‘Luckiest Girl Alive’: Nicole Huff Interview
I had the opportunity to speak with the extremely talented Nicole Huff! Not only about her amazing performance in Luckiest Girl Alive, but also about her past roles and what she’s currently working on. So keep reading to check out all of the cool things we were able to chat about.
Cape & Castle: What were you experiencing when you found out you would be a part of Luckiest Girl Alive?
Nicole: “I was beyond stoked. It was just amazing. The phone call came that I had landed the role of Olivia Kaplan and I honestly could not have been more excited. I remember when they first sent me the script. The first thing I found out was that it was called Luckiest Girl Alive and that Mila Kunis was in it. Then after reading the script and really knowing that I would love to be a part of it, it just felt like a dream come true. Because how powerful the story is and how incredible everyone a part of the movie is.”
CC: What was it like working with your castmates and this big pool of actors?
Nicole: “Yeah! There’s so many talented people. Everyone a part of the film is so talented at what they do. And it’s truly incredible. Everyone felt so comfortable and you wouldn’t expect that with such a dark kind of movie. But we had a lot of fun filming it. Mike Barker, our director, was so much fun and is so incredible at what he does. And it was just incredible to work with him and Jessica Knoll, the author and executive producer, and Mila Kunis as well. It was just such a talented cast and crew.”
CC: Have you read the novel?
Nicole: “So I hadn’t actually read it before the audition. And later, when I found out I got the part, I had found out that the book had such a massive fanbase already. That people were so excited it was being turned into a movie. I know that for me, my strategy as an actor is that I like to know as much about the character as I can. I just feel like it gives me so much to work with and it helps me better portray the character. And not only just my character, but to better portray the story they’re trying to tell. So, I read the novel and it’s also incredible. You know, sometimes you don’t know if the movie is going to live up to the book. But they are both fantastic, the book and the movie.”
Cape & Castle: How do you think it translated from reading the book to being a part of the film?
Nicole: “I know they condensed it. With the novel it goes into a lot more detail, of course. But I think they condensed it very well. For my character, Olivia, the book went in a little bit more with her character and the trauma that she was also suffering in her own life. I know that the character puts so much pressure on herself and she was abused growing up. So reading the book really helped me with that deep dive into my character. They also changed the ending. The movie ending is quite different from the novel.”
CC: Have you been able to sit and watch the film?
Nicole: “I know some actors really don’t like watching themselves. But I actually don’t mind because I feel like I wanted to see how the movie came together. You learn after watching yourself and watching your work. It helps you learn and grow as an actor. And I was so excited to watch the film. I know the subject matter is dark and it’s at times very difficult to watch. But I feel like this movie has this perfect balance of darkness along with some dark humor that actually makes you laugh. I feel like a lot of films have a hard time capturing that, but this one did it so well. I definitely wanted to see how it came together. And it was just amazing because I feel like this movie really sparks conversation. Those who have been through something similar to what Ani has been through, or just any kind of trauma in general, are able to feel heard and understood. I think it makes people feel validated as this character is trying to go through all these emotions and get through this trauma from her past. I was very excited to watch the film and knew that I wanted to and had to.”
CC: What was it like seeing it all come together?
Nicole: “Seeing it all come together was interesting and incredible. I feel like some of the transitions in the movie are so powerful and it was so amazing to see it all put together as one piece. It’s got this incredible storyline but also the transitions between Ani when she’s an adult and the flashbacks, it perfectly portrays what she’s going through and the trauma that she was going through. I think those were done so incredibly and that it was so truthfully portrayed. No one can say that this isn’t how this would happen with Jessica Knoll, who wrote the book and that it’s loosely based off her life. And everyone who helped put the movie together did a really fantastic job. So it was so great seeing all the hard work come together.”
Cape & Castle: Do you feel that you have any similarities or relate to Olivia?
Nicole: “I would like to think she’s a little far off my character. A lot of people describe her as the mean girl. When I play a character I really try to dig in to who she is. Olivia had a lot of her own trauma and her own issues and she takes it out on Ani. She’s just a young girl also finding herself and feeling insecure and feeling like she has to make up for that by taking it out on Ani. But I feel like she is a perfectionist and I can be a perfectionist when it comes to my work. So I understand that and feel like that’s a similarity that we have.”
CC: Was it difficult to play this mean girl character when it is so far off who you are?
Nicole: “Yeah, I feel like I actually tried to look at it as fun and getting to play and bring out a part of myself that I don’t ever really bring out. I just made sure that I focused on telling this story. And the meaner this character was, the more she went through in my mind, and how she’s going through a difficult time, the more I knew she was going to take it out on Ani. When we get towards the middle of the movie, I found that was where I really got to dig into this character and the situation that was happening around her.”
