Jurnee Smollett on Netflix’s ‘Spiderhead’ and the Courage to Be Vulnerable

Jurnee Smollett takes on the role of Lizzy in Netflix’s new genre-bending and darkly funny psychological thriller, Spiderhead. The film, which is based on The New Yorker short story by George Saunders, will be released on June 17.


In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption take a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether.

The actress is best known for her work as Dinah Lance / Black Canary in Birds of Prey and Letitia Lewis on Lovecraft Country.


We discussed the research she did for the project, how the bond between Jeff and Lizzy adds to the story, what she hopes audiences take away from her character, and more!

Watch my full interview below: