Beanie Feldstein has talked about one of the most empowering scenes in her new film How To Build A Girl.
Caitlin Moran’s How To Build A Girl is a fierce and frank reminder that no young woman should have to fit a certain mould to succeed. Following the story of Johanna – a working-class aspiring writer who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere – Moran uses her own real life experiences, and trademark wit, to explore sexism and classism.
It’s as funny as it is thought-provoking, which is why the film adaptation, recently released on Amazon Prime, has been a hit with fans and critics.
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In what might be the most perfect casting ever, Beanie Feldstein plays Johanna in the film, and she is being hailed for her performance (which includes a convincing Birmingham accent).
In an interview with The Independent, the actor has just revealed “one of the most empowering” scenes she filmed – and anyone who has watched the film will no-doubt be able to guess which one she is talking about.
Johanna joins her colleagues – mostly middle-class, university-educated men a good few years older than her – at a hot tub party, but she forgets to take a bathing costume. While she fashions a bikini with bin bags, she overhears the men making nasty comments about her weight and working-class roots.
In true Johanna fashion, she challenges them head on: “I’ve been chased, and humiliated and been utterly alone and I still got up, put on my lipstick and wrote every last one of you motherfuckers off the page.”
It’s pretty amazing.
Speaking about the scene, Feldstein says: “It was one of the most empowering scenes I’ve ever filmed, and I was wearing two literal plastic bags.
“She leaves them in the dust, and that so rarely happens in films about teenage girls – specifically in conversations around their bodies. It would have changed my life at 13 to see that. It would have changed my whole life.”
She also described society’s obsession with weight as “ridiculous”, explaining: “Our society is so deeply obsessed with tracking and monitoring people’s bodies and it’s so ridiculous to me.
“Our bodies are these beautiful things, and they can be strong or sexy or cosy. They’re our vehicle to get through the world. My biggest hope for society is just to accept people where they are in that given moment and to not really give a damn.”
With films like How To Build A Girl continuing to break the mould, her hope could finally become a reality soon.
Images: Getty, Lionsgate
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…