Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives), The Neon Demon centers on Jesse (Elle Fanning), a 16-year-old who ventures to Los Angeles to pursue a modeling career. Jena Malone is Ruby, a make-up artist who becomes Jesse’s closest friend in the City of Angels, and it’s a union that leads down a nightmarish avenue.
The themes of beauty and society’s cannibalistic approach to youth is compellingly rendered in Refn’s blood-soaked and baroque narrative. Malone attacks her respective role in fearless fashion, and this bold approach translated to the Los Angeles press conference for The Neon Demon.
“It’s a stereotype that I think we need to put to bed,” said Malone, whose previous credits include Sucker Punch and Inherent Vice. “Because without reinforcement of actual reality, it’s just a fantasy and we should dress it up as a fantasy and let it become that . . . there’s no reason to teach our young girls that these things exist when they don’t really. I think it dies out after high school.”
In the audio clip below, Malone talks about the “healing” aspect of collaborating with a “coven” of women:
The Neon Demon, co-starring Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, and Christina Hendricks, opens nationwide Friday. Anderson Cowan and I will be sharing our thoughts on The Neon Demon on this week’s CinemAddicts podcast.