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Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote talk 'The Wrath of Becky'

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Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote talk ‘The Wrath of Becky’

Ripped from the headlines.

The Wrath of Becky was one of the wildest world premieres from SXSW. Two years after escaping a violent attack on her family, Becky is attempting to rebuild her life. A chance encounter causes her to revisit her old ways.

AIPT: This is a sequel to Becky, and it continues some of the story elements from that movie, but it’s its own story. What was the inspiration behind The Wrath of Becky?  

Suzanne Coote: We wanted to up the ante and steal from headlines.   

Matt Angel: Yeah. I mean, we wanted it, we were very clear with the whole team from day one. We want it to stand on its own two feet. We want it to be its own movie so that we can satisfy the audience of the original Becky while simultaneously bringing in a new audience that can enjoy this film if they haven’t seen the first one, and make them want to go watch the first one.  

Because it really is an evolution of the characters. And yeah, I think, in terms of our current climate in the world, it just kind of spilled out of us. It felt like, how do you up the ante from- 

Coote: Neo-Nazis.  

Angel: Neo-Nazis with tattoos? Well, you don’t need the swastika tattoos nowadays.  

Coote: Yeah. The guys hiding behind their computers who look normal on the outside and are psychopaths on the inside.  

It’s out there every day. And it was very cathartic for us to get to address it in super satirical obvious ways without ever having to say anything about Proud Boys or Oath Keepers. It was just from day one, “What if they’re noble men?” How do we just hit it on the head without ever needing to say the words?  

Angel: But being very obvious, too.  

AIPT: How difficult was it to have that over-the-top action, but also have a serious through line.  

Coote: It feels like the country’s in the middle of trauma, and we are attempting some therapy in the middle of an onslaught of trauma, and I don’t feel like we necessarily got the full catharsis, but writing it and shooting it and being able to laugh while also crying because this is happening in real time to our country, was an interesting dichotomy of emotions.  

Angel: There’s comedy in tragedy, right? It’s the oldest thing in the book. As we advance in our careers, the importance of rooting everything in character is so pertinent, and it was very important to us that we have a new beginning for Becky that outside of the cold open, which is its own fun thing. Like any great sequel, it’s like you’re meeting her for the first time. You’re meeting the 16-year-old version of Becky. She’s a different person than she was two years ago.  

Sadly, it’s a reality, and so you can kind of lean more into the satire with them as long as you have these back stories that you believe fall into each character. And you can pull from the headlines and you can pull from the message boards with regards to how these people talk. But with Becky, rooting it and who she is today, who is she as a human today, two years after the tragedy she experienced in the first one. 

Coote: And just to wrap it up, the fact that she’s Gen Z is perfect because we’re millennials, but Gen Z have the balls that I wish every generation had, and Becky’s got some balls.  

AIPT: Yeah, definitely. A lot of stories, that try to touch on topical issues. When they lose their way, it gets a little corny. Did you ever worry about that happening with The Wrath of Becky because it can get so over the top end and even silly at times.  

the wrath of becky

Angel: I think the key with movies like this is as long as you are not trying to pretend like it’s something it’s not, you can get away with it. We saw this great video from Key & Peele where they talk about how as long as you start at a one, you can go to a 10. You just got to start at a one.  

And that really resonated with us because it’s true. And then, you go back and you watch these films, and it’s like you watch Kill Bill. It starts at a one. It’s rooted in real tragedy. And then you can get away with the absurdity as long as you’re addressing the fact that we as filmmakers know it’s absurd. We’re not trying to pretend like it’s not.   

So, for us, that was kind of the key to getting away with the ridiculous elements that are involved in this new kind of tone that we took Becky in.  

AIPT: Seann William Scott is great, but it’s not a performance that audiences are used to seeing him in. How did you get him involved in this movie?  

the wrath of becky

Coote: Well, we wanted to build on what the first Becky did, which is take a comedic actor who you don’t normally see be a deranged psychopath and do that again in the second one. And so, like Matt said, the first one, you have classic neo-Nazis, swastikas on their heads, coming out of jail. The second one, we want the guys who are clean cut.   

Some of them are gross, but for example, the leader is clean-cut and very handsome, gets a haircut every week. If you saw him at the grocery store, you wouldn’t run away screaming.  

And when our casting agents brought up Seann William Scott, we were like, “Oh God.” Because great comedic actors… Comedy is so freaking hard.   

In Goon, you can see that Seann has that side. And when we brought him on and when he said yes, he brought so much to the character that was not on the page that he made the villain delicious, is how I would put it. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.   

Angel: And from our first meeting with him he proposed so many ideas for the character. We were blown away by. And we were just like, “Yes. All the way. Let’s do it. Let’s go there.” He really wanted to take him to dark places-  

Coote: Which we’ll never say no to.  

Angel: …which was great because again, it’s finding that humanity. I don’t know if humanity’s the right word. It’s finding those human elements and those real elements within a bigger character.  

AIPT: Without getting too much into details, the ending does leave an opening for more stories. Do you have more stories in mind for Becky?  

Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote talk 'The Wrath of Becky'

Coote: We have so many stories for Becky, we could go on for 30 years. And Lulu does, too. Now, if they let us… 

Angel: I think Lulu Wilson has eight titles picked up for the next… She’s like, “I’ll do this till I’m 65.” 

The Wrath of Becky arrives exclusively in theaters May 26

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