Rising star Elliot Frances Flynn stops by on Close-Up Culture to discuss her roles in the upcoming films, Linoleum and Confession.
Hi Elliot, welcome to Close-Up Culture. You play Francoise in the drama, Linoleum. What can you tell us about Francoise?
Francoise is a new hire to the museum where Erin (Rhea Seehorn) works, and she is tasked with showing my character the ropes. Francoise was a breath of fresh air for me because she’s so optimistic. She has no baggage. She is completely unencumbered. She’s a foil to Erin in that way – I, Francoise, have my whole life ahead of me, and a fulfilling professional career that’s just beginning, and for Erin, that isn’t the case. Erin wanted to do something “fantastic” with her life – a word that recurs throughout the film – and feels that she really hasn’t. Nevertheless, Francoise is completely starry-eyed for Erin.
You also star in the Me-Too inspired thriller, Confession. Can you tell us about your experience working on that project?
I really loved working on this movie. It was a first for me in a lot of ways – Whitney, my character, is a substantial character in the film, and taking that on was exciting and scary. But I felt so so safe and supported. I got to work with a lot of smart, talented, lovely women on this project. Being in their company was so supportive, and aspirational, really.
What can audiences expect from Confession?
Confession is a crime thriller. So there’s a bit of what you definitely should expect – twists, high stakes. Guns, even. But I will say something to look forward to is that there is a strong emotional undercurrent in this story. It’s powerful. It’s my favorite thing about the movie.
I can tell from your socials that you love to read. Tell us a book character you’d love to play in a film adaptation. And why?
Ahh yes! I do love to read. I just read Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman and was completely blown away by it. I simultaneously feel seen, and like I have a lot more to think about in regards to my relationship with feminism, sex, and relationships. Everything the book deals with are things I want to explore in my own work.
You’re a writer as well as an actor. What are your earliest memories of wanting to perform and tell stories?
I think that performing and storytelling was an escape for me from the jump. As an adult, now, I recognize it, but it was something very unsaid when I was young. I was really shy as a kid, and reading – fantasy, mostly – allowed me to escape. And then performing, which really was simply a way for me to act out being in the fantasy worlds I loved in books, allowed me to open up. When I was in elementary school, my teacher read us Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone during storytime. I remember very viscerally my excitement when we would gather on the rug. I didn’t even care if my butt hurt from sitting on the floor for that long. And when the first Harry Potter movie was coming out, I was like, “wait, I can watch this?” It was the most exciting thing to me.
What do you love most about storytelling?
I feel very safe, seen, and cared for when I see a movie or read a book that reflects something about my own character, my own personhood. “Oh, I’m not crazy,” is a constant realization I have. I think that is what I love the most: it allows people to feel, even in a passing moment, that they aren’t alone.
What are your ambitions and dreams for the future?
I definitely hope to create my own stories that allow people to feel seen. I do love to write and hope to produce a feature of my own. I’m stepping into producing and directing this year and my dream is that I don’t collapse under my fears before it happens. Generally, I hope to tell meaningful stories for as long as I can. And I hope to do it with other passionate people. Which is my favorite thing about filmmaking, by the way. Every person there is working together to make something, to use a topical word, “fantastic.”
Photographer: Nelson N Castillo
MUA: Mia Jones
Hair: Josue Perez
Wardrobe stylist: Szalay Miller