Paving the way for young Latinas is the beautiful and talented Odette Yustman. After making her mark on the big screen in J.J. Abram’s Cloverfield, she starred in the David Goyer-directed psychological thriller The Unborn opposite Gary Oldman and Cam Gigandet. Most recently, she wrapped production on the thriller And Soon the Darkness, in which she stars alongside Amber Heard.
Other upcoming credits include the action-comedy Operation: Endgame, in which Yustman stars alongside Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames and Rob Corddry, as well as Group Sex, a comedy that centers on a group of sexually addicted adults and their support group. On the small screen, Yustman played Aubrey in the ABC drama October Road.
MoviesOnline sat down with Odette to talk about her new film and what happens when your high school nemesis comes back to haunt you. She told us how she went about convincing director Andy Fickman to cast her in the role, what inspired her character, and what it was like making the transition into a romantic comedy and starring opposite a terrific female cast that included Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Betty White.
Odette also updated us on her upcoming projects including the indie comedy Group Sex with Zach Galifianakis, dark comedy Operation: Endgame, thriller And Soon The Darkness, spy thriller The Double with Richard Gere and Topher Grace, and comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.
Q: Who did your outfit today?
ODETTE: I’ve got Dolce & Gabbana and some Jimmy Choo. I don’t know who this belt is by, but I’d like to own it.
Q: Keep it.
ODETTE: I know, right? It sounds so easy.
Q: What was your high school experience like – good, bad or otherwise? What were you like and did you have any frenemies or nemesis?
ODETTE: Yes, all of the above. I feel like… Let me just preface this by saying I had a great time in high school. I really did. I went to a private Christian high school and I graduated in a class of 67 kids so it was pretty small and I knew everybody. I really knew everybody and I loved everybody. I was friends with all the little clicks in high school and I had my own, but I was still really friendly with everybody. Now I did have a bully. She was horrible. I still think about her to this day. I feel like you’ll always carry that feeling with you. If you ever were bullied, you always remember that feeling and that’s why I think that this movie is going to be so great and people are going to relate to it so much because a lot of people have had a bad experience at some point or another in their life with a bully or a frenemy, if you will. So yes, I did have a frenemy and I did have a good time in high school except for that little mean girl that I had to deal with.
Q: Did you look her up?
ODETTE: I’ve done a little investigating. Of course, I have. I haven’t seen her and I’ve moved on obviously, but it would be nice to get an apology. It would be.
Q: Was she a source of inspiration for your character?
ODETTE: Yes! Absolutely! She was a source of inspiration. That’s one of the reasons why I really loved the script because it reminded me right away. I was like “Oh my God, I get to play this girl. I get to draw inspiration from this and I actually get to be redeeming and that gives me a little bit of hope. And that was really fun for me. You know, playing this character, it was really fun to be evil. I gotta be honest. It was fun. I had a great time with it and I’ll leave it there, but I had a great time.
Q: How was the jump for you, coming into a romantic comedy which is a totally new genre for you?
ODETTE: Terrifying. I was very nervous. I was really insecure coming into the role. I was working with Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White and Kristen Bell and all these women that are really funny, naturally just funny, funny people. I was nervous but I pulled it together and I really learned from all of them. I was able to make it through because none of them were catty. We actually all had a really great relationship. You’d think that they would be or with so many women there’s bound to be something that will happen, but no. It was great.
Q: The wedding scene was lovely. Would you like a wedding like that?
ODETTE: Oh, thank you. I’m actually getting married very soon. No, I’m much more of a not so fussy person. I just really want a big party. I want good food, a lot of dancing, some cocktails flowing and that’s really all that I need. I want it to be an outdoorsy and organic feeling. But the wedding in the movie was really beautiful and it gave me those little butterflies that women feel.
Q: Would you wear a dress like that or do you have one picked out?
ODETTE: I do have one picked out. I gotta be honest. I tried on a lot of dresses for this movie. There were so many beautiful dresses but when I tried that last one on, the one that I wore in the movie, I thought for a second I could wear it for my own wedding.
Q: Is your dress similar?
ODETTE: It’s actually not that similar. Mine is a little tighter and then it flows, but it’s not similar. I thought I would go for more of a Grecian feeling but I didn’t.
Q: Do you have a date for that?
ODETTE: Yes, but I want to keep that more private. I will be a married woman by the end of the year.
Q: What do you think about the idea of second chances and what kind of second chances have you had?
ODETTE: I’m into them. I like second chances. I’ve given people second chances. I mean, you have fall outs with friends and forgiveness is a great thing to have. It’s not easy to forgive. I definitely don’t forget, but I do forgive and I think that you should. I know, horrible. Right? But I do think that everybody deserves a second chance. So, if my high school bully would like, I would accept that apology.
Q: Do you want to put their name out so that we can …?
ODETTE: No. Absolutely not. That would be very embarrassing.
Q: They don’t know?
ODETTE: Yeah, right. You know who you are.
Q: Kristen and Andy have a long working relationship. She was just talking about the bond that they have. When you go into a situation like that, can you tell us what that triad was like?
ODETTE: They’ve got an interesting relationship, Kristen and Andy. They know each other very, very well. Coming into that was a little intimidating because they know how they work. They just know each other like the back of their hand and they work really well together. I thought wow. I’m not experienced in comedy. I’m a little intimidated, but they’re both so warm and so welcoming and Kristen really is a good friend of mine now. Being together on a set for hours and hours and hours, I didn’t have my girlfriends so I had Kristen. I just dished out all of my gossip. I was like “Here’s the deal. I need relationship advice. I need this. I know you don’t know me, but let’s get to know each other. And she was very willing to do so and opened her arms wide and we had a great time.
