The Diary of a Teenage Girl Lead
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

For the San Francisco premiere of his new coming of age film, Diary of A Teenage Girl, Alexander Skarsgård captured headlines when he turned up in drag, rocking a metallic gold dress and impressively tall blonde wig. But for the same movie’s New York premiere last night inside Sunshine Cinema, the actor was nothing but all man while standing next to his breakout co-star, Bel Powley. We couldn’t help but obsess a little over his dreamy eyes and rock-hard physique (he credits “chicken” and “lifting weights” for his body), however, it was Powley’s role—and bedazzled Miu Miu dress—that captivated our attention most.

“I felt like female sexuality amongst teenagers is something that we don’t really want to have a conversation about and having been a teenage girl, it leaves you feeling alienated, very isolated, and so I really wanted to be a part of and start that conversation in film and in society,” Powley told InStyle. Of course, she’s referring to her role as Minnie Goetze, who ventures into a sexually driven affair with her mother’s (portrayed by Kristen Wiig) boyfriend (Skarsgård) in the movie, which is based on a book written by Phoebe Gloeckner. For the actor, taking on the part itself was just as challenging: “trying to make a character that, on the page, could so easily be too predatory in a way, because of the dynamic—because he’s so much older than Minnie—that was the challenge that got me really excited.”

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Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Despite the movie’s serious undertones, New York’s culture obsessed, including Seth Meyers, Imogen Poots, and Prabal Gurung, headed to the rooftop pool deck of downtown’s James Hotel to fête the evening. Margarita Levieva (above), who portrays Minnie’s friend in the film, took a moment to appreciate how much she loves acting. “We were shooting the Rocky Horror Picture scene and we had hundreds of extras and ‘70s outfits and it was maybe four in the morning and I was sitting outside looking at [Bel] and I said, ‘We get to do this—this is what we get to do with our lives, so this is pretty epic.'”

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Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The film’s director, Marielle Heller (above, left, with Gloeckner) was just as excited: “I hope that young women, but young men also, watch this movie and feel a little bit less alone and realize that whatever weird thoughts they’re having, they’re not the only ones.” Naturally, the conversation steered back to Powley, whom Heller considers a “superstar” who’s going to “blow everyone’s mind.”

Diary of A Teenage Girl hits theatres Friday, August 7.

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