There’s a chance you might be familiar with the short film Yes, God, Yes starring Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things which debuted back in 2017, but writer-director Karen Maine actually penned the feature version of that story first. Turns out, the short film wound up being just the proof of concept Maine needed and now we’ve got Yes, God, Yes the feature film debuting at SXSW 2019. Dyer returns and steps back into the role of Alice, a teenager with a Catholic upbringing who feels seriously conflicted when tempted to engage in cybersex on AOL. She can’t shake those feelings during a religious retreat and struggles with whether or not to admit to feeling “turned on” while also dealing with some nasty gossip and developing a crush on an older student.
In honor of the film’s big debut at SXSW, Maine, Dyer and cast members Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Alisha Boe and Timothy Simons all visited the Collider Studio in Austin to talk about scoring their roles in the film, Novogratz’s decision to pivot from basketball to acting, Maine’s choice to dig into these themes and ideas with a film set in the early 2000s and loads more. You can hear about all that and watch the group play a round of “Would You Rather” in the video interview at the top of this article. You can also find a full breakdown of the discussion below.
I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, A-List Communications. At the Supper Suite venue in Austin, libations were flowing courtesy of El Tesoro Tequila, Blue Moon Belgian White, and Hint Water. Without these fine folks, we wouldn’t be able to share conversations about movies like Yes, God, Yes with all of you, so another big thank you to our partners for their support.
Karen Maine, Timothy Simons, Natalia Dyer, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale & Alisha Boe:
- Maine walks us through the journey from the short film to the feature film; having a fairly easy time financing the feature film.
- Did Dyer get to read the feature script when she did the short film?
What it was like for Dyer stepping back into the role of Alice.
- Shooting on location and the importance of s’mores when working in a camp setting.
- How the ensemble wound up scoring their roles; Novogratz on waiting six months to hear back about his audition.
- Novogratz on his arm hair in the movie. (It’s an important topic. I swear.)
- Novogratz talks about making the move from basketball to acting.
- Maine’s choice to set the film in the early 2000s; why it’ll appeal to viewer who grew up then but also kids today who have always had access to the internet.
- Does all the sex talk in the movie ever get awkward on set?
- The ensemble on their favorite early 2000 reference in the film.
- They share their very first AOL screen names.
- The group shares one thing they do on the internet that rings them joy on a regular basis.
- Would You Rather begins!
- What they hope moviegoers take with them after watching Yes, God, Yes.