Q: A lot of people might be apprehensive about seeing this film because the book is so dark. How would you address that?
A: I'm sure that readers will be worried about the underground scenes—I know that I would be if I had read the book and wasn't involved with making the film. The most important thing to remember is that we don't actually have a murder scene in the film. There's no mention of the word rape, even. The film's not really about that murder scene; it's about everything that comes after Susie's murder. It's about her journey to acceptance and what she needs to get there and learning to let go and watching her family grieve over her death in all different ways. So, it's a very layered story, but ultimately it's a very positive one and you come away with a sense of comfort, I suppose, and a positive feeling. I'm not going to lie, it is tough to watch it, but from that horrific crime comes something beautiful.
Q: What was it like for you to play a character who went through something like that?
A: It was very challenging. You know, I was young when I made it, and not often do 13-year-old girls play characters who have been killed and then are in the rest of the movie as well. Susie's story begins when she dies, and I found that very appealing and something that tested me as an actor. One of the most important things for me, besides having fun on a film, is to not play the same role over and over and over again. Repetition is a very boring thing, and you don't really get any satisfaction out of it. I'm never going to play another character like Susie.
Q: I would imagine it would be nice to take a break from the serious nature of a role like this.
A: Well, I like doing serious things. I think it might be because I'm not too serious in real life. Maybe it's a form of escapism or something, but I do want to do comedy as well. It's my favorite genre of movie. My whole life I try to make into a comedy, so it would be nice to see that onscreen.
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