Rowan Blanchard stars as Paige Evans in the queer romantic comedy, Crush. The new Hulu original film premieres on Friday, April 29.
When an aspiring young artist is forced to join her high school track team, she uses it as an opportunity to pursue the girl she’s been harboring a long-time crush on. But she soon finds herself falling for an unexpected teammate and discovers what real love feels like.
I had the chance to chat with the actress over Zoom about what makes the perfect rom-com, what she hopes Crush represents to viewers, why she was excited to play with the comedic aspects, filming memories, and much more!
So I want to start off by asking you, what attracted you to the project originally?
Rowan Blanchard: Well, the first time I read it, I called my friend and I read it out loud, and it just read really well. It made us both laugh when we were on FaceTime reading it together. I guess what attracted me to it was literally that. I thought it was really funny, I really liked my character, and it just seemed like a really sweet opportunity to contribute to this genre that we don’t get all the time or as much as we used to of romantic comedy.
What are your personal favorite romance tropes?
I mean, I love enemies to lovers. That’s just like great, and I love friends to lovers.
In your opinion, what makes the perfect rom-com, either when you’re watching it or when you’re reading a script?
When I’m watching them, if I can watch them with my friends at a sleepover and it just serves the purpose of everything you need. I love sleepover movies.
Without giving too much away, we start the film with this prompt about happiest moments, which I really loved. When you first heard or read that, did a personal moment come to mind for you?
Absolutely not, one did not come to me. My happiest moment… dude, I don’t know, my happiest moment this morning was I got some fresh-squeezed orange juice and I was like, “Damn, I don’t do this enough. This is where my money should be going.”
What do you hope Crush represents for anyone relating to these individual characters or the love story?
I just hope that people get to really enjoy watching how cute and tender it is when two people like each other for the first time. High school crushes are so intense and special, and they only happen once or twice. Those feelings are so big and intense, and you start to censor them or put boundaries around them later, but when you’re first experiencing those feelings, they’re so big. I just hope it reminds people of how cute that time is, even if it’s a terrible time too. Everything feels so dire and it’s terrible when you’re in it, but it’s amazing when you think about how big those feelings can be and how real they can feel.
What was your favorite aspect of portraying Paige? Was there something you were most excited to play with acting-wise?
I mean, I was really excited to practice my comedy skills again because I feel like a lot of my background is in comedy and sitcoms, so it was just fun to practice being funny again. I shot this right after I shot season three of this other show I work on Snowpiercer that is a very intense drama, so it was nice to go from. I shot that for six months, had a week off, shot this, and it was so nice to just go into comedy world again and do a comedy.
Which of your past characters do you think would thrive in a rom-com, if you could just take them out of the genre and project they’re in?
I don’t know, I really haven’t thought about what it would be like to multiverse characters. Well, taking my character in Snowpiercer out of anything would be so interesting because I am in an apocalypse world, I’m not around any teenagers, and I basically think my character is asexual. So it would be really interesting to take her out of any world. I can’t even imagine.
When you look back at the experience, do you have a filming memory that stands out to you?
Yeah, well, we had a week where we were on night shoots and we were filming those party scenes, and it just really felt like we were at a high school rager house party. There were so many people there, the whole cast was together, and it really felt like we were all at a party together. We were on night shoots too, so it’s like 4:30 in the morning, you’re still filming, and you just feel close to everyone when you’re in those kind of shoot days.
Did you take anything from set after you wrapped? Maybe some outfits?
Okay, so here’s the thing is they have like a big wardrobe closet of everybody’s clothes. I think I took some things that Isabella didn’t end up wearing because obviously, she has all the hot, sexy clothes. So I had to take some of those clothes that she didn’t end up wearing. So I have mini skirts that they were going to put on her and the same with Teala. Teala and Isabella got all the hot outfits. So I feel like I took some of their clothes out of their character closets.
Is there a lesson or takeaway that you have gotten from any of your favorite rom-coms?
Lesson? I don’t know. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever gotten a lesson. I mean, I like laughing.
Honestly, when a movie is able to provide you an escape for just like two hours by laughing and having a good time, that’s what matters.
Yeah, like a sleepover movie, something you’re watching with your girlfriends and it’s funny, and for like an hour and a half, you’re just watching a movie. You’re not like crying, you’re just having a very light time, watching the movie. I hope people watch it at their sleepovers.
Lastly, what has it been like to see the fan excitement for Crush?
I mean, it makes me so happy. I really am so happy people are excited about it. I just hope that we make people laugh. I hope we make people smile. I hope that it feels tender to people, as tender as it did filming it.