Spontaneous arrived on Video on Demand last week, introducing audiences to an unexpected and incredibly charming new release. The teen rom-com follows Mara (Katherine Langford) and Dylan (Charlie Plummer), two high school seniors whose lives are changed forever after one of their classmates literally explodes to smithereens at school. As the inexplicable spontaneous combustions become more common, and the government tries to figure out why they're happening, the local community tries to navigate their new normal. Among the characters trying to come to terms with this new life is Tess (Hayley Law), Mara's best friend who has a unique and essential perspective on the explosions.
With a filmography that includes playing Josie and the Pussycats member Valerie Brown on The CW's Riverdale, and playing Lizzie Elliot on Netflix's Altered Carbon, Law is no stranger to teen media or to boundary-pushing genre projects. But with Spontaneous, the actor and singer truly shines, bringing an earnestness to such an unconventional story.
In celebration of Spontaneous' debut, ComicBook.com got a chance to chat with Law about her role in the film, and how the project has taken on a completely different meaning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We also spoke about Altered Carbon's cancellation, the recent conversation surrounding representation on Riverdale, and how she really wants to play a superhero.
ComicBook.com: What drew you to Spontaneous? Because it is such an unconventional movie, especially in the teen movie world.
Hayley Law: Oh yeah. I felt like it was very original and just a different take on a teen dark comedy. I guess it's a little bit of a drama too. But I don't feel like there's a lot of movies like this. When I first read it, I was shocked and a little bit bummed out on how it ended. But after I watched it, I felt like it left people in a really optimistic place, especially young people that watched the movie. I hope that they take that away from the ending and the story. I think it's really original and different.prevnext
The movie obviously has such a different relevance now, compared to when you guys initially filmed it. What has it been like to have it take a whole new meaning amid an actual pandemic?
It's quite shocking. I don't think anybody ever thought that this was going to be relevant. I mean, I know Aaron, the author of the book, was not thinking about it ever being close to relevant or hoping that it wouldn't be relevant. But I think it has a more important message now than it did when we shot it. And I thought it was crazy when we shot it, but I think what it says means more today, and I'm glad that it's coming out now.prevnext
What was it like working with Katherine? Your dynamic was so great.
It was really nice. I feel like we became fast friends. We had only known each other - I think we hung twice before we started shooting - but it really felt like I had known her for years. She's so great, and Charlie is the best. So the three of us just had such a good time working together.prevnext
Now that you've watched the movie, is there a scene in it that you're especially proud of?
I really loved the one with me and Katherine in the sleeping bag quarantining. Brian let us kind of play around and improvise that scene, and the improvised version made it into the movie, which I was so happy about. We just had so much fun just messing around and being silly, and I'm so glad it worked out.
Also, I was very pleased - as pleased as you can be - with how much blood there was with the classroom and running in the hallway and that huge waterfall of blood. I thought they made it look quite as nice. I thought that looked really good.prevnext
What was that like, from an acting standpoint, to have to work knowing that those explosions and all the fake blood were going to come in? When I talked to Brian about it, he had mentioned that everyone could really only do each take one time, because otherwise, you'd have to reset and clean everybody up. So what was that like, knowing that it was coming, but also having to pretend to be unprepared for it?
It was probably the hardest part of the movie, trying to look normal knowing that you must get shot in the face with a blood cannon. Brian was like, "We've got to do this one time, or else it's going to take five hours to reset." And we were like, "No."
I wish that we didn't know who was going to explode. I mean, it looked great and we only had to do it, I think, once for the scenes with lots of people. But it was just so hard to not wince right before the line that you knew somebody said right before someone exploded.prevnext
You've been a part of teen, high school-set media before, most notably with Riverdale. How did that differ from Spontaneous, especially since it's so unconventional and more of a genre movie?
I mean, I thought that Riverdale was crazy, but it's definitely not this crazy. [laughs] It's normal compared to Spontaneous. I thought it couldn't get crazier for high school students, and then I did this and then I was like, "Oh my God, what is happening with high school?" But it's fun to do a more extreme, weird, sci-fi-ish high school story.
I do feel like if characters started exploding on Riverdale, it would be like, "Oh, of course. This is just the natural escalation of the plot."
Yeah. You wouldn't be that surprised.prevnext
Earlier this summer, a conversation started online about representation in media, and I know that a lot of your Riverdale castmates were part of that conversation. I was wondering if there was anything you wanted to say about that, because it feels like Tess, in particular, is a step in the right direction in terms of being a three-dimensional character.
I'm very happy that the last year has brought a light to representation in film. It was something, before, that I think a lot of people of color felt like we couldn't talk about, because we have to kind of just be happy that we were there. I don't want anyone to feel like I'm not grateful for opportunities, but it's really nice that other cast members, on Twitter and stuff, started the conversation. I really am happy and I'm hoping that it continues. I hope that it starts to get more and more inclusive, but it's been nice that people have noticed because we've been noticing for a long time. So it's nice that people are finally speaking up about it.prevnext
Hopping over to another fandom that you're a part of -- the reaction on social media when Altered Carbon got canceled was so visceral. I saw so many people who were upset about it and thought that the show was so great. What was it like to see that outpouring from fans after that news came out?
It's so nice. Whenever I meet fans of Altered Carbon, they're so passionate, and they know more about the show than I do. It's such a great fan base. I was sad too, and it just nice that we were all kind of sad together because we put so much work into the show and it was great. It's one of my favorite things I've ever worked on, and I'm so happy that I got to be a part of it.
Everything is still so uncertain, so I wasn't holding my breath on anything getting renewed, because you never know what's going on. And that's such a huge, huge show. It takes a whole village to put one scene together. But I'm just happy that people like it, and I'm glad that we got to shoot as much as we did. I would've been on that show for 40 seasons if I could. I loved it so much.prevnext
So I've seen you tweet in that past that you want to play a superhero. Being from ComicBook.com, I have to ask if there's a certain one that you have in mind.
I would do any. I actually love getting this question because I don't think anyone sees me talking about how badly I want to be a superhero. But I want to be one so bad. As they were casting for She-Hulk, I was like, "I'll do it." And then I saw that Tatiana Maslany got it, but she's great. I never thought about her for it, but when I saw she got cast, I was like, "Oh my God, she's perfect." She's going to be so good.
Are there any other characters that you can think of that you definitely would love a chance to play?
Ooh, it's tough. I haven't pinpointed any one, but I want to do anything. I just want to have powers. And I love everything that comes with the role of being a Marvel superhero. I want to inspire kids, and young boys and girls, and I just love all of it. And also I want to get jacked and fly on set. [laughs] I just love comic books and I just want to do that.
I just started watching The Boys and I was like, "Oh yeah, this is dark. I want to do it." That one's a way scarier, though. I'd rather be a positive superhero than one from The Boys, for sure.prevnext
What has it been like for you, both in terms of acting and music, trying to be an entertainer amid this uncertain time that everybody's in?
It's been rough. It's been hard and challenging, and I've been trying to be so creative with what I can do. It's starting to open up a little bit now, but the last six months or so was just nothing. It was just all films being quiet. I have music that's done, thank God. I've been putting music out, and I'm putting a song out this month. But I love performing. It's really forced me to be positive and creative with how I can share art. It's hard, but I'm figuring it out.0comments
Spontaneous is now available on Video on Demand.prev