Sometimes, when two actors play the same character in a project, they’ll work together to create the character. But that wasn’t the case in “My Old Ass.” According to star Maisy Stella, playing the younger version of Aubrey Plaza meant a lot of “mimicking” by the older actress.
Directed by Megan Park and co-starring Maddie Ziegler and Kerrice Brooks, “My Old Ass,” which premiered at Sundance on Saturday, centers on Elliott Labrant (Stella), who has been advised by her future self not to fall in love. She’s pretty confident that won’t be an issue until she meets the boy her older self warned her about. That older self, it turns out, is Aubrey Plaza. And, for Stella, working with Plaza was an “amazing” experience, albeit a short one.
“It was so insane. This was my first movie and getting to be opposite her was just beyond. I’ll never wrap my head around it,” Stella gushed at TheWrap’s Sundance Portrait and Interview Studio presented by NFP. “But we only actually filmed together in person for five days. A lot of the rest of it was through ADR.”
She continued, “I just am obsessed with her. She was seriously so amazing to work with. I learned so much from her. She was so funny, and so smart, and so selfless. I couldn’t have got[ten] luckier with that.”
With so little time together, how do the two actresses make the character one? According to Park, Plaza received regular footage of Stella to get familiar with the young actress’ take on her before coming onboard roughly halfway through filming.
“It’s so crazy. If it was me and Aubrey it would have been me acting like Aubrey, not Aubrey acting like me, obviously,” Stella noted. “That was super crazy.”
As the director on the film, Park was more than pleased with Plaza’s approach, noting that the performances flowed smoothly into each other.
“They have a very similar energy in a lot of ways,” Park said. “Something about it just flows, and it was very immediate. We didn’t want somebody who was going to imitate her. She’s a character, 20 years older, she’s changed in many ways. But Aubrey was very specific about the things she did mimic and really brought a lot to it, and did her homework for sure.”
You can watch TheWrap’s full interview with the cast and creator of “My Old Ass” in the video above.
“My Old Ass” is a sales title at Sundance.