Video Interviews

How the Zola Cast and Creators Turned A Viral Tweet Thread Into Summer's Most Talked-About Movie

Director Janicza Bravo, co-writer Jeremy O. Harris, and stars Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Colman Domingo, and Nicholas Braun talk bringing the spirit of the Internet to the big screen.

by | June 29, 2021 | Comments

You probably remember where you were the first time you came across A’ziah King’s Internet-exploding story about why she and “this b—h here fell out.” Back in 2015, King’s road-trip-gone-WTF tale – a seemingly harmless trip to Florida takes some incredibly wild and potentially harmful turns – played out in 148 Tweets sent from King’s @Zola handle and gave new meaning to the word “viral.” Seriously, for a while there Zola/A’ziah and “this white b—h” she met at Hooters (that would be Jessica) were all anyone on the Internet could talk about. And so naturally someone had to make a movie about it.

This month, Zola, co-written and directed by Janicza Bravo, finally arrives in theaters on a wave of buzz thanks to its inventive direction, razor-sharp and hilarious script (co-written by Tony-winning Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris), and star-making performances from Taylour Paige as Zola, Riley Keough as Stefani (a fictionalized Jessica), as well as Nicholas Braun, and Colman Domingo. Ahead of the movie’s release, Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley spoke with Bravo, Harris, Paige, Keough, Braun, and King herself about their first reactions to the @Zola thread, Bravo’s “genius” direction, and how they managed to capture the spirit of the Internet on film.

Zola is in theaters Wednesday June 30, 2021.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

