Olivia Wilde says the The Big Lebowski inspired the Booksmart drug-trip scene
What is an epic night out without an accidental drug trip?
In Booksmart, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy’s (Kaitlyn Dever) attempt at partying is slightly derailed when Gigi (Billie Lourd) slips them a little something. The result is a hilarious scene in which Molly and Amy become Barbie-esque dolls and … sort of like it? EW sat down with Booksmart director Olivia Wilde and stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever to discuss one of the film’s most memorable scenes.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the drug scene come together?
OLIVIA WILDE: I felt very strongly about that piece and it was one of those things where I couldn’t quite explain what it would be until it was done. It was actually very much inspired by Lebowski and that Busby Berkeley tripping sequence, that amazing bowling-viking sequence. I thought, “I want one of those in this movie!” I love what that says about him and the tone of the film. The dolls were a way to illustrate what the greatest nightmare of two young ardent feminists would be. They’ve become the literal manifestation of everything that’s wrong with the patriarchy and then the further nightmare is: what if one of you starts to like it?
KAITLYN DEVER: That was the most fun part [of the film] for me.
WILDE: It’s very hard to do animation and all that but what is incredible is that these two [gestures to Feldstein and Dever] voiced it without seeing anything and we animated to their voices. So we had a script that kept shifting based on what we could fit in the film and half the time, they’d be recording it on their phones and sending me voice notes separately.
DEVER: I’d always go into my closet.
Once, they came in together and just improvised a ton of stuff that we ended up reanimating for. It was an incredibly challenging process that they were all in for and they were so available to go on that journey as we figured out how to put that thing together. They have such vivid imaginations, so they were able to put themselves in the mindset of the dolls without seeing them which was really great.
DEVER: It was very fun. There was one moment we got to go in together to the studio and that was fun because we could riff off each other live.
BEANIE FELDSTEIN: They wanted us to do it together but also for the animation, they needed us to not overlap our lines.
WILDE: I’ll never forget the, “I need you to put your heel in my hole.” “My what?” “My hole.” “My what?” And that was just them playing.
FELDSTEIN: I was so proud “where’s my chub” made it in [the movie]. I was in London right after Booksmart so I would get texts from Liv being like, “Can you just do a few doll things” So I’d be like, “No you’re a f–king doll” on the street.
WILDE: Which was even more impressive because she was in a deep, immersive accent dive. In this film she plays a woman from a very specific town in …
FELDSTEIN: Wolverhampton, England.
WILDE: So she had been immersed in speaking in this accent and I was like, “F–k I have to ask Beanie to break out of this accent and send me doll lines” and she just did it.
FELDSTEIN: I didn’t even stay in the accent on set.
WILDE: You didn’t? Perfect. Thank god! I was worried I was f–king up your whole process.
FELDSTEIN: Kaitlyn’s [doll] looks so much like her.
WILDE: Kaitlyn’s is creepily like her.
DEVER: It freaks me out.
WILDE: We have to give it to you.
DEVER: I would love that.
Booksmart is in theaters now.