Netflix Queue Interview

WE ARE NOT OKAY WITH THIS
The cast of I Am Not Okay With This dishes on everything from first roles to favorite foods.


Photography by Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa

They always make superpowers look so cool in the movies, but for angsty teen Sydney Novak, discovering that she can control things with her mind has only led to trouble. Serious trouble. Accidentally murdering her best friend’s unfaithful bully boyfriend at the homecoming dance sort of trouble.
Sydney is the heroine at the heart of the supernatural coming-of-age drama I Am Not Okay With This, and in the hands of actress Sophia Lillis, she always remains a relatable teenager — even as she struggles to keep her newfound abilities a secret.

Together with a cast of rising talents, Lillis has helped capture a loyal audience for Jonathan Entwistle and Christy Hall’s adaptation of the graphic novel by Charles Forsman. (Entwistle previously adapted Forsman’s The End of the F***ing World for Netflix.) Wyatt Oleff plays the fashionably quirky neighbor Stanley, Sofia Bryant is Syd’s good-natured best friend (and crush) Dina, and Richard Ellis radiates a tantalizing menace as ill-fated jock Brad.
Queue caught up with these young actors to learn more about their lives, onscreen and off.

SOPHIA LILLIS as Sydney Novak

Age: 18
Hometown: Brooklyn. Born and raised.
Siblings: I have a stepbrother who’s in his 20s, and I have a twin brother, Jake.
Best part about having a twin: You’re never alone. It has its ups and downs, but mainly it’s a good thing to have a brother who’s the same age as me. We go through the same things at the exact same time. He’s also a much better cook than me.
Favorite meal: I like fried rice. It’s amazing. Jake and I found this really cool Korean barbecue place that does takeout. We get that sometimes, and they make this kimchi burrito thing that’s really delicious. It doesn’t sound good, but it is.
Hobbies: When I’m bored, I usually just doodle. I don’t do full-on watercolors and paints and stuff, but I like to doodle. It’s kind of relaxing.
Desert island reading: I really love The Neverending Story. That was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I still like it now. But if I’m stuck on a desert island, maybe a survivalist’s diary. That’s definitely the smarter way to go.
Entry into acting: When I first started acting, it was something I did as a pastime. I wanted to be more open. I wasn’t really the most outgoing and extroverted type of person. I had a lot of fun in acting class. I felt like I met my people. It slowly turned into more of a job later on because I started doing N.Y.U. student films. Before I knew it, it turned into something I could actually live off of, which I never knew I could do.
First screen role: It was in an N.Y.U. student film called The Lipstick Stain. That was a long time ago. The director was Dagny Looper.
On keeping secrets: I think I can keep a secret. I don’t really have a good memory, though, so I’ll probably forget the secret once you tell me. I’m that kind of person.
Favorite thing about Sydney Novak: I like how she tries really hard and she doesn’t seem to ever really give up. I like that positive side to her. She seems kind of negative at first — like this regular, angry teenager — but you get to know her, and you get to see that she’s going through a lot. She also has these superpowers that are very dangerous, that she doesn’t know how to control. But through it all, she keeps a positive attitude and tries her best to fix everything. The way she tries to keep everything together, I love it. It’s actually inspiring. I wish I could be as positive as she is. I try to be.

Read the rest of the cast interviews at Netflix Queue!

Posted by Veronique on August 5th, 2020
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