Following the virtual premiere of Sundance selection, Sharp Stick, Allison participated in the public Q&A organized by the festival. Sharp Stick follows a young woman, Sarah Jo (Kristine Frøseth), exploring her sexuality as a result of misguided advice from her mother, Marilyn (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and adopted sister, Treina (Taylour Paige), in the most unconventional of ways: an affair with a married man, Josh (Jon Bernthal), and a to-do list inspired by pornography. The Q&A panel included Kristine Frøseth (previously interviewed here), Taylour Paige, Lena Dunham, Scott Speedman, Jon Bernthal, and Luka Sabbat. Read on for Allison’s question for actress Taylour Paige, which was selected by the host.
How did your character in Zola prepare you for this role?
TAYLOUR: I think that everything is prep for the next thing. I think in life in general, I kind of look at every step as preparation for the next thing, and the next part of my soul’s expansion. I think that Zola was three years ago, I shot it in 2018. So I have come more into who I am, and I’ve un-become and let go of things. And I feel a lot more comfortable in my body and have more agency I think, and more of a confidence to say no or to take my beats or to take my time. Just literally take my time with not needing to rush in this industry and not needing to… I don’t know. I’m on no one’s timeline, I guess.
So I think with that breath, when this movie came about, I hadn’t worked in a year and a half. But that anxiety and the need all the time. And as an actor, it can be really quiet. You get a lot of nos, a lot of nos, nos, nos. Good feedback, we’re going another direction, whatever. I just think once this came around, I was a little bit more settled, and we had all been forced to be quiet and we could not run ourselves because we were in a pandemic together. When your agent tells you that someone’s interested in presenting a script to you, and they see no one else as the part, it feels really good. But I feel there because of maturity and expansion—I’m more available to what’s presented to me.
Zola and Treina are completely different women. I feel like so many women live inside of me, and I’m just excited to let them all out, and see what happens in my life. I don’t know. I hope that I can get better each time, it’ll be better each time.
Thanks again to Taylour and the Sundance team for selecting our question. We can’t wait to see your future projects!
Sharp Stick debuted at 2022’s Sundance Film Festival, and is currently awaiting distribution.
Zola can currently be streamed digitally through Showtime, or purchased via VOD.