In “Beautiful Creatures,” actress Tiffany Boone (“Detention”) plays Savannah Snow, a less-than-amicable teenage high school student who, along with her best friend Emily (Zoey Deutch), don’t welcome the new girl with supernatural powers (Alice Englert) with open arms. During an interview with me, Boone talked about her own mean-girl experiences in high school and what she liked about Savannah when she first read the book her new film is adapted from.
You’re character in “Beautiful Creatures” isn’t very likeable. You play a high-school mean girl. Did you experience that type of cattiness in high school yourself?
Yeah, for sure. I think any girl in high school or middle school is going to experience that. Thankfully I haven’t experienced it in the way Savannah and Emily (Zoey Deutch’s character) pack it on. They’re pretty intense. But I think we’ve all experienced someone being a little mean to us. I obviously play off of those experiences being on the receiving end of those mean girls.
Are you worried this film is going to be compared too much to “The Twilight Saga” since it is a supernatural romance series based on a young-adult book?
I think it’s difficult to compare “Beautiful Creatures” to other films. There are no vampires or werewolves or crazy killings. It stands on its own. It really is more about the relationship between the two main characters. But, of course, I hope it’s very successful. I think whether or not you’ve read the books, the film will stand on its own. It has the potential to be a really great series.
So, was part of your homework when you got cast in this film to buy the book and read it cover to cover?
Yeah, as soon as I booked the role I went out and bought the book and read it really quickly. I think the book and the film are different but similar enough that if you read the book you will love the film and see the characters you love. I think the film takes the ideas of the book and makes them work on the screen beautifully. I think [director/writer] Richard LaGravenese really made a smooth transition between the book and the film.
What resonated with you about Savannah as you read the first book?
Well, Savannah’s best friend in the book and the film is Emily, who is played by Zoey Deutch. In the book and the film they are attached to each other. They’re relationship is very important to who Savannah is. Reading the book really helped me understand the importance of that friendship and why Savannah does some of the things she does. A lot of the times she is trying to protect her best friend.
As a black actress, what does it mean to you to work in the same set as someone like Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis?
I can’t even explain to you what that means to me. The night Viola won the SAG award for Best Actress for “The Help,” I made a goal for myself that I was going to be in a film with her. Honestly, in the three weeks that followed that I auditioned for “Beautiful Creatures.” It’s a dream come true for me. She is what grace and hard work are all about. Everything about working with her was a blessing to me. She really is an inspiration to me.
Who else do you look up in the industry?
Of course, Viola. Also, Jeffrey Wright (“Source Code”) is, to me, one of the greatest actors in Hollywood right now. What’s interesting to me is he doesn’t really have that star status where you say his name people automatically know who he is, but everything single thing I’ve seen him in he’s amazing. He’s a real artist. He’s true to the craft. To me, that’s the kind of work I want to do. A lot of people want to be famous, but for me I just want to do work that inspires me. I’ve also always been obsessed with Halle Berry. And Dorothy Dandridge has always been a great figure to me.