Laura Marano's brand new movie, A Sort of Homecoming, just released this week. In the film, the actress plays the young version of Amy, a character who finds her way and discovers more about her true self while being on her high school's debate team. When TWIST caught up with the actress, we asked her to spill on the story behind the movie. Check out our exclusive Q&A with her below.
This movie is set in 1984. What was filming and the set like?
Oh my gosh, what's was so funny is when I first found out that the movie was taking place in the 80s, I was like really excited because I totally thought we were going to go crazy with 80s leg warmers, Farrah Fawcett hair, and colorful fishnets. But obviously we did not go in that direction, which I do appreciate because my character Amy was not the character who was all about fashion trends at all. She's a very natural, not a doing her hair or putting on makeup on kind of girl. I think we tried to depict the 80s in a way where we're not defined by the stereotypes of the time period, it's just a story that happens to take place in the 80s.
How did you get along with the other cast members (like Katherine McNamara)?
The cast definitely had an awesome connection. We would run lines for scenes the next day every night. We had fun, we'd go out together and eat together. It was a cool bond that we all had, which was fun because when you're working on something like that movie for a long term, it's kind of imperative that you get along.
Over the course of the story, we also see your character finding and relying on a new support system.
That definitely helps always, having life imitate art in a way. At the core of it, A Sort of Homecoming is about this character finding herself, not only with her support system, but within herself. Finding out what everything means and where she fits in. Definitely having that place where I had an awesome support system and kind of use that to my advantage helped a lot.
What do you hope fans learn about the character and are inspired by?
I hope that Amy speaks to a lot of people. I think that there's no doubt that she's a really good character. We want her to speak to people who have been adopted and have different struggles facing that, but on a more general note, she's a character who doesn't know too much about what she's meant to do in life, where she belongs. Those are questions that we all face at some point in our lives, especially as teenagers. I want people who watch this to realize that there are people, be it that they're related or they're not related to us, who help us on that journey of discovering ourselves, and be open to the different teachers in our lives who may not seem like teachers at first but truly turn out to be.
We see Amy sort of struggle to fit in, and find where she belongs. Do you relate to that at all?
What's awesome is actually I was in my high school speech and debate team, which is one of the things that first attracted me to this role, I was like, Oooh! Cool! There are no movies about this out there!" It was awesome. But the most important thing in doing speech and debate is just doing it. There's nothing like the pressure of being in a small room with your competitors and doing different competitions. It's riveting, nerve-wrecking and scary, but the best way of doing it is practicing and just doing it. I definitely think Amy gets to fall and rise with that. When she starts, she's scared and nervous and doesn't do too well, but by the end she is doing a very long, fast-paced monologue with very challenging words, and she's kind of rocking it.
Debate isn't just something you do, it's something you research. You have to work at it, prepare speeches, and keep learning about. It's hard work, and I think it's awesome that she chose debate as this thing she wanted to do, and she puts work into it to succeed in the end. I think success or not, having that work ethic to work hard, will always help you in the long run for sure.
Have you learned something about yourself from this role?
I think you always learn certain things, for sure. I think every role brings a different part of your being into your mindset, like "oh my gosh, I didn't realize I could do this!" Something I learned about myself on this project, which isn't very deep, but on a shallow level is when we were filming, we'd be outside in our summer clothes because it takes place in summer. I thought I was going to die a couple of times because I was literally SO cold. And I didn't die, but I was so proud of myself for that, because I didn't get hypothermia.
What do you think of Laura's stories? Let us know if you're seeing the movie by commenting below!