The Cast of "Bodies Bodies Bodies" Say Pete Davidson Is "Super Low-Key": He "Likes the Mystique"
Horror is scary funny in A24's "Bodies Bodies Bodies." The indie film studio has a solid reputation for making some of the creepiest horror flicks ever, but its latest offering to the genre balances satire and terror in an absurd tale about rich 20-somethings — Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), David (Pete Davidson), Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), Bee (Maria Bakalova), Jordan (Myha'la Herrold), and Alice (Rachel Sennott) — who play a deadly party game in a remote family mansion in the middle of a hurricane. And in true scary-movie fashion, things go "very, very wrong."
"I think ['Bodies Bodies Bodies'] was so good at capturing this very specific subset of Gen Z."
"Bodies, Bodies, Bodies" is a visually appealing take on a slasher story, but with razor-sharp comedy, modern language, and smart takes on Gen Z stereotypes. Most of the cast members tell POPSUGAR they're horror fans themselves (well, with the exception of Herrold, who, admittedly, was "scared" to even film the movie). But they're all selective about the kind of terrifying films they'll dabble in.
"I love a smart horror movie," says Lee Pace, who plays the eldest member of the group, a character named Greg. "I'm not down for every horror movie. I don't like torture porn." Wonders shares that she's more into a "slower, psychological" flick, like "Uncut Gems," while Sennott adds that she enjoys "funny horror" like cult classic "Jennifer's Body." So "Bodies Bodies Bodies" was right up their alley.
"I think why we loved the script so much was because we felt it was a portrait of a Gen Z friend group that didn't come off as cheesy."
The Halina Reijn-directed film, which Wonders considers a "celebration of Gen Z," pokes fun at what most young people obsess over today: cell phones and social media. But "Bodies Bodies Bodies" does so in a way that doesn't wag its finger or make Gen Z the butt of a bad joke — it's more elevated than that. "I think why we loved the script so much was because we felt it was a portrait of a Gen Z friend group that didn't come off as cheesy," Stenberg explains. "I feel like, nowadays, scripts written about our generation use language in a way that feels inauthentic or [makes] fun of our intelligence. But I don't think that ['Bodies Bodies Bodies' does that], it actually uses the language that we utilize really accurately in order to peel back layers on the very specific culture and zeitgeist that we're living in now."
Of the film's premise, Wonders adds: "It's very obviously satire, like big picture. But when you take apart the lines and us inhabiting all of our characters, I think we all take it very seriously. Each line you [hear], the humor comes from the fact that we believe we're not being crazy or being bad to our friends, and that's where the big-picture humor comes from. I think ['Bodies Bodies Bodies'] was so good at capturing this very specific subset of Gen Z."
In "Bodies Bodies Bodies," boredom and stormy weather inspire the crew's "guess who the killer is" game. But when the lights go out and actual murders start taking place in the mansion, groupthink becomes a critical test of self-awareness and loyalty. "The movie is about the chaos of this group of people trapped in a house, and the specificity of those characters is the thing that moves the plot forward," Pace shares. "The thing that makes their dynamics testy and dangerous is the monster in the room a lot of the time." In the movie, that monster is often the characters themselves when their own triggers spook them just as much as the murder mystery they have to solve.
Taking on a satirical and deeply dramatic film like "Bodies Bodies Bodies" was a challenge for the cast. Stenberg admits, "I think it was fresh for all of us." But Bakalova says having a group of actors in her age bracket made it "fun, young, fresh, cool, and smart," so the material felt that much more relatable.
"He's a funny guy and he doesn't take himself too seriously, but he is also incredibly sensitive."
Speaking of the cast, "Bodies Bodies Bodies" had an extraordinary addition to its humor by way of Davidson's comedic chops. The "Saturday Night Live" alum's character shines in the movie as Sophie's difficult boyfriend, but according to the cast, that's the complete opposite of Davidson's personality IRL.
"Pete's a great time; he's fun," Herrold says, while Stenberg thinks back on the times the comedian would generously drive them to set. "Honestly, I think the most gratifying thing about working with Pete is you know *this* much about him from the media," Herrold adds. "He's a funny guy and he doesn't take himself too seriously, but he is also incredibly sensitive. He's kind, he's perceptive, he's respectful, and he was truly a joy to work with."
Stenberg says "it's kind of weird what the media does" to their "sweet" costar. Apparently, the "super-low-key" actor "likes the mystique" of leaving people in the dark, so he doesn't give too much of himself away. The surprising fun fact Davidson's "Bodies Bodies Bodies" castmates learned about him during filming? He "LOVES trap music with a passion," Herrold says, recalling, "I remember one time I was FaceTiming him 'cause we were all going to go hang at his [house], and I couldn't even hear what he was saying to me, the music was so bassy." Stenberg adds: "I hung out at his house once, and literally I did not talk to this man because the music was so loud."
The "Bodies Bodies Bodies" cast are grateful to know their costar, and each other, a little better now. Their hopes for the horror comedy are simple: they want people to "have a good time," and maybe even inspire their fellow Gen Zers to do some self-reflecting.
"Bodies Bodies Bodies" hits select theaters on Aug. 5 and releases worldwide on Aug. 12.