Moxie arrives on Netflix March 3, and the Amy Poehler-directed flick promises plenty of teen spirit. In particular, the normally timid Vivian (Hadley Robinson, Utopia) finds herself rebelling with a cause after learning more about her mother’s (played by Poehler herself) Riot grrrl days.
Soon enough, her anonymously published ‘zine reaches every corner of the school and affects students in different ways. Classmates like Kaitlynn (Sabrina Haskett, the upcoming Happy Hazel) finally find a platform to give voice to their issues while others like Bradley (Charlie Hall, Love, Victor) don’t know what to make of the whole thing.
Hall and Haskett spoke to Screen Rant about the ways their characters get inspired in the film, the offscreen bonding, and what the word “moxie” now means to them.
Sabrina, could you talk about how Kaitlynn is inspired by or empowered by Moxie?
Sabrina Haskett: Yeah, of course. I think in the beginning, she doesn’t really understand a lot of what Moxie stands for. She thinks it’s a cool thing, she likes what it means and what it’s talking about, but I don’t think she really finds her voice or really what she stands for until halfway through with the protest of the dress code.
But I think it’s really cool how Vivian may not have gone into making Moxie wanting to accomplish fighting the dress code specifically, but along the way, everyone finds their own fight to fight. And I think that’s really cool.
On the other hand, Bradley is a little bit more in between the war of two worlds with Mitchell and Moxie. Can you talk about where he stands at the start of the film?
Charlie Hall: Yeah, I think at the start of the film, I suppose he kind of just wants everyone to be happy. And that might mean maintain the status quo a little bit, which is not always the solution.
I think as the story progresses, hopefully he learns that and he does take part. I won’t say [what], but he takes part in something at the end that I think alludes to the fact that maybe he has learned his lesson that sometimes you have to fight these norms. And sometimes you have to take action.
I loved the onscreen bonding of the Moxie girls, because it really felt like they genuinely connected. What were the conversations like for you offscreen, Sabrina? And what did you learn in real life from the script, Charlie?
Sabrina Haskett: I think what’s really special about Moxie is that bond that you see onscreen is in real life as well. I think we all became best friends with each other throughout this experience. Still to this day, we all are very close; we talk almost every day or every week, at least. I genuinely have a love for each and every one of those girls in in Moxie, and in this cast, which I think is very special to be able to mirror that onset.
Charlie Hall: One thing I learned is that offscreen chemistry definitely leads to onscreen chemistry, that’s for sure. And then in terms of the overall message of the film, I think I learned – or at least my knowledge of this was reinforced – that when you work together, there’s really nothing that you can’t accomplish. No matter how big the goal.
I love the morning announcements, which were a lot of fun. Was there any improvisation for those, and how were they to film?
Charlie Hall: Yeah, there was a ton of improv with those, which was so much fun. Especially when Amy Poehler is your director, you are blessed with one of the greatest improvisers in history. Just like popping in new jokes and new lines was definitely happening all the time with those morning announcements.
Although we did also have a teleprompter, which was nice. But that was constantly changing, and we were popping in one-liners a lot. So, improv was present and always happening.
Sabrina, how did having Amy Poehler as a director help you shape your character and inspire you as a woman in power?
Sabrina Haskett: Going into it, it was very intimidating knowing that Amy Poehler is going to be your director. I think I had a lot of nerves, especially knowing the impact of what this message was going to be and wanting to be able to portray this character well, and really give her the character she deserved.
The best thing about having Amy as your director is she makes you feel so comfortable. She was able to not just direct me, but also let me find my own character and really bring her how I wanted to bring her to life. She would just kind of guide you. It was never really like, “This is how it’s supposed to be and this is how you need to do it.” It was very much, “I want you to find that inside of you and bring that out.” It was very genuine and authentic, which I really love about her.
And I’m just constantly inspired by Amy every day. She’s constantly growing and changing and finding new ways to make something stronger and more powerful and speak up for what is right, which I think is just so admirable.
If you each had to describe your characters in three adjectives, what would you use?
Charlie Hall: I would say spirited, clumsy, and nervous.
Sabrina Haskett: This is tough. I would say willing, intelligent, and strong.
What do you take away now from the word “moxie” after having been in the film? What does moxie mean to you?
Sabrina Haskett: I think for me, Moxie is just standing up for what you believe in, even if it’s the unpopular thing to do. Not being afraid of what other people think, but doing the right thing anyway.
Charlie Hall: Yeah, for me, definitely all that. And also, there’s a sense of perseverance. I think with that word, it’s like no matter what obstacles pop up, run through the wall. Just break it. Keep going.