The best bad girls on the screen? The ones that you don’t have to forgive but somewhat understand what they are going through according to Camilla Wolfson, who plays Mia in the second installment of “The Kissing Booth.”
In our interview, she told us about how she shaped and understood the character of Mia, why acting is to her the best expression of freedom… and how her inspiration for poetry strikes her literally out of nowhere!!
What attracted you to the world of acting and cinema in general?
Acting and cinema is the most rewarding type of freedom to watch as an audience and to experience as part of the process. It’s an obsession to the extent where I wouldn’t be able to do anything else.
How was being part of one of Netflix’s biggest hits like “The Kissing Booth 2”?
It was a great experience to be a part of something that already has such an established following and attention. Many times you don’t quite know how a film is going to be received but with “The Kissing Booth,” the hype preceded the filming experience which was different but fun.
“Acting and cinema is the most rewarding type of freedom…”
How did you shape Mia the “bad girl”?
I rewatched the first film over and over to really pick up the nuances and idiosyncrasies that made Mia the powerhouse she was in the first film. Then a combination of music and clothing really helped me tune into her world more.
Who’s your favorite bad girl from the screen?
I don’t have a favorite bad girl as much as I have a favorite bad girl formula. I think the “coming of age” movies that stand out the most are those where the bad girls have great moments of vulnerability, where you can connect with them and they seem more relatable humans. For example, Kristine Froseth in “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” You don’t always forgive the bad girl but you can understand her.
What’s your guilty pleasure movie?
Any Christmas movie! It’s my favorite holiday and from about November, they start showing them all on TV. I make sure to watch every single one of them, and by myself too because I can get really emotionally involved and everybody laughs at me.
“You don’t always forgive the bad girl but you can understand her.”
Have you ever had an epic fail on the job?
Yes! I once filmed a dancing scene in a film and they only gave me the outfit on the day of shooting. It was a tight-fitting red number down to my knees. One part of the dance sequence required an elaborate jump and spin but because of the dress, I didn’t land the jump, not once. In every take, I trip and try to recover as elegantly as possible.
A series to binge and a series to savor?
A series to binge – “The Umbrella Academy.” A series to savor – “The Morning Show.” But both are interchangeable within those categories too.
What’s your happy place?
Hmmmm, my happy place is a secret but it’s a physical place I grew up going to within the town of Underberg, kwa Zulu-Natal. It’s an extremely peaceful slice of nature with no cellphone signal and the only sounds are animals, wind and water.
Where do you find inspiration for your poetry?
My inspiration is all luck really. I know many people have a particular playlist of music or a space where they can gather their thoughts and inspiration but I haven’t found my formula yet. So for me, it’s a particular mood that I can’t control or create, yet.
Your favorite poet of all time?
As corny as this may be, Shakespeare. He could create poetry in any structure or without any structure at all. I cannot, though I’ve tried, create a sonnet because I feel too confined by the rhyme scheme. Shakespeare could make the most beautiful words across any and all poetic forms.
“My inspiration is all luck really. […] So for me, it’s a particular mood that I can’t control or create, yet.”
Would you like to play a poet on the screen? If yes, who?
She was so complex and did so much living within such a short space of time. In her short life, it was as if she had lived an entire lifetime. Marriage, children, career, affairs, mental issues etc, and all of it so painfully evident in her work.
When do you feel the freest to express yourself?
I feel my freest in my work whether that’s writing or acting. I guess people think that you’re limited by your character’s experiences but rather it’s the common ground between your life and your character’s life that gives you freedom in your work. It’s the secrets in your life that no one knows about that come through and reflect themselves in your work. It’s a free expression without the hefty price tag of justification.
“…people think that you’re limited by your character’s experiences but rather it’s the common ground between your life and your character’s life that gives you freedom in your work.”
What stories do you dream to tell?
I’d love to tell stories of strong women, whether already established or not. I think we’re in a very exciting and equally vulnerable place socially and politically right now. That will ultimately reflect in art and cinema and I’d be ecstatic to be a part of the wave of those strong narratives and alternate perspectives that have never before been highlighted.
Your superpower (the one you have, or you wish you had)?
I wish I had invisibility as a superpower. I’m scared of heights so flying is out, I’m not interested in fire breathing and time-traveling seems like way too big a responsibility. Invisibility is a big reward with little evidence left behind.
The most beautiful thing while filming “The Kissing Booth 2”?
The most beautiful thing was the friendships I made. That sounds so cheesy but it’s not always easy making friends in a new city and we spent so much time together that you really got to know everyone and bond in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise get the time to do with new people.
How would you like to see your character Mia in the third installment?
I’d like to see her in the third film as more mature, but still sassy! Everyone is at a critical stage of their lives after school but before university. There’s a lot more responsibility but you still want to have as much fun as possible before real life begins.
What’s next for Camilla?
Everything I had planned next has unfortunately been halted due to the current pandemic but I’m anxious and excited to get started on another project as soon as things open up. The break has made me reflect on and realize what I want out of a career, as well as the types of roles I’d like to play.