Jay Ellis & Nicole Delaney Talk ‘Thirsty,’ Maya Rudolph Voicing a Mosquito & ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

     September 20, 2019

I was lucky enough to attend film school and meet a whole bunch of incredibly talented individuals, many of whom are currently making their mark on the film industry. One example? Nicole Delaney. Delaney was a writer on Big Mouth and used that experience to pull together her latest project as a writer-director, a short film called Thirsty. It puts the spotlight on a mosquito voiced my Maya Rudolph who falls for a human played by Jay Ellis. After biting him you-know-where, she’s shocked to find out that her crush can now hear her thoughts and desires.

Not only did Thirsty celebrate its big debut at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, but it’s also part of the FX series Cake, a series designed to highlight bite-sized content, so you’ll be able to catch Thirsty when it airs in the fall. Until then, you can hear all about how the short film came together using the video player at the top of this article. Delaney and Ellis cover everything from getting Rudolph involved to what they look for in a collaborator, Ellis’ experience working on Top Gun: Maverick and more!

nordstrom-supper-suite-tiff-2019We also need to send a big thank you to our presenting sponsor Nordstrom Canada and supporting partners Marriott Bonvoy and Ciroc Vodka for supporting the Collider Lounge at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and helping to make these interviews happen.

Our friends at Heroes & Villains apparel are also happy to give Collider readers a 15% discount on their wide assortment of high-quality clothing and accessories for fans of Star WarsStar TrekBatmanX-Men and more! Click here to check out their products and use the promo code TIFF15 at checkout.

You can find a full breakdown of the interview and the official TIFF synopsis for Thirsty below:

Jay Ellis, Nicole Delaney:

  • 00:45 – What is the short film Thirsty about?
  • 01:30 – How do Ellis and Delaney feel about mosquitos now?
  • 02:40 – Ellis and Delaney’s tactics when they find a bug at home.
  • thirsty-jay-ellis

    Image via TIFF

  • 03:27 – Delaney highlights her experience in film school.
  • 04:40 – Ellis names the unsung hero of Thirsty.
  • 05:57 – How do you get Maya Rudolph on board to voice a mosquito?
  • 06:46 – Ellis on why he values working on a short film like Thirsty.
  • 08:50 – What’s the most important asset to have in a collaborator?
  • 11:24 – What’s coming up next for Delaney?
  • 12:10 – Ellis talks about working on Top Gun: Maverick.

THIRSTY tells the story of a female mosquito – voiced by Maya Rudolph – who learned about love from her mother: “…it’s worth spending a lifetime to find,” Mama said. But she has yet to find him, until one day she lays her bug-eyes upon a very special human (Jay Ellis) playing basketball by the sea — newly heartbroken from an ex who cheated. When our protagonist bites him, she tastes his blood and falls deeply in love, suddenly obsessed and desperate for him to notice her. She is convinced their interspecies love is hopeless until he magically begins to hear our mosquito’s deepest thoughts and desires in his head. Part Little Mermaid, part vampire-comedy, THIRSTY explores the ups and downs of sex, intimacy, falling in love, and feeling comfortable in your own skin.


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