The filmmakers of Universal Pictures’ new sex comedy Blockers were looking for fresh voices and a natural chemistry when casting the three young women who forge a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.
“It needed to seem as if they’d known each other most of their lives,” explains director Kay Cannon. “Fortunately, when the three actresses got together in that week of rehearsals, it felt like they’d been best friends forever.”
When casting Lisa’s (Leslie Mann) sweet, strong daughter Julie, filmmakers immediately turned to Kathryn Newton, whose star is rapidly on the rise following her standout performances in Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Newton was immediately drawn to the script because Julie is always in the driver’s seat with her boyfriend Austin (Graham Phillips of TV’s The Good Wife), especially when it comes to decisions about sex. “She feels comfortable in her relationship and confident about taking this next step,” the performer explains. “This young couple has an honest relationship with clear communication. It’s all Julie’s idea: She tells Austin she’s ready, and he says he feels ready, too. It’s funny because Austin is the perfect boyfriend, but Lisa just can’t see that.”
Producers felt newcomer Gideon Adlon, whose credits include TV’s When We Rise and American Crime, was the perfect fit to play Hunter’s (Ike Barinholtz) daughter, Sam, a cool-nerd coming to terms with her sexuality.
Sam’s deeper storyline appealed to Adlon’s more dramatic background of work, as well as her real-life experiences. “Sam has to deal with her absentee father just showing up on this important night,” explains the actress. “It’s funny, but she’s also really hurt by it. She wants her dad back in her life, and I can relate to those complications.”
To play Kayla—Mitchell’s (John Cena) athletic, tomboy daughter—producers looked no further than Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan, who jumped at the chance to work with Cannon. “I’m obsessed with Pitch Perfect, New Girl and 30 Rock,” she says of Cannon’s comedic portfolio. “I remember being on the plane thinking that I’m going to meet Kay Cannon—one of my idols. This is my first American role; I was pinching myself.”
Viswanathan also identified with Kayla’s desire to finally cut loose on prom night. “She’s led this very disciplined, scheduled life, and now that high school is ending, she’s ready to close that chapter,” the performer says. “For Kayla to lose her virginity is another way to break past these expectations and feel free.”
In Philippine cinemas May 02, Blockers is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/; Twitter at https://twitter.com/uipmoviesph and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/uipmoviesph/