Video Q&A: Bel Powley & Marielle Heller On ‘THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL’, What Makes One An Adult


10991469_1493887217571092_3064610681209393908_oPreston Barta // Features Editor

Director: Marielle Heller
Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Meloni

Bel Powley, the star of THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, and the film's director, Marielle Heller. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Weinberg/The New York Times.

Bel Powley, the star of THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, and the film’s director, Marielle Heller. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Weinberg/The New York Times.

Let’s face it, when it comes to sex in film, we often find ourselves quite uncomfortable in the theater. But, of course, that depends on the movie and how it’s used. For Marielle Heller’s THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, it may not be the easiest watch but it’s not the most difficult movie to appreciate.

Admittedly, the plot may not sound like an easy sell, but trust me, it’s a film worth experiencing. The film follows a 15-year-old named Minnie (Bel Powley) who begins a drug-addled affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) 35-year-old boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård).

“Ew” might be your first reaction, but this is exactly the kind of innovative storytelling that the cinema world needs right now. From our interview with screenwriter-director Marielle Heller and the film’s star, Bel Powley (A ROYAL NIGHT OUT), you can see just how much passion and conviction they both had for the material – which is based on the graphic novel written by Phoebe Gloeckner – and it really shows on screen as well. The ferocity of the film’s performances and Heller’s relentlessness will leave you absolutely pulverized. But let’s save all our other kind words for when the film opens.

For now, you can view our interview with Powley and Heller, where we discuss the film’s theme of sex, what makes one an adult, and the 70’s style and music.

0:23-1:20 – the soundtrack / use of Dwight Twilley Band’s “Looking for the Magic” (1977)
1:20-2:50 – movies that makes uncomfortable but appreciate
2:50-4:15 – movies that taught us about sex and our sexual awakening
4:15-5:44 – moment you realize you’re an adult
5:44-7:20 – 70s film aspect
7:20-8:24 – if someone made a movie about their lives and what they would cut from it

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL opens in NY and LA this weekend, and will expand over the weeks. It opens in Dallas on August 21st.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.