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Mackenzie Davis: Always Shine star talks gender themes of new movie

Updated

Jealousy is at the root of Always Shine, a psychological thriller which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) and Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex) star as friends, both actresses with varying degrees of Hollywood success, who escape Los Angeles for a weekend getaway as an attempt to reconnect after being driven apart by years of competition and envy.

While the movie has its twists and was “both an intense story to shoot, but also an intense shooting experience,” as FitzGerald tells EW, the women also got to explore personal identities and self-worth, which Davis, who won the festival’s Best Actress award, admits was hugely appealing.

“It was deconstructing modes of femininity that can be oppressive to women, or ways of being a woman or female that are frowned upon,” Davis explains. “I think about myself and how often times I feel too messy to be a woman — I’m not specific and small and right. I’ll be too loud or I’ll be too gross or I’ll be too anything that doesn’t feel like the way that I was told I should be.”

Directed by Sophia Takal, Always Shine was written by Lawrence Michael Levine, who also costars. Watch our interview with Davis and FitzGerald above.

Always Shine will premiere exclusively on Feb. 2 on the streaming service Sundance Now.