Girls, guns and Gomez? ’Spring Breakers’ turns Disney girls into women
“Don’t see it!” are the first words out of Selena Gomez’s lips when asked what she’d tell her young fan base about her new film, “Spring Breakers.”
That’s because her latest film features all kinds of raunchy, wild and illicit behaviour, alongside actresses Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens as good girls gone bad during their spring vacation.
“I wrote a message on my social networking site to (my fans) saying kids my age, my generation should see it because it is very real – we’re not really sugar coating anything,” clarifies Gomez, during a TIFF press conference, about her statement. “But then I put underneath it, it’s rated ‘R’ so please don’t see it if you’re under 18. That’s as much warning as I can give to parents and kids.”
The film strays away from the clean-cut roles the actresses have become known for: Gomez, Benson and Hudgens played parts in the Disney shows “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “High School Musical” respectively.
But kids grow up, and the actresses wanted to try roles that would help transition out of their innocent stereotypes.
“When my series ended, I was really excited to start doing a couple of movies, and I thought . . . the independent route would be best for me,” explains Gomez about choosing to appear in the ‘R’ rated film. “It’s a hard transition, I think, but I’m having fun doing it, and I hope people will accept it.”
“We trust (director) Harmony Korine. He got us to do things that I didn’t even think I’d be able to do.…I didn’t think I’d ever be able to smoke a bong!” she says.
Drugs are just one of the many dark themes represented in the film. All of the actresses felt comfortable doing their provocative scenes due to the fact they all became fast friends and formed a bond breaking out of their good-girl roles together.
“We got flown out a week before we started filming…and we would spend the nights with each other and just be girls,” describes Hudgens. “(We) allowed ourselves to be completely raw and know that nobody was watching and to just free ourselves of anything that we could concern ourselves with.”
It sure didn’t hurt that the ladies were all experiencing spring break for the first time themselves.
“For me, I’d never been on spring break,” admits Benson. “I don’t think any of us had, really. The best thing was, when we were filming this movie Harmony would put us into a room with all these extras that were really on spring break. I was like ‘Oh my God, what’s happening’ - it was like insane. It definitely felt like I was on spring break for a good month.”
“All of these thick-neck-jock-dudes trying to rub up on them, trying to grind on Selena. It was awesome!” added director Korine, on how the ladies handled their first ‘spring break.’
Many of those scenes made it into the film. Interestingly, many scenes don’t actually contain any dialogue, as the director wanted the audience to feel like they were part of the crowd.
“I didn’t want to make a movie with too much talking; I started to feel like sometimes words get in the way,” he said. “I wanted to make a movie that worked in an experimental way, something that worked as an experience - a movie that would almost go through you in a physical way.”
“I wanted to make a movie that seemed like it was candy,” he says, summing up the film. “That you could touch it and that it was lit up with skittles…I wanted all the themes and emotions to trickle down under (that) surface, and the residue of that was (this) story.”