Q: Did she give you any wedding advice?
ODETTE: She’s engaged as well. So we can. Yeah.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about how you found the tone to play her because at times I hated her and there were other times when I was really sympathetic toward her and it keeps going back and forth? How hard was it to find that level for you?
ODETTE: It was an interesting balance and there was a fine line. I really, really needed to make the character redeemable at the end because if not, I don’t know if we would have had a movie. So I hope that I did that. But then I also needed to take the meanness to a level where people really didn’t like her and that’s hard for me. I was always like “Wow, am I taking it too far?” I didn’t want to push it too much but at the end of the day you have to realize that you are playing a character and there are different levels. You have to hit them and you can’t feel sorry for it. You have to go for it and you have to let it go. You have to trust yourself and you have to know that the work you’re doing is what you’ve prepared for and that’s it. You can drive yourself crazy every single day thinking “Oh God, I didn’t nail it. I didn’t do this. I didn’t do that.” But I really do feel like I prepared for this role and I feel like hopefully it translates on film that I was sympathetic too. Hopefully the audience will feel sorry enough that they are excited for her to marry the brother.
Q: Did you have to convince them that you could do comedy because Hollywood likes to put people in boxes?
ODETTE: I know. Oh I feel so lucky that I was able to do this comedy. I sort of stalked Andy. We had a meeting and he decided to meet with me. He was like “Okay, this girl has never done comedy. I’m clearly the comedy guy. Why am I meeting with her?” But I was pitching myself so hard. I was like “Please! I really, really love this movie. It hits home for me. I’ve gotta do this, Andy.” He was like, “Well, you know, I think you’re great but I don’t know what you can do.” So we had to go through the whole auditioning process. I auditioned with Kristen in the room and that was crazy. That was to do a chemistry read. Ultimately, I won the role. Hopefully, it was because I was so eager and I pushed and pushed and pushed. But it ended up working out and I’m so thankful.
Q: What do you have coming up next? Will there be any comedies or is it more dramas?
ODETTE: There’s a couple of comedies in there. Group Sex was an independent comedy about a group of sex addicts and that was really fun. That was my first comedy and then Operation: Endgame which I haven’t seen. I haven’t seen Group Sex. I have a hard time watching myself. It was a really funny script. It was a dark comedy more than anything. I got to work with Zach Galifianakis who’s huge right now and that was fun.
Q: And there are a couple others – And Soon the Darkness and Rogue’s Gallery?
ODETTE: That’s a thriller. Rogue’s Gallery is Operation: Endgame. They changed the title. So that’s a dark comedy. And Soon the Darkness is a thriller.
Q: What about The Double?
ODETTE: Yes, I just wrapped that one. It’s a spy thriller with Richard Gere and Topher Grace. I play Topher Grace’s wife. So I get to play a mom in this movie. I had a little baby and a 5-year-old kid. We started young clearly (laughs) and that was great too.
Q: Did you do the voice in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2?
ODETTE: I did do that. I’d always wanted to lend my voice to a character. I did a voice for this video game, Fallout 3. That was really fun. I had a great time, especially since I could show up in PJs and not have to worry about how I looked. And Beverly Hills Chihuahua was such a great kid’s movie. All of my little cousins are like “Wow! You get to be Chloe. That’s so cool!” I did it a lot for them and it’s just a way to get in there.
Q: Did you get to talk to Jamie Lee Curtis at all about doing the Beverly Hills Chihuahua phenomenon?
ODETTE: Yes, she was very excited for me. They actually brought in Chloe and Poppy on set while we were shooting You Again, the two Chihuahuas in the movie, so that I can meet them and see Chloe’s little mannerisms. It was great.
Q: Have you met all your in-laws at this point and have you gotten the approval of everybody?
ODETTE: I’ve met the whole gang. I have. Yes. They’re wonderful. They’re all New Yorkers. So they’re very sassy and fun. Great family. And the best thing is that both families work well together because sometimes that can be really tricky. I love my future in-laws. They’re a riot. They’re awesome.
Q: Do you have a sister-in-law?
ODETTE: I have two. One just had a baby and the other one will not stop hounding me about what she should wear to the wedding? What kind of shoes? What should our kids wear?
Q: Will you be going to the Emmys at all?
ODETTE: I won’t be going to the Emmys. I think Dave and I will probably go to a few parties and mingle a little bit.
Q: Do you have any plans to work together in the future?
ODETTE: He really wants to work together but I think it’s a horrible idea. It’s like why would you want to do that? If we have an argument while we’re working together, it’s just going to go back home. I don’t know. It might get messy. But listen, I may be open to the idea of doing a few episodes on Brothers and Sisters. That’s been thrown out there.
Q: Rebecca’s not coming back.
ODETTE: Right. So they’ll probably find a girl for him to meet and Dave’s like “Please, please, please!” And I’m like “Sweetie, I love you, but let’s just mmmmm we’ll see.”
Q: Have you done anything romantically?
ODETTE: He’s the most romantic man I know. I’ve really learned from him. He’s so romantic. He does different things every single day. He always brings me flowers and does that whole thing. We work really well together. We’re best friends which is the best part.
Q: You seem so happy and excited. Have you always been this way?
ODETTE: I’ve always been a pretty optimistic person, but now more than ever I feel like it’s a really happy time in my life and I’m really excited.
Q: Maybe you could have a double wedding with Kristen?
ODETTE: A double wedding? I don’t think she wants to go the route I’m going but that would be fun.
You Again opens in theaters on September 24th.