie.’”
While the film is set in the early '90s, Stenberg says that the story transcends its era.
“Angsty adolescence is a pretty universal and timeless thing," she notes. "I had a huge punk phase when I was in 9th grade, so I found myself pulling from those angsty feelings that I experienced. I would go to punk venues every weekend and mosh and wear a lot of buttons on my denim jacket, everything.”
And it seems that filming As You Are, her first indie flick, has reignited Stenberg's desire to be a part of the film industry after being disillusioned by Hollywood.
“I experienced some disillusionment with the film industry at one point,” she says. “Maybe that was real disillusionment or my actual teenage angst coming through, but I just had that feeling of, Man, the film industry, it’s just about money. I really love the artwork—the making of film—and I experienced that on The Hunger Games and Colombiana, but I also wanted to have the experience of becoming instantly close to everyone on set and getting to collaborate with them.
"As You Are provided that for me. It showed me that yes, this is something I can do.”