Jena Malone Talks ‘The Neon Demon’ And Antiquated Female Myths


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 Neon Demon (Artist: Jay Shaw)
The Neon Demon (Artist: Jay Shaw)

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.

When The Neon Demon cast was asked by an entertainment journalist if they had experienced an unhealthy level of female competition while working on movie sets, Malone gave her opinions on this myth.

“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.

Elle Fanning & director Nicolas Winding Refn - 'The Neon Demon' (Broad Green Pictures)
Elle Fanning & director Nicolas Winding Refn – ‘The Neon Demon’ (Broad Green Pictures)

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