Bringing ‘Bottoms’ to the Big Screen: Director Emma Seligman Talks Queer High School Comedy and Collaborating with Friends

Bringing “Bottoms” to the Big Screen: A Satirical High School Comedy

On a football field somewhere in New Orleans, a thunderstorm was brewing, and the cast and crew of the lesbian teen sex comedy “Bottoms” grew worried as they watched each other’s hair point skyward from the electric charge in the air. Director Emma Seligman voiced her concerns, urging everyone to get off the field before lightning struck. They had gathered on that field to shoot Seligman’s second directorial effort, a satirical high school comedy about two queer, unpopular best friends, PJ and Josie, who start a female flight club at school with the secret desire of sleeping with cheerleaders. With an empowering twist, their peers actually join the club. In a recent interview, Seligman revealed the experience of bringing “Bottoms” to the big screen – from co-writing the screenplay with Rachel Sennott (who portrays PJ) to convincing former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch to act in the film.

Longtime Friends Turned Collaborators: The Trio Behind “Bottoms”

Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott, and Ayo Edebiri, all alumni of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, had been contemplating a project that they could work on together. Having previously collaborated in pairs, they desired to create something that would reflect their own unique vision. “Bottoms” was born out of this desire, with Seligman and Sennott co-writing the screenplay, incorporating elements from campy teen movies and infusing it with their own queer and female-driven perspective. The project was a success, showcasing the trio’s talents and creativity.

Reviving a Genre: “Bottoms” Puts a Queer and Female Spin on High School Movies

Filmmaker Emma Seligman, in an interview, discussed her inspiration for her latest film “Bottoms,” a queer and female-driven satirical high school comedy. According to Seligman, her aim was to revive the over-the-top high school movie genre, which she feels is missing in today’s entertainment landscape. She also wanted to represent queer female identity in her work, which is a recurring theme in her filmmaking career. Seligman’s previous work, “Shiva Baby,” a feature film that started as a short film project at NYU, also deals with queer female identity. “Bottoms” is part of a new wave of queer content that is hitting theaters, and Seligman hopes that it will bring back the high school comedy genre with its unique blend of humor, absurdity, and heart.

Balancing Comedy and Heart: The Challenge of “Bottoms”

Seligman faced the challenging task of striking a delicate balance between humor and emotional depth in their movie “Bottoms”. Throughout the process of writing and editing, they had to carefully determine the appropriateness of each joke and the level of groundedness of the film. Achieving this balance was a result of extensive experimentation and trial and error. Seligman aimed to uphold the irreverent and absurd tone of the movie while still preserving its emotional core.

Marshawn Lynch’s Feature Film Debut: From Athlete to Comedy Star

Marshawn Lynch, a former NFL running back, made his feature film debut in the movie “Bottoms” as the unprofessional but entertaining teacher and club adviser Mr. G. Despite his lack of experience in acting, Lynch was approached by Seligman, who was impressed by his ad-libbed episode on “Murderville” on Netflix. After some hesitation, Lynch agreed to take on the role, which was personally significant to him as his sister is queer. On set, he formed a strong bond with the cast and utilized his football knowledge to teach them how to throw a football during their downtime.

Authenticity and Action: Fight Scenes and Stunt Training in “Bottoms”

The movie “Bottoms” boasts a considerable amount of fight scenes, and director David Seligman desired the actors to carry out their stunts to create the appearance of genuine action. Seligman, along with director of photography Maria Rusche and stunt coordinator Deven MacNair, meticulously designed the sequences, taking inspiration from films like those of Edgar Wright and a dash of “Fight Club.” The cast underwent rigorous training to execute the fight scenes, contributing to the exceptional physicality of the film.

Two Critically Acclaimed Films: Seligman’s Impressive Directorial Journey

Emma Seligman, a 28-year-old director, has already directed two feature films, “Shiva Baby” and “Bottoms,” which have received critical acclaim. Both films focus on underrepresented identities and delve into the complexities of womanhood through relatable, flawed, and humorous characters. Seligman attributes their success to their persistence and tenacity in carving out space for themselves in a competitive industry. They advise young filmmakers to write the stories they are passionate about and seek out people who share their vision. Overall, Seligman’s accomplishments highlight the importance of taking risks and pursuing one’s dreams with determination and perseverance.

Words of Advice: Making Space and Pushing Forward

For budding filmmakers, Seligman suggests making space for oneself and not waiting for anyone. One must push harder than ever before and not be afraid of rejection. To achieve success, one must write the script, gather the right team, and bring the project to fruition. Seligman’s journey from NYU Tisch School of Arts to directing critically acclaimed films is a testament to the possibilities one can achieve with hard work and determination.

Follow AsumeTech on

More From Category

More Stories Today

Leave a Reply