‘The Wrath of Becky’ Star Seann William Scott On Finally Getting To Play Villains [SXSW 2023 Interview]
Two years ago, Lulu Wilson bloodied our screens with her stellar performance as the titular Becky in Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott‘s Becky. Now, she’s back, meaner than ever, and ready to kick neo-Nazi ass in The Wrath of Becky.
In The Wrath of Becky, “after living off the grid for two years, Becky finds herself going toe to toe against Darryl, the leader of a fascist organization, on the eve of an organized attack.”
Following the film’s premiere at SXSW, Dread Central spoke with The Wrath of Becky directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Cootes and stars Lulu Wilson and Seann William Scott about the sequel, the growth of Becky, and more.
Dread Central: My first question is for Matt and Suzanne, and I wanted to hear from you about how you approached continuing the tale of Becky.
Matt Angel: So we knew Lulu for a few years prior and when we were approached by the Boulder Light team, we’d been trying to find something to do with them. And we love the first Becky, so when they came to us we were like, “that sounds like something really fun”. Because what it gives us an opportunity to do is a challenge. I mean, my favorite sequels totally redefined what the first film was, while also appealing to the original audience and giving those fans what they love and what they want in a sequel. They can stand on their own two feet and bring in a new audience. So that was something that was really appealing to us.
With this idea of creating Becky 2.0, we introduce a new genre into the fold, a new kind of style, and start the film in a very grounded way to establish who Becky is today. We’re introducing a new version of a familiar character and she’s a different person than she was two years ago when we saw her last. We got to ground that character and then elevate her arsenal. Plus, there’s the fact that no one’s coming to her, she’s going to them, really just upping the ante in a lot of ways. It was all that idea and the challenge of trying to create a sequel that steps things up that was very appealing to us.
DC: And then Lulu, you got to be Becky again. What was that like to step back into an even more badass, angry Becky <laugh>?
Lulu Wilson: It was amazing. You know, Becky is a character that’s near and dear to my heart. I love her and I love the movies so, so much. Obviously getting to work with Sean and Matt and Suzanne was, I knew it was gonna be amazing. I knew we were gonna be able to make something really special. I mean, Becky, she’s definitely evolved. She’s a different person. She’s kind of dropped that teenage angst. It’s been two years, so, you know, shit’s happened within the two years that’s really defined her. She’s 16 now. She’s not 13. It’s a big difference. And she’s not let that guard down still. She’s still very much ready to survive. She’s got a feeling something could happen again and she’s not gonna be unprepared. She wasn’t the first time, but this time she’s really gonna be ready.
DC: Sean, what was it like for you to come into this movie? How familiar were you with you both Becky before coming onto the project?
Seann William Scott: Well I loved the first movie. I thought it had a Straw Dogs vibe. But, you know, I actually haven’t mentioned this before. Hopefully, I had said this to Lulu when we worked together, but it was like, she was so awesome. I think even though I loved the script, the most exciting part was that I get to work with this amazing actress. I’m sorry Lulu if I haven’t shared that earlier.
LW: It means a lot to me. Thank you.
SWS: It is so true. It was like holy shit, she’s fucking amazing <laugh> But yeah, so then it was just such a totally different experience I’ve ever had in my career. I’m reading [the script] like, “this is awesome. Wow. I have some ideas about the character”. Then when I met with Suzanne and Matt and shared those ideas, they really responded to it. And then the character kind of evolved and then a couple of weeks later we’re shooting it. It was so much fun. I loved it.
DC: That’s amazing.
Suzanne Coote: I’m just enjoying watching them gush about each other because I got to gush about them. You know, I mean like this movie is only good because everyone brought their a game every single day. And literally, this movie is only good because of Lulu Wilson <laugh> the only person that would ever be able to play Becky. She got the script when she was 11 years old for the first one. When I was 11 years old, I was like, “I’m gonna steal a razor and shave my legs for the first time.”
DC: <laugh>. Oh my God. Wait, same. <laugh>
SWS: That’s what I was thinking when I was 11.
DC: <laugh> Oh my God. Sean, I loved you as a serial killer in Bloodline and it’s really cool to see you as a villain. I feel like a lot of people think of you in comedy, but seeing you as a villain and a creep, and I mean that positively I promise, is really cool. So what is it like for you to get to play these mean, gross characters?
SWS: I really appreciate that. Thank you. You know, what’s funny is that when I moved to LA to pursue Phillips and pursue acting, it was darker films. I, you know, even though I loved comedy, you know, just as a film fan that, you know, my goal was like to, you know, I think my hero was Malcolm McDowell’s character in A Clockwork Orange when I was growing up.
SWS: I didn’t think about acting really until I was like 17. So when I was really young, my brother introduced me to that movie and I was like, wow. So when I moved to LA that’s what I was hoping to do. And then I got to do comedies and I loved comedies and it was such a wonderful challenge. But I think I was always hoping that maybe if I had some success doing those, it could open up doors for me to do things that are darker, much more layered. Then I just kept doing more American Pie movies, <laugh>. So, you know, to get this opportunity, it’s awesome because filmmakers take a little bit of a risk because people know me [for comedy]. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, but I love being able to tap into something that people haven’t really seen me do.
SC: Oh yeah. We love it, too. I find that sometimes comedic actors are the best actors to work with. It’s always surprising to watch an incredibly talented comedic actor take on a serious role. There’s something very fun about directing that, too. To be funny is virtually impossible, especially to be funny in a film. And Sean’s obviously fucking hilarious. And so when you’re looking at casting a comedic actor, I always see that as a plus. Like, “Oh, they’re fucking funny. They can go dark.” Then we hung out with Sean and I was like, “Yeah, he can go dark.”