Starring in the sexy new rom-com thriller Fresh, actors Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones sit down with marie claire to talk serial killers, disaster dates and the importance of rewriting the female narrative.
MC: The film has an original take on the female dating perspective; how did the experiences captured in Fresh resonate with you?
Daisy Edgar-Jones: “The film exposed the difficult nature of contemporary dating and how we kind of shop for each other by swiping on an app and hoping that someone is going to be as nice as they seem on their profile. It’s always a gamble – you never know who you’re going to get [and] that was something I liked in the script. [Although] the film takes it to the absolute extreme.”
MC: Sebastian, two of your most recent roles in both Pam & Tommy and Fresh examine the commodification of the female body. What has been the biggest learning for you in being part of these stories?
Sebastian Stan: “There’s a lot of preconceived ideas and narratives that we grew up with as both men and women. We [live in] this massive consumerist world that’s telling you how to be and how you should dress, and so we project all these things onto one another. In both [stories I had to learn to unpack those] narratives and look at what the actual truth was and how society tells us to perceive something in a certain way.”
MC: The revenge formula has been seen a lot recently in female-fronted suspense thrillers such as Promising Young Women and One Night in Soho. Why do you think that is?
Edgar-Jones: “It’s cool and exciting that more stories are being told by female filmmakers and [we are] seeing them through a more female lens. I like the idea of taking the rom-com and horror [genres] and turning them through a new perspective, where ultimately the women save themselves
and they’re not just the victim or merely a passive [character] anymore.”
MC: What was the process like of tapping into the mind of a serial killer?
Stan: “I’m a curious person; I think you have to be curious when you are doing this sort of thing. I’m a firm believer in taking an opportunity to learn about something and exploring the things that are difficult to talk about. I don’t like comfort. Reading the script at first it felt very unsettling in a way that was just different. I like different; I don’t like comfort. No-one’s casting me as Prince Charming anyway.”
MC: Why was the role of the killer’s wife (who supposedly is a victim of herself) important to the plot’s narrative?
Stan: “When researching serial killers for the film, I looked at Ted Bundy and some of those guys who unfortunately prayed on women. They went to such a great length to present the idea of this stable lifestyle, where there was a picture-perfect life that they were always trying to portray. In Fresh, I think the wife’s role in the movie is to give another angle to the lifestyle that was this guy was presenting.”
MC: Daisy, would have you fallen for the same fate as your character?
Edgar-Jones: “The interesting thing about doing this story was imagining ‘gosh if I was in this situation how would I react?’ It’s hard because he’s so clever in the way he manipulates her. Even the first time he meets her, it’s so subtle but he mentions he has nieces. It’s funny the way that we are so good at reading each other and looking for those social cues, like ‘oh good he has a niece, he’s good with kids. He’s a doctor.’ Hopefully, I’ll never find out.”
Stan: “Often we are vulnerable to meeting people in a certain way, based on circumstances, such as what has just happened to us or what our previous relationships have been. Suddenly you’re out there and you’re like ‘l’m tired of this’ and then that thing comes your way and you’re slightly more vulnerable only because you haven’t had it before. Truth is, theres so many factors and circumstances that influence your decisions.”
MC: What roles would each of you like to take on next?
Edgar-Jones: “I’d like to find my Steve [the serial killer in Fresh].
Stan: “A proper comedy would be fun, and to be in a Christmas movie because then it plays every Christmas.”
Fresh is streaming now on Disney+, if you haven’t already, sign up to the streaming platform here.