CC: Did you feel a lot of pressure acting in a movie with this dark subject matter?
Nicole: “I just feel like you have to make sure that you are portraying the character and how your character contributes to what happens. So I didn’t necesarily see it as pressure or anything like that, I just made sure that I really did my job. Because it’s so important that every character is really telling that story truthfully. You know, I tried to overthink the character and overthink every aspect about her and the situation that’s happening. But at the end of the day I just remembered that all I have to do is tell my character’s story and her part in Ani’s story. And how my character is helping to contribute to that. So I just focused on that.”
Cape & Castle: Did you feel impacted at all emotionally by the film?
Nicole: “Absolutely. There were actually moments throughout the film that made me cry. I just felt that it was so empowering. I think we all go through difficult moments in our lives and moments where we have something that we want to say but we say something else. And I feel like at the end of the film, Ani actually speaks up and says something that she probably would have never said before. And I just think it’s inspiring and empowering. It makes you want to talk about it and not just how incredible the film is, but how you feel after watching it and how you can relate to the film.”
Cape & Castle: Out of all the roles you’ve played so far, which character has been your favorite?
Nicole: “I don’t know if I can pick a favorite! I think all the characters that I’ve played have been unique and dynamic. Probably Paige Aquino from Tiny Pretty Things and Olivia Kaplan from Luckiest Girl Alive are two of the most fun because they are so different. Paige was kind of this passionate, sassy, fun girl who goes through a difficult time at her stay at the Archer School of Ballet. And then I feel like it’s always fun to play that mean girl, and I got to do another scene in Luckiest Girl Alive where I’m worked up about something and it’s emotionally traumatizing. I feel like as an actor that’s what I look forward to so much.”
CC: How has your journey playing all these different characters felt for you?
Nicole: “I definitely feel like it’s helped me grow as an actor and everytime I get to play someone different than who I am, or bring out a part of myself that I don’t usually bring out, or would love to bring out, it’s always exciting. And it’s what I love to do. I’m very passionate about storytelling and very curious and interested in different people that come from different walks of life. So I feel like that’s the most amazing part of my job.”
CC: What is your dream project? Film, music, or otherwise?
Nicole: “I feel like any character that is so interesting in their own way. And I love doing drama. But I also have been really interested in doing comedy as well recently. I played Cloud on The Great Christmas Switch and it was a lot of fun. I love anything where I can show different ranges in my ability. Or even something where I get to play a role where I use different parts of my own skill sets. Like figure skating, piano, or karate. So anytime I get to bring in my own skills, I would love that. And I also feel like portraying maybe a lead character in a series or a film would be pretty cool. Or like getting to work with someone else that I look up to. When I did Luckiest Girl Alive, I grew up watching Mila Kunis and loving her so that was pretty cool to work with her. So working with other people I look up to would be pretty cool.”
Cape & Castle: When it comes to your music, what got you interested in that?
Nicole: “So I was always that kid in high school that just always has earphones. And is always listening to my favorite music. I’m very inspired by Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and her performance and dance music, and Jennifer Lopez, John Mayer, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato. There are so many artists that I listen to and all that influence and all that listening of different kinds of music and finding the music that I love the most is what I have been able to put into my own music. I wrote and cowrote a lot of my music so it’s my own creation and it’s what I love and I hope that even one person listens to it and feels something. I can’t wait to share it!”
CC: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Nicole: “I’m working on my original music EP. It’s very exciting! I’m working with Roy Hamilton the third, and he’s produced music for so many amazing people. He’s worked with Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, and so many more. So that’s very exciting. It’s inspired by some of my favorite genres of music like pop, with R&B influence, and soul. You can currently watch Tiny Pretty Things where I play Paige Aquino and I did an episode of Pretty Hard Cases where I play Alina Taylor and you can also watch Topline on CBC gem where I play Cassie, and also sing on the show. And Luckiest Girl Alive, which is the newest one, where I play Olivia Kaplan, a character from the book.”
Have you watched Luckiest Girl Alive on Netflix? If you have, what did you think of the movie? And if you haven’t, is it one that’s on your watch list? Have you read the book the movie is based on? Or is that on your TBR list? What did you think about Nicole Huff’s amazing performance? Are you excited to see her in her next role? Do you recognize her from her past roles? Find and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @capeandcastle. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Sarah_Jeanne17. And be sure to check out our site for more content on all things Disney and beyond!