Exclusive: Riverdale’s Hayley Law On Her First Theatrical Film ‘The New Romantic’Posted by Wilson Morales
November 8, 2018
Currently in theaters is The New Romantic, which premiered earlier this year at SXSW, and marks the feature film debut from writer and director Carly Stone (Girl Woman, “Kim’s Convenience”).
Blake Conway is a senior in college and in the unenviable position of being a sex columnist who is not having any sex. A longtime devotee of romantic comedies, she’s removed herself from the dating equation entirely as she bemoans the technological coldness of modern hook-ups. Of course, the nature of her column requires a little more spice, and so emboldened by the lure of a writing award named after Hunter S. Thompson she embraces the spirit of gonzo journalism and decides to find herself a sugar baby relationship, as soon as she figures out what that means.
The film features an ensemble of young Hollywood stars including Jessica Barden (“The End of the F***ing World,” The Lobster), Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”), Hayley Law (“Riverdale,” “Altered Carbon”), Brett Dier (“Jane the Virgin,” “Pretty Little Liars”) and Avan Jogia (“Ghost Wars,” “Victorious”).
For Law, who plays Blake’s best friend Nikki and is best know for her role as Valerie on The CW’s Riverdale and on Altered Carbon TV series, this is her first of hopefully many films that we will see her on the big screen. Blackfilm.com caught up with Law as she spoke about the film, her co-stars and her singing career.
Is this your first feature film that’s going to be hitting theaters?
Hayley Law: Yes, it is. I still can’t believe it. Every time someone says it. I can’t believe it.
What attracted you to the film?
Hayley Law: As soon as I read the script, I’ve always wanted to do comedy. Not that I only want to do comedy, but I want to primarily be doing comedy. So, as soon as I read this character, I just loved it, and I just wanted to be able to do this character. So, as soon as I taped for it, I just tried to put it out of my head. So, that I didn’t get sad about not booking it. Then, a month later, I Skyped with the director and yeah, I just wanted this one so bad. Simply put, I just wanted to do something funny, and I was so happy that I got it.
How would you best describe your character?
Hayley Law: I actually said earlier, I think she’s kind of like a modern fairy godmother role. That’s kind of like a reach, but a real, honest, I don’t know , like the devil, and the angel on Blake’s shoulder in the film.
Do you know anybody, obviously, as they’re graduating college, going through the anxiety of entering the real world?
Hayley Law: Oh yeah, its like me, but I’m not in college. But, entering the real world is just a disastrous, scary nightmare, and I think everyone goes through it. I think it just depends on how people cope with it, or whether they’re vocal about it or not. But, I think everyone goes through something kind of like that. I mean, not everyone becomes a sugar baby, but on the struggle of figuring out your transition into the real world.
Have you ever given someone advice when it comes to love or going against it?
Hayley Law: Oh yeah, I kind of based my version of this character on a combination between myself and my friend Sarah. Because, I think she’s really honest, but she doesn’t really come across, bitchy or jealous, or anything, which is important. Especially with college friends. I think that’s an issue that comes up sometimes. But, I really like that their relationship isn’t at all, in any moment a catty, jealous thing.
How was it working with your Jessica Barden?
Hayley Law: It was amazing. I love Jessica so much. At the beginning, when I first booked this, I think she was on the project already for some time. But, the producer just started an email thread, and she just put us together, and was like “Hey, guys, you’re going to be shooting together next month, so become best friends.” She was in London, and I was in Vancouver, and I was like “How am I supposed to be there if I don’t have this person’s phone number. How do you connect with someone on email like that?” But, then we both got together in summary and we became really, really close. I talk to Jessica, almost every day, now.
As this film is coming out this Friday, and with bigger films still in theaters, along with new shows on Hulu and Netflix, what’s the selling point when you’re telling us you have a movie on Friday, coming out? Why should I go see it?
Hayley Law: I think, I mean, it’s a really great, independent film, and I don’t really want to sell the movie. I don’t wanna push you to go see it. I really think that if you watch the trailer, you’ll just want to see it. It’s a good coming of age story, it’s funny. There are a little bit of some edgy moments for kids and stuff. But, I really think it’s a movie for the whole family. Because, you know it’s just a really great, independent film. And, it’s really relevant.
What are your top three romantic films?
Hayley Law: Oh my gosh, There’s Something About Mary, The Wedding Planner, oh my gosh, I’m just trying to think of my JLO, guilty pleasure movies. There’s Something About Mary, The Wedding Planner, and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Yeah, those are the best.
As an actress, how different is this than shooting the other projects you’ve done? Where it’s a series or something for TV?
Hayley Law: This in particularly was very different, because I could kind of do whatever I wanted. In terms of dialogue. There was dialogue, but Carly let us do the improv a lot. And, on network shows it’s very strict with the lines. There’s no room for play at all in TV dialogue, but with this, Carly gave us so much freedom. That was probably my favorite difference between the two. And I really like that, there is less characters, and you can really dive into the character, ’cause there’s not 15 characters in this show.
How much fun are you having on Riverdale?
Hayley Law: Oh, that’s just crazy, too. And its great because I worked with Tammy on both. So, that was fun. But, yeah everyone’s so amazing on that show. I felt super lucky.
What can we expect coming down the road for your character?
Hayley Law: You know what, I don’t even, nobody tells me anything. It’s such a secret. I don’t even know anything. Honestly, I have no idea. Honestly, I swear to God, I wish I could give you a better answer, but I truly don’t know.
As I was doing research on you, I see a lot of articles call you the Canadian actress…
Hayley Law: I know
As you’re coming up as an actress, how is the work environment, in getting work? Is it a grind? Is it more or less you have to come to the states to get work, or is the work out there?
Hayley Law: Yeah, that’s a really good question because I always want to talk about this. There is an insane amount of things that shoot in Vancouver, and in Canada, and Toronto and stuff. But, its really hard to get principal work there. So if I really do want to get those roles that I really wan to get, even though they shoot in Vancouver I still have to come to LA and audition, get hired out of LA, and then go back to Vancouver. Because, those things that come in Vancouver aren’t, you don’t get principal opportunities very often in Vancouver. So, its great there’s so much shooting there. But, I think the opportunity is still here in LA, or in New york, or whatever.
How did Riverdale come about? Did you have to come to LA, for audition, or did you audition back home?
Hayley Law: No, I auditioned at home. So, that was such a crazy surprising, wonderful gift.
Anything else coming up, or are you still auditioning?
Hayley Law: I’m always auditioning, but I did a film with Charlie Plummer and Katherine Langford called Spontaneous. I don’t know what’s happening with that, distribution wise. But, I know that they’re trying to put it out in the spring, probably. Katherine’s fans are the most loyal people I’ve ever seen. So, I’m excited for everyone to see that one.
Where are you with your singing career?
Hayley Law: I just finished an album, and I’m going to put a song out this month. I’m going to put the album out in the next few months. It’s all coming together.
Is there a theme to the album?
Hayley Law: Not necessarily, the album’s kind of touch. I just have it circled around femininity, and all the songs are very personal. They’re obviously about situations and people, and yeah, they’re just really personal. I think it’s a milestone of, I keep thinking of the Britney Spears song, I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet a Woman. And that’s what I think of when I think of the project, but after the project’s done, now I’m a woman. I was a girl when I started writing it, but I’m a woman now.
The Orchard released THE NEW ROMANTIC in theaters on November 9th, 2018 and will hit VOD and Digital HD on November 13th, 2018.