Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut in 'Booksmart'

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Actress Olivia Wilde steps behind the camera to direct her first feature film. It's titled "Booksmart" and is a female-driven R-rated comedy that takes us back to high school.

The film stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, who play two of the smartest students at school. They're also best friends who, on the day before their high school graduation, realize maybe they should have had more fun. So why not try to squeeze four years of fun into one night?

Wilde thought about a lot of other films as she planned out a film she wanted to be timely-- and timeless.

"I had a lot of the classic generational anthems in mind--movies that made me want to make movies and helped me get through high school," said Wilde. "I was thinking of 'The Breakfast Club.' I was thinking of 'Sixteen Candles.' I was thinking of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' 'Dazed and Confused,' 'Say Anything,' 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off,' 'Clueless.' That was just some of the grouping of amazing kind of transformative films for me, personally. They're women. They're intense. Everything about this should feel grounded and gutsy and real."

Wilde knows there is a raunchy side to "Booksmart." But she also thinks it's important to show the main characters as smart, funny, complex...and as their own women. Her leading ladies were impressed.

"She looked like she had been doing this for 30 years," said Dever. "I've never seen someone so happy in their element before. She just loves, loves it so much."

"Yeah, it felt like someone, like, fulfilling their destiny," said Feldstein.

"The most important message I think we can be carrying to each other now is have each other's backs," said Wilde. "The relationships between women are profound and it's about maintaining them and just always having each other's backs. That's something that's just really important to me personally. So that was part of the reason to make this movie."

"Booksmart" is in theaters now.
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