The premise of Bushwick is a complete nightmare scenario: A Texas military force invades the hip Brooklyn neighborhood in an attempt to secede from the United States. Civil war ensues. While the movie seems completely far-removed from reality, it's also oddly metaphorical of this past election cycle—and that became clear when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend, on the same night as the Women's March on Washington.
The story follows 20-year-old Lucy (Brittany Snow), who emerges from the subway to find the area surrounding her home under attack, and an ex-marine Stupe (Guardian of the Galaxy's Dave Bautista) who helps her traverse five city blocks to safety. "It's about the importance of resilience," Snow said after the screening. "Lucy ultimately understands what she wants to achieve and finds the strength to stand up for herself." Here, Snow talks more about her role, the election, and Brooklyn hipsters.
What drew you to the project? It's a big departure from Pitch Perfect.
It was a combination of things. I really wanted to play a character that incorporated a lot of action but also had an arc. From beginning to end, we see this girl go from being naive and weak to realizing that, in times of war or violence, you have to pick whether you're going to stand up and fight for yourself and others, or lay down and let it happen.
The plot seems oddly pertinent given the current political climate.
When we were filming a year ago, Trump wasn't even close to where he is now. I think the movie really raises the conversation of what happens when people try to divide a society. You need to stand up for what's right and what you believe in, but using violence and segregation never ends well.
Did you have to train hard for the role?
There actually was no training [laughs]. But Lucy isn't a fighter—she doesn't know how to use a gun—and I wanted to make sure that was apparent. I hate movies where a girl is handed a gun who's never shot before in her life and all of a sudden she miraculously knows how to use it. I actually got pretty injured on set. I'm one of those people that uses my adrenaline a lot, and I really went for it in one scene and smashed my rib into a car and bruised it so badly that I couldn't walk.
Had you ever spent time in Bushwick prior to filming?
Not really, but when I was living there, I went full method. I went to all the coffee shops, the vegan bakeries, the independent bookstores. I envy most hipsters, because I like all of the same things, but I don't necessarily look like I do.
What can we expect from Pitch Perfect 3?
The script is really funny. Everyone is on board and excited about it. Every time we do a movie, it's so fun, because I get to hang out with my best friends every day and get paid to sing and dance. Kelley [Jackle] was my roommate for three years, I was in Anna [Camp]'s wedding, [Anna] Kendrick and I are super close. They're at the Falcons-Packers game right now sending pictures to make me jealous. I'm very Chloe-esque in that I'm the event planner. I'm setting up a party for us next weekend as we speak.
Have you considered doing Broadway?
I would love to do theater. Part of what attracted me to Bushwick is that it's something I hadn't done before. The idea of having one take is super authentic and interesting to me—it brings some of the best performances because you don't have time to overthink it.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.