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

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