If Aubrey Plaza had a credit card with an unlimited spend amount, she would buy “the entire Criterion collection on Blu-ray”, “a region two DVD player”, and “Stromboli, that volcanic island off the coast of Sicily”. His co-star Theo Rossi would add more donkeys and goats to his ranch.
The duo star in director John Patton Ford’s crime film “Emily the Criminal” (in theaters Friday), which follows the character of Plaza Emily, an artist saddled with crippling student debt that she is unable to pay due to his criminal record. To consolidate the burden, Emily engages in credit card fraud schemes, becoming a “dummy buyer” who buys goods with stolen credit cards. Youcef (Rossi), the leader of the operation, in turn resells the illegally purchased items.
Plaza says the difficulty of finding ways to pay off student debt is “something an entire generation of young people can relate to coming out of this system that’s so broken.”
“The unpaid internship thing is just silly when you think about it. I mean, people have to eat,” Rossi says.
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“Emily” is filled to the brim with tense action sequences, including scenes where 38-year-old Plaza tases people. Plaza, who didn’t work with a real taser on set, said she used a toy taser she found in a cereal box.
“Second time, I tasered someone on a film. It’s becoming my thing,” Plaza says.
The film features a car chase scene where Emily narrowly escapes a car dealer who attacks her after discovering that she has fraudulently purchased a vehicle. Plaza says she did a lot of her own driving in the film and acknowledges that she drove “more dangerously than the stuntman”.
“The stunt coordinator told me to take it easy, to take it down a few times,” Plaza says. “But you only had a few chances. You have to make it real.
Emily and Youcef develop an on-screen romance while “taking risks on each other,” says Rossi, 47.
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“As actors, artists, people, humans, we take risks on each other,” says Rossi. “I think that really resonates throughout the movie.” said Rossi.
Likewise, the co-stars have developed a strong bond behind the scenes.
“Theo comforts me because he talks to me about things like time isn’t real and things about reality that I’ve never heard of,” Plaza says.
Plaza has a busy August beyond “Emily.” The “Parks and Recreation” star will appear in “Spin Me Round,” a romantic comedy thriller co-written and directed by her husband, Jeff Baena, which premieres August 19 (in theaters, on demand and AMC+).
Plaza will also voice Laura Feinberg on FX’s animated horror-comedy show “Little Demon,” which premieres Aug. 25. voiced by Lucy DeVito).
Plaza says playing the Antichrist’s mother is something “she intended to do”.
“Having the Antichrist as a daughter is one of the most fulfilling things that’s ever happened to me,” Plaza says.