On July 6, we all expect the release of ‘Savages’, directed by Oliver Stone and starring LA magazine’s June 2020 cover subject Blake Lively. The 24-year-old actress strikes a pose photographed by Matt Jones and sits down for a chat dishing on her role in the upcoming ferocious crime–thriller. Surprisingly, Lively, who ranked number 13 in Maxim’s 2020 Hot 100, has no idea whatsoever what this thing is. “What’s that?” she asks when told, apparently for the first time, that there’s this thing called the Maxim Hot 100. “Did I make it? Is that good? Awesome! I can tell that to my kids one day.”
Blake plays alongside Taylor Kitsch, John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro in ‘Savages’, the return to the screen of three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone. Speaking about Lively being criticized for her acting, Stone says, “That’s the price you pay when you’re blond and beautiful. You have to go that extra mile with your acting…and this is a good actress.”
In the movie, Lively plays a young woman named O who is kidnapped, imprisoned, raped and tortured. “Listen, she more than holds her own,” says ‘Savages’ co-screenwriter and executive producer Shane Salerno. “There’s a reason she’s at the center of the poster for this movie. She’s probably the most interesting kidnap victim you’ve ever seen. It’s usually a forgettable kind of role, but she found a way to bring strength and color to it, and you just don’t see that in summer action thrillers.”
Concerning her role, it seems that Lively brought some changes to it. “The character in the novel was written by a man, as was the character in the screenplay, and it’s hard for any older man to know what it’s like to be a 20-year-old girl” she says. “And my approach is, if she’s doing something you don’t feel is right, then at least let’s understand why. She’s a bit of a pessimist in the novel, for example, but it was important to me for her to be hopeful. If someone is hopeful and believes in good, then it’s much more powerful when that source of light is captured and threatened to burn out,” she adds.
Blake’s character is very complex and is extremely important in the whole story. “Fear – that was my acting approach,” Lively told LA magazine, with a laugh. “Just plain, pure fear. You walk into a scene with Benicio, and he’s one person when you’re talking to him, and then the moment that camera starts rolling, he’s just this monster,” the young actress says.
Even though Blake is quite reserved regarding her future plans, it is more than clear what she doesn’t want to do. “I tend to play characters that are tough – often drug addicts,” she says. “I’ve never tried a drug. I don’t know how I always end up as these sexually charged drug addicts. The third time I got a character like that, I was like, ‘Wait, I’ve done this before!’”
Photos courtesy of LA Magazine