Jessica Rothe has just departed from a panel for young women in entertainment, for her MTV series “Mary + Jane,” và the afternoon of discussion about “female empowerment, Millennials & hot-topic issues” has her all kinds of fired up.

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“There was this one amazing audience member who was a deaf black woman who is a filmmaker, & she said she feels really strongly that her voice isn’t heard out there,” Rothe says. “And Nicole Byer, who was on the panel, was like, ‘Well, honestly none of us can speak to that as well as you can, so get your work out there.’”

Rothe pauses for a beat of reflection before adding, in signature earnest enthusiasm: “It felt lượt thích a really cool thing to lớn be a part of, especially with everything that’s going on politically right now. It was a ball.”


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The topic of female empowerment, as it becomes clear from the length of a phone chat with the twentysomething actress, is central to how Rothe relates to her projects và how she connects khổng lồ acting as an art form. The passion isn’t singular among many of Hollywood’s rising crop; led by actresses lượt thích Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence, who have spoken out for gender equality, actors of every cấp độ of fame seem eager to align themselves with projects of social awareness.

Rothe, certainly, is right there with them — a script rewrite for her breakout scene in Emma Stone và Ryan Gosling’s movie musical “La La Land,” out Dec. 9, gave her not only a platform for her budding career but fueled an interest in finding roles in good conscience.

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“When I decided to do ‘Mary + Jane,’ one of the things that I was most excited about was the demographic that we would predominantly be reaching out to, which is 12- to 25-year-old women,” she explains of the teen series about a weed delivery business. “We talk a lot on the show about female entrepreneurship and what it’s like when your best friend has something you want, & how you khuyến mãi with jealousy in a healthy way và how lớn be competitive in a healthy way — things that I really wish I had seen on TV when I was a teenager. When we were filming those scenes I felt very passionate about making sure we were handling these topics with sensitivity & a màn chơi of class, because teenagers are so smart. Anything that felt remotely after-school special I really wanted to steer us away from.”

Her role in “La La Land,” which has her singing alongside one of Hollywood’s most prominent young actors, Stone, và led her to lớn be seated front row at Miu Miu’s October show in Paris, is literally a dream come true for the Colorado native. Before enrolling in the conservatory program at Boston University, she grew up attending a summer camp in Kansas đô thị for theater geeks, where the seed was planted — although her love of musicals came even before that.

“When I was a little girl, whenever I would get sick my mom would go & get stacks and stacks of VHS tapes from Blockbuster. & we’d watch ‘Sound of Music’ và ‘Carousel’ & ‘South Pacific’ and ‘The King and I’ and I just thought that living in a world where any moment someone could burst into tuy vậy and dance would be the dreamiest thing in the world,” she says of the movie musical — a genre that for some is the pinnacle of cinema while for others it’s their greatest nightmare.


Her first read for “La La Land” was almost three years ago, when Watson & Miles Teller were still cast as the title characters, before finally booking the role of Stone’s roommate Alexis, “the most ridiculous version of an L.A. Actress there ever was.”

From the outset, Stone agreed that the dynamic between their two characters was all wrong. Her opinion proved she’s the leading lady Rothe was chomping lớn learn from — và hopes to mã sản phẩm herself after one day.

“Originally our characters were written as being very b—hy, catty, very L.A. Roommates — the kind of girls who might be fun for a night out but not bosom buddies,” Rothe explains. “And on the first day of the table read, Emma called Damien and said, ‘You know, I really don’t like that the only other young women in the film are portrayed as cruel and competitive & that that’s what we’re saying about Hollywood, and that’s what we’re saying about female friendship.’”

Stone’s kích hoạt struck a chord with Rothe — & came full circle to lớn the empowerment issue with which she started the conversation. “It would have been very easy for her lớn just worry about herself, but I think she really had the bigger picture in mind, for the film but also in terms of how you send the message you want to lớn send into the world,” she says. “And how you use the art that you make khổng lồ make the world what you want it to be.”