dramedy ABC Family documentary FXX Holidays DirecTV Hallmark toy story Baby Yoda Disney Plus Crunchyroll Countdown NBC revenge mutant Animation Amazon New York Comic Con cinemax Mary Tyler Moore Brie Larson Thanksgiving Warner Bros. Arrowverse Women's History Month halloween directors new zealand Disney Channel AMC Christmas spanish language hispanic Hulu Premiere Dates witnail italian debate Sony Pictures christmas movies 2015 fast and furious diversity hispanic heritage month The Walt Disney Company television pirates of the caribbean cancelled Awards Tour Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Spectrum Originals zombies talk show science fiction Creative Arts Emmys Apple Music posters richard e. Grant Nominations Black Mirror screenings slasher Mary Poppins Returns Podcast Black History Month razzies docudrama political drama Trailer elevated horror WGN comic books Funimation rom-coms crime drama golden globes dragons YA Amazon Prime Video Shondaland war ABC Exclusive Video spider-man 4/20 Sundance TV Superheroe Red Carpet Broadway cults BET Awards 45 archives comedies Travel Channel Teen disaster Sneak Peek Bravo Masterpiece Nat Geo 93rd Oscars strong female leads BBC Showtime basketball football Amazon Prime discovery Set visit trailers name the review Turner Classic Movies 2016 Pop TV Tomatazos Schedule streaming movies james bond LGBTQ black YouTube Premium Comedy Central 20th Century Fox See It Skip It a nightmare on elm street Trophy Talk sitcom Oscars Tumblr Fantasy PlayStation Winners Television Critics Association blaxploitation Discovery Channel crime thriller SDCC chucky facebook RT History Peacock video on demand A&E Disney streaming service CBS All Access politics Valentine's Day TLC reviews crossover Marathons screen actors guild classics Horror spanish Family Tarantino USA Network rotten movies we love Apple TV Plus Mudbound australia HBO Go Election Captain marvel new york nature streaming Walt Disney Pictures GoT 71st Emmy Awards transformers Netflix Quiz movies telelvision Comedy NYCC Rom-Com RT21 toronto ghosts TIFF hidden camera ratings Disney legend cooking rt labs critics edition comic book movie mission: impossible stand-up comedy Mystery 2021 Anna Paquin serial killer TCA deadpool Binge Guide Super Bowl suspense binge know your critic heist movie japan supernatural breaking bad Calendar The Witch biography Lionsgate independent Pacific Islander kids Starz marvel cinematic universe TV cats Columbia Pictures universal monsters CBS historical drama Opinion justice league Country GIFs teaser target DC streaming service Rock The Purge police drama jamie lee curtis obituary wonder woman Writers Guild of America Rocky Extras blockbusters Lifetime Christmas movies children's TV sequels king kong robots quibi ID Fox Searchlight Image Comics sports Film versus Marvel Studios 73rd Emmy Awards Ghostbusters A24 golden globe awards nfl DC Comics Pixar Comic-Con@Home 2021 Paramount Network FOX thriller Classic Film Musical concert Watching Series Heroines feel good Star Wars royal family doctor who vampires Logo cartoon OneApp olympics slashers remakes stoner Alien PBS french MSNBC Britbox E! Cosplay Fall TV kaiju Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt joker Best and Worst harry potter book adaptation Epix Spike indiana jones BBC America Ovation venice VH1 natural history saw Comics on TV cancelled TV shows animated E3 rotten Character Guide finale what to watch mcc Mary poppins IFC reboot The Walking Dead movie GLAAD composers tv talk anime Nickelodeon criterion Interview Vudu films TV Land CNN emmy awards romance TCA Awards 007 stop motion child's play Rocketman Avengers spain Photos Drama superhero jurassic park zombie boxing Martial Arts social media rt archives adaptation Fox News kong San Diego Comic-Con psycho TCA Winter 2020 Emmy Nominations worst Pop Turner APB laika Sci-Fi Stephen King Spring TV ABC Signature action-comedy mockumentary worst movies comic theme song 24 frames Certified Fresh lord of the rings Marvel Television Acorn TV FX docuseries cancelled television Chernobyl Western festivals Cannes technology TCM singing competition dexter Sundance Now batman hist women comic book movies Box Office American Society of Cinematographers 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards dceu adenture asian-american parents Lifetime Action Trivia Year in Review game of thrones boxoffice ViacomCBS X-Men PaleyFest canceled TV shows Polls and Games The Academy NBA Biopics Superheroes Syfy History Disney+ Disney Plus Cartoon Network nbcuniversal Toys franchise Endgame MTV new star wars movies spy thriller book Netflix Christmas movies National Geographic Shudder Paramount Plus 72 Emmy Awards superman Freeform Marvel ITV Television Academy Lucasfilm Song of Ice and Fire news Academy Awards Infographic video 21st Century Fox high school Dark Horse Comics BBC One Tubi TCA 2017 Universal Pride Month Video Games japanese scene in color Wes Anderson Adult Swim rt labs El Rey Awards TV renewals Hallmark Christmas movies foreign monster movies The CW TBS blockbuster The Arrangement Tokyo Olympics Kids & Family Summer scary movies documentaries First Reviews renewed TV shows canceled Mindy Kaling Apple TV+ Amazon Studios Grammys BET TV movies SundanceTV CW Seed satire true crime TV One OWN Musicals medical drama 99% Star Trek CMT live action YouTube sequel biopic king arthur spinoff Film Festival all-time IFC Films unscripted cops south america space critics casting WarnerMedia 1990s romantic comedy travel Food Network halloween tv 90s hollywood indie critic resources anthology fresh BAFTA Reality USA YouTube Red 2020 series 2018 2017 game show aapi Holiday period drama Pet Sematary President international Sundance HBO Max cars popular Hear Us Out DC Universe award winner latino comiccon SXSW psychological thriller gangster Pirates sag awards First Look dogs festival Elton John DGA Legendary cancelled TV series Paramount scorecard werewolf VOD TruTV marvel comics die hard dc prank VICE Crackle TNT miniseries ESPN comics green book Esquire Reality Competition best FX on Hulu Emmys godzilla twilight zero dark thirty HBO Comic Book aliens 2019 LGBT adventure Winter TV Ellie Kemper based on movie young adult dark crime free movies MCU