Jenna Ortega managed to ‘scare the s**t’ out of her director while filming Miller’s Girl, and we can see why.
The erotic thriller was released in the US last month – with a UK date yet to be confirmed – and follows the Scream actress, 21, as student Cairo Sweet, opposite Martin Freeman, 52, as her teacher-turned-love interest, Jonathan Miller.
Their characters ‘blur the lines’ as their personal and professional lives are ‘intertwined’ in Jade Halley Bartlett’s tense flick, leaving many viewers ‘uncomfortable’ over the sexual themes.
Speaking in a new interview, the filmmaker opened up about working with the Wednesday icon, and how she expertly led the way on set.
‘She’s so special. She’s very disarming. She’s also gothic,’ Jade raved. ‘Jenna, I mean she’s a savant. You watch her heart break in real-time and then you watch her calcify, you watch the scales grow over her and it’s a very subtle thing that I think is quite terrifying.
‘I mean she scared the s**t out of me. She definitely went to places with Cairo that… it’s even tricky to explain. Cairo thinks she is such an adult, but she’s not. She’s an isolated young woman who is a ghost in her house. Her entire education about romance is from 18th and 19th-century literature and old movies, which are inherently problematic. But she thinks she is such a grownup.
Jenna Ortega totally stole the show in Miller’s Girl (Picture: Lionsgate)
‘And there are some moments that Jenna has when she is looking at Jonathan or when she is talking to him when she is like I almost believe… she’s like a vampire, like a 900-year-old vampire. There’s something very ancient that she does that really scares the s**t out of me.’
Heaping praise on the actress, Jade recalled one particular scene where she was left ‘stunned’ by Jenna’s talents.
Referring to a moment between Cairo and Winnie, she continued to What To Watch: ‘You watch her make a decision in that moment that really stunned me, because her physicality changes and then it’s different for the rest of the film.
‘Which is insane because obviously, we shot out of order. So Jenna’s just extraordinarily intelligent. Almost everything she did surprised me, I have to be honest.’
Jenna starred opposite Martin Freeman in the erotic thriller (Picture: Lionsgate)
Miller’s Girl premiered in the US on January 26, with the official synopsis reading: ‘A talented young writer (Ortega) embarks on a creative odyssey when her teacher (Freeman) assigns a project that entangles them both in an increasingly complex web.
‘As lines blur and their lives intertwine, professor and protégé must confront their darkest selves while straining to preserve their individual sense of purpose and the things they hold most dear.’
Footage from the flick has gone viral on social media, leaving those who haven’t managed to catch a showing baffled.
One particular clip saw Jonathan reading a creative writing assignment from Cairo as they grew closer, with the professor appearing to stroke his student and bend her over a bed.
Jenna left director Jade ‘stunned’ with her efforts (Picture: Lionsgate)
However, intimacy coordinator Kristina Arjona has revealed to DailyMail.com that Jenna was made to feel very ‘comfortable’ at all points on set.
‘There was many, many people throughout this process, engaging with [Jenna] to make sure that it was consistent with what she was comfortable with, and she was very determined and very sure of what she wanted to do,’ Kristina said.
‘Part of my job too is supporting her decisions. I adapt to whatever is the comfort level of my actors, especially on a production like this where there is a large age gap between the actors.
‘I’m hyper aware of both of my talent and making sure that we’re consistently checking in and that at no point are any of their boundaries being surpassed. And again, making sure – especially with someone who’s significantly younger – that they are giving continuous consent.’
Miller’s Girl is in US cinemas now, with a UK release date to be confirmed.
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