Hey, friends, Barbarella here. Remember when The Wrath of Becky blew everyone’s minds at SXSW? Well, it’s going to be available in theaters May 26, 2023! You’re going to want to see this with friends, as it’s a bit sassy and a bit insane. Starring Lulu Wilson and Seann William Scott, it’s a high-energy, teen revenge film that doesn’t pretend to be anything else; it just entertains with splashes of blood.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Becky, herself, Lulu Wilson and writer/director team Suzanne Coote and Matt Angel to chat about The Wrath of Becky. I had such a fun time conversing with them on the low couches in a fancy Austin hotel bar. We got a bit silly even though none of us were drinking any alcohol at the moment. We spent a fair amount of time slipping into tangents, and occasionally, the conversation got a bit erratic. I credit the delightfully effervescent Lulu who flitted from one idea to the next like a hummingbird.
I do also want to mention, because sometimes tone and intention get lost in print, that it may appear that there were interruptions that some may misconstrue as rude, but that is certainly not the case. All three would often share a single story, each furthering it along, finishing each other’s thoughts, piping up about a certain fact or mood, and occasionally making a playful remark. The entire conversation stayed upbeat and energized, and as I left the hotel, I felt exceptionally cheerful.
I have one last thing I want to point out: I stuck a spoiler flag on this post because once I ask about practical effects, the answers involve discussing some characters’ deaths, so if you’re wanting to avoid that information, you’ll likely want to stop reading when that question arises. At any rate, check it out!
Barbara: I love how your character actually transitions between sweet and diabolical. Which side do you more relate to?
Lulu: I don’t know. I’m not a very sweet person.
Suzanne: That is absolutely incorrect. She got us this onesie for our baby (pulls out a onesie from her bag that says “Illiterate”).
Matt: It’s like sweet AND diabolical.
Lulu: That’s what I’m talking about.
Suzanne: It shows she’s thinking about you. It’s fucking hilarious.
Lulu: I like to care about people. I don’t love people unless I care about them.
Suzanne: (To Lulu) You choose who you love, and when you care about them, you care fiercely.
Lulu: Only the fun people, so (to Matt and Suzanne) you guys are special. What was I saying?
Barbara: Are you sweet or diabolical?
Lulu: Both. It’s like, this is so niche, but do you know this deodorant commercial? Are you sweet or not? And then they compare like spicy deodorants.
Suzanne: No, I don’t know of it.
Lulu: It’s for Native Deodorant.
Suzanne: I use Native, and I smell awful.
Lulu: The first three interviews were really solid and focused only on talk about Becky.
Barbara: I feel like this gets a better picture of who you are as people.
Suzanne: We text at least every three days.
Lulu: Are you kidding me? We text all the time. We have a group chat.
Matt: You literally only chime in with a word every hundred messages.
Lulu: I’m a teenager.
Suzanne: (To Matt) You obviously don’t know seventeen-year olds. She’s reading everything, and she only responds when she needs to.
Matt: Her mom will be like, “Stop replying and go back to school.”
Suzanne: So you’re right. (To Barbara) You’re getting much more.
Barbara: I love writing/directing teams. It’s really cool, but I’m always fascinated by the logistics. What is your writing process, and then when you’re directing, who has the final say if you disagree on something?
Suzanne: This is a great question. Usually, when we’re writing, everything is equal work. We break it, and we split up scenes, and we add to our respective scenes. I was in my first trimester.
Matt: Of school.
Suzanne: Of pregnancy when we wrote the movie, I was hanging out feeling like usually I was going to hurl, so we broke it out together, and he went off and wrote it, and I would just point out here and there. When it comes to directing, we have a ten commandments of directing.
Suzanne: Twelve, but it’s harder to say than ten.
Matt: It’s not as smooth.
Suzanne: It’s imperative that we follow the code.
Matt: We went to a couple’s therapy session before we ever stepped on set of our first movie so we could figure out how to communicate with each other in a work environment, because we refused to let our work interfere with our relationship.
Suzanne: Our relationship was the most important thing. Second to that was we could not fight on set. If we do have a disagreement – first it’s very, very rare that we do – we are standing so far away that it’s like, “Where are the directors?” But it doesn’t happen, because no one should be like “Where’s the director?” But, the thing is prep is crucial. We need to be on so the same page, especially on low budget indie films where it is go, go, go, go, go, and you have to know your partner’s instincts, but one of the commandments is…
Matt: The number one commandment…
Suzanne: Number one is there’s no rolling over. So, say I think this moment needs to be here (mimics close in), and Matt says it needs to be here (mimics further out), we hash it out in prep, and if we need to talk about it for two weeks, we will be talking, arguing, fighting our asses off in our kitchen so that when we step on set, he’s actually convinced me, or I’ve actually convinced him that it needs to be here (close) or here (farther out), because there can’t be any resentment.
Matt: Someone has to convince the other person that that is the correct decision.
