Jared Gilman and Mikey Madison in It Takes Three

INTERVIEW: Jared Gilman and Aurora Perrineau on What Drew Them to Their Characters in It Takes Three

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In a world of coming-of-age movies, be It Takes Three. The Scott Coffey film follows Cy (Jared Gilman) and his journey through high school as he tries to navigate helping the popular Chris (David Gridley) as he wants to convince Roxy (Aurora Perrineau) to date him. The film has the charm of movies like Sixteen Candles and brings to life these two boys and their struggle to understand how to flirt with girls. Cy and Chris and their strange antics to try to get Roxy to like Chris (even though Cy clearly starts to have feelings for her) makes this movie a delightful watch.

Talking to stars Jared Gilman and Aurora Perrineau, they clearly had a wonderful time working with Coffey and bringing Cy and Roxy to life! One of the more interesting aspects about Cy is that his motivation is to get money to get plastic surgery because he doesn’t like the way he looks. Despite multiple people telling him that he’s cute or appealing, his focus is on how he feels, and he thinks it makes him unappealing to the girls at his school.

Gilman said he was drawn to this aspect of Cy:

He feels like he’s stuck with an unappealing face and body. And I guess those were admittedly, I don’t know those were feeling was that, that I know when I was reading the script and all that, like I found myself relating to that, like just having those feelings growing up and being a teenager and that immediate, like sort of inner comparisons to everyone else in your grade and seeing relationships blossom around you and then nothing happens for you. And, you know, that kind of like, without getting like too revealing or personal or whatever, but those aspects to Cy that I found, I guess I was drawn to. I was taken by or related to, even though I wouldn’t ever sort of go to the lengths that he goes to in the movie to sort of alter his own appearance or what do you think he might do.

For Perrineau, Roxy is as close as she’s come to playing a character like herself and one that is a bit freer than some of her other work:

I think Roxy is probably the closest I’ve ever come to playing myself in anything. Because I think I didn’t have to, like, it was one of those where I didn’t have to feel like I need to like disappear into this character that I wasn’t, because it was so open to interpretation from the director and everyone that I think, I mean, the similarities are almost like on par minus the fact that, you know, I don’t think I would be getting duped. I wouldn’t be… I’d hope that I would catch on to being catfished a little, but, as a human being, I think, yeah, she’s very similar to me and to what I believe in and all of it was kind of super organic. I just felt like I was talking as myself.

Coming off of a starring turn in Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, Perrineau is always bringing extremely heavy characters and their stories to life—something that she said her parents asked her to stop doing. “Could you stop doing such depressing projects constantly?” Perrineau joked, but Roxy is a fun new kind of role for her, and the movie is just a beautiful look at growing up, acceptance, and understanding yourself and who you want to be.

(image: Gunpowder & Sky)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.