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

scary Apple TV+ Marvel aapi See It Skip It Best Director dragons APB video on demand BET Awards Binge Guide reviews Fantasy diversity The Purge El Rey classics ratings period drama LGBTQ foreign Logo SXSW 2022 supernatural Showtime talk show adenture HBO news kids die hard The CW best independent Dark Horse Comics japanese Film Festival ITV 94th Oscars Anna Paquin GIFs Infographic romantic comedy chucky Black History Month dc action-comedy BBC Disney+ Disney Plus Comedy technology AMC razzies rom-coms Hallmark Christmas movies SDCC Television Academy worst movies comic book movie Fox News sports boxing YouTube Red social media dogs RT History space Prime Video The Arrangement IFC adaptation TV movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina natural history cars movie 2018 Sundance TV sag awards Epix Tags: Comedy hidden camera CW Seed Cosplay Comedy Central theme song VICE CNN CBS Oscar spain based on movie cops cults Ovation pirates of the caribbean Paramount fast and furious thriller Superheroe cancelled TV series NBA new york 79th Golden Globes Awards deadpool game show Apple TV Plus dramedy Valentine's Day new zealand Election Nat Geo Mary Tyler Moore comic book movies Podcast Academy Awards witnail Trivia Superheroes renewed TV shows Alien spider-verse DGA golden globe awards historical drama Broadway werewolf universal monsters james bond 93rd Oscars latino WGN A&E ABC Rock politics BAFTA Pacific Islander concert olympics Pop Black Mirror police drama YouTube Premium The Academy international Box Office anime breaking bad critics Animation Disney Hulu Best Picture Disney Plus Image Comics Spike Lucasfilm Endgame Interview cancelled versus children's TV Comics on TV live event 90s Legendary Martial Arts fresh crossover Netflix justice league TBS Nickelodeon Country Writers Guild of America know your critic docudrama 99% dceu Acorn TV animated Warner Bros. zombie OWN Paramount Network toy story true crime TruTV book adaptation Toys movies First Reviews book Comic-Con@Home 2021 Britbox Kids & Family spanish language science fiction black comedy MGM streaming Fox Searchlight royal family Star Wars obituary stoner casting spanish jurassic park crime drama DC Comics Amazon Prime BBC America kong The Walt Disney Company Crackle 007 Best Actress 2020 FX Action USA Network 2016 TIFF RT21 spy thriller harry potter Cartoon Network nature gangster 2019 Women's History Month rt archives Brie Larson X-Men Character Guide slashers young adult Chernobyl aliens blockbusters zombies Photos Sundance Now series binge Hallmark 1990s WarnerMedia 71st Emmy Awards Spring TV TV Land BET 72 Emmy Awards Discovery Channel USA satire Best and Worst batman revenge Calendar stop motion south america zero dark thirty sequel transformers halloween tv jamie lee curtis Universal Pictures Teen Holiday popular Sneak Peek prank dexter Reality Competition Emmy Nominations christmas movies disaster New York Comic Con Travel Channel ABC Family indiana jones IMDb TV Peacock Instagram Live travel IFC Films mockumentary quibi dreamworks basketball Hollywood Foreign Press Association YA summer preview Nominations Video Games National Geographic australia blockbuster italian Lifetime Disney Channel Food Network ID dark Lifetime Christmas movies Winter TV Universal blaxploitation Drama doctor who Music Tumblr comiccon 4/20 documentary legend robots sequels docuseries TV renewals TCA Winter 2020 Grammys twilight mob scorecard CBS All Access Television Critics Association elevated horror psycho remakes Holidays Tarantino lord of the rings crime TCA 2017 boxoffice Tokyo Olympics Spectrum Originals telelvision laika ESPN game of thrones streaming movies Adult Swim Polls and Games ViacomCBS biography Countdown worst Mudbound VOD heist movie Walt Disney Pictures 20th Century Fox NBC President FOX LGBT American Society of Cinematographers criterion Christmas Biopics GoT Best Actor composers nfl PaleyFest summer TV preview Opinion Sci-Fi TCA documentaries Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt hollywood E3 suspense Baby Yoda romance comic Pride Month canceled TV shows Rocky Extras Watching Series scene in color asian-american Pixar monster movies tv talk YouTube Wes Anderson Heroines Paramount Plus San Diego Comic-Con golden globes spider-man live action a nightmare on elm street wonder woman french Tubi Apple FXX Turner Classic Movies Certified Fresh serial killer anthology marvel cinematic universe Netflix Christmas movies Premiere Dates parents PBS spinoff Mary poppins Creative Arts Emmys Sony Pictures new star wars movies vs. 45 directors Trailer MSNBC Reality Comic Book joker hispanic heritage month feel good Amazon trailers green book cooking discovery Neflix superman Emmys television child's play rt labs critics edition Fargo TCA Awards finale football Arrowverse TV Family A24 Awards Tour hispanic black rt labs Summer psychological thriller Ghostbusters 21st Century Fox 2015 TLC comedies war VH1 godzilla indie king kong what to watch Winners canceled adventure Masterpiece Bravo The Witch Pop TV E! slasher facebook award winner genre nbcuniversal sitcom Year in Review Oscars HFPA cinemax teaser comics festival toronto Elton John Funimation miniseries comic books History CMT 24 frames cancelled TV shows Musicals unscripted reboot Turner Shondaland The Walking Dead Fall TV Star Trek Sundance Set visit crime thriller Avengers kaiju FX on Hulu stand-up comedy Rom-Com DirecTV TNT BBC One Musical Marvel Studios mutant japan free movies Horror films Trophy Talk medical drama all-time DC Universe HBO Max critic resources king arthur archives Ellie Kemper 2021 Exclusive Video scary movies emmy awards Schedule Mystery franchise mission: impossible richard e. Grant rotten Esquire Tomatazos Stephen King singing competition streamig GLAAD Crunchyroll saw hist 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards target TCM summer TV mcc Shudder Mindy Kaling Pirates Amazon Studios PlayStation Captain marvel NYCC debate Western Thanksgiving Pet Sematary Super Bowl rotten movies we love vampires leaderboard 2017 halloween strong female leads Marvel Television women Columbia Pictures superhero OneApp Freeform biopic Syfy Mary Poppins Returns Awards Film Quiz Red Carpet Cannes MCU HBO Go political drama Vudu trophy 73rd Emmy Awards Classic Film screen actors guild screenings Starz ABC Signature cats ghosts Marathons marvel comics video SundanceTV sopranos Song of Ice and Fire art house DC streaming service SXSW obi wan festivals Hear Us Out South by Southwest Film Festival Lionsgate TV One high school AMC Plus Disney streaming service posters Rocketman venice cancelled television MTV name the review Amazon Prime Video First Look cartoon