Suzanne: There can’t be any, “Okay, you win this one; I get the next one.” There’s none of that. It’s, “Oh, okay, you’re right.” It also helps knowing that when you’re arguing, arguing, arguing that the end goal is to convince one of us. It’s a nice freedom.
Matt: Then it’s fine. We laugh, we yell at each other in a fun way. “Why would you EVER think that would be a good thing?”
Suzanne: Sometimes it takes a while, but we eventually get there. Then when we step on set, it would be like, “Remember [we agreed on this]?”
Barbara: I’m curious about the casting process for the dog.
Matt: We couldn’t get the dog from the original.
Lulu: But they look exactly the same.
Matt: We couldn’t get the original Diego, but we found a dog that looked like Diego. But a couple weeks before we went on camera, we found out that a couple of breeders had bred the dog, and the odds the dog would get pregnant were pretty good, so there was no, “We’ll just figure it out,” so then we were on the hunt for another dog, then we found Pac’s trainer. He was wonderful. He literally said, “I want this to work. Tell me what you need, and I will get the result.” And he worked really hard with Pac. Diego was very central to the story.
Lulu: He’s kind of like her hope. She’s been disappointed and let down by everybody, so she’s got this one living thing that she’s trying to hold on to. This is mine, and he listens to her, and I don’t think she’s got a lot of people listening to her.
Suzanne: Diego won’t die. I will die first. Also, because he’s all she has left, so that was very important.
Lulu: Especially a big boy like that.
Suzanne: He’s big, but he’s adorable.
Lulu: He’s not yet one.
Barbara: Let’s talk practical effects. What was your favorite one and what was the hardest?
Lulu: I teeter between the Twig death and the final death. Whenever I start saying this, then I forget Daryl Senior death, and then I think “Wait a minute.” We haven’t spoken about that yet in an interview, so for this one, I’m going to say it’s the Daryl Senior death.
Matt: Hardest one, Anthony’s death. We tried to do it practical, in camera special effects, it was a challenge, little malfunctions going on, so we ended up doing like barely the effects, like a little bit of a blend…
Suzanne: We tried, we tried.
Lulu: I remember doing stills at the barn, and I remember you guys trying to do the explosion, and it looked odd.
Suzanne: It looked very like ‘80’s.
Matt: Very fine work.
Lulu: I heard you guys laughing because it was kind of ridiculous.
Suzanne: Yeah, it was all the build up, then it was like, “Pfooh.”
Matt: Yeah, nothing came out.
Suzanne: And it was no one’s fault other than it’s a lower budget film. You get the big, smushy guy with the guts inside.
Matt: And you’re trying to make stuff work.
Lulu: It looked pretty cool, the dead guy.
Barbara: Yeah, I think people are going to really enjoy that moment. I really do.
Lulu: I do, too.
Suzanne: It’s a good one. It’s a good one. I give credit to the team because they always made it work.
Barbara: Regarding the key, are you already setting us up for a sequel because you didn't really tell us what the key’s going to open.
Matt: We know what the key does.
Suzanne: We know what the key does. We’ll say that, and we have many hopes for many... We have so many ideas, so does Lulu.
Matt: Lulu has a great idea for Becky aboard...
Suzanne: Becky on a boat.
Matt: For Becky on a boat, All Aboard Becky.
Suzanne: That's the working title.
Matt: We're not attached to that.
Barbara: All Aboard Becky might get the wrong audience.
Lulu: The Beckoning. Wasn't it between The Wrath of Becky and Becky?
Matt: No. That was your thing….
Lulu: Well, The Beckoning was mine because that was the name of our group chat, because my joke was that Becky 2 should be called The Beckoning because that's so funny.
Suzanne: But if there's a third on, we would gladly…
Lulu: Name it The Beckoning
Suzanne: …make it bring us back because we haven’t answered it.
Matt: Maybe we'll answer the key, if there’s a third one.
Lulu: Okay. But here's the thing; here's what I think: the key’s already been answered a little bit.
Lulu: A little bit. If you really think
Matt: Well, if you- We give you a…
Lulu: Listen. (Matt stops talking and leans in attentively) That's good. Anyway, you introduce what the answer could possibly be.
Matt: There's a giant clue in this film, and if the audience is paying attention, it gives you a hint.
Lulu: Oh well, yeah. But that's what I'm saying. I'm talking about the smart audience, man. So, the people who are really into Becky, really paying attention, are going to be like, "That is something." Because it so is.
Suzanne: Yes. Yes. She's very right.
Lulu: I remember – I hate reading comments, and I don't do it. But I’m really into Becky, and I'm in it. Of course, I'm going to be involved in seeing what people have to say. I hated the people that thought Becky was a nazi. She's definitely not a nazi. Yeah. I don't know what I’m saying, oh yeah, people were really curious about the key.
Maybe we’ll get more movies in the future that will further explore the mystery of the key, and who knows? Maybe one of them will even be called The Beckoning. For now, though, we have The Wrath of Becky exploding into theaters this Friday, May 26.
Check out the trailer!