Fans of The Bold Type will no doubt be excited to see Aisha Dee in her new Australian horror satire flick, Sissy. However, the star isn't sugarcoating it, revealing that she believes it's an "uncomfortable" movie to watch.
In Sissy, the 29-year-old plays Cecilia, a 20-something wellness influencer, who lives a seemingly perfect life on-camera with thousands of followers, and a very isolated and different life off-camera. When she unexpectedly bumps into her childhood best friend Emma (Hannah Barlow) and finds herself invited to her bachelorette weekend, she's excited.
However, things take a shocking wrong turn when Cecilia realises the weekend has been planned by her childhood bully Alex (Emily De Margheriti), who also has no idea Cecilia will be in attendance and makes it clear she doesn't want her there.
Tensions among the group increase, and Cecilia finds herself further isolated and wanting revenge on the person who hurt her so much as a child. Oddly enough, you find yourself rooting for Cecilia as she begins enacting her (very bloody) revenge.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle ahead of the film's release, Aisha revealed that she had been wanting to return to Australia for a project for a while but hadn't found a project she was passionate about until she read the script for Sissy.
"I think that the collective trauma that everyone was going through in 2020, as well as some stuff for me personally, I think it just made the themes feel that much more personal," Aisha said of Sissy. "And I'm not quite sure exactly what it is, I don't think I'm a psychopath, but I immediately just, I loved Cecilia, I just loved her. And I felt really defensive of her.
"And I felt like I wanted to fight for her and make sure that her story was told right, even though I know she's not a real person."
How lockdown helped Aisha feel 'deeply connected' to Cecilia
Speaking of the character, Aisha shared that she believes everyone can relate to Cecilia, telling us, "I think everyone can kind of see themselves in her and for different reasons, and whatever anyone's takeaway is, obviously, it's going to be different.
"But I do think there's there's something about her story that rings true for everyone and it's uncomfortable to think about, like, the movie is really uncomfortable and I think it's designed that way."
Aisha adds that her experience in lockdown and hotel quarantine helped her feel "deeply connected" to the character, telling us, "We were talking about this character who's kind of a pariah, like a social pariah. She's very isolated and socially awkward.
"And for the entire year of 2020, I sat in my apartment and then I was flown to Australia, did two weeks in the hotel quarantine which made me even that much more insane. And then I was thrust into Canberra which had no lockdowns, no restrictions or anything and suddenly I'm at dinner with 10 people feeling like my a** was gonna fall out. So I think like, all of that, it was kind of accidental, but all of those things that were happening kind of just made me feel really deeply connected to her."
During her two-week quarantine, Aisha got into Cecilia's head by filming a daily vlog, which she would send to the filmmakers, "Just like a daily vlog, pretending I wasn't in quarantine, just like giving tips. And I don't even remember what they were! But part of it I was just like, I'm just gonna send you guys some videos, just how I see her social media being you know?
"And so I was doing like TikTok dances and I was like, you know, giving them advice on different s**t, like it was completely unhinged. But yeah, I guess it was like accidental preparation."
Aisha on social media: 'I could absolutely do without it'
In the film, Cecilia gets her energy from social media, and she loves watching her posts flood with likes and comments, however, Aisha couldn't be more different.
"I could absolutely do without it," she said. "I love seeing my friends have babies on social media and seeing my friends do really cool things in the world. And, you know, I love to share my life via social media as well, but I think it's something that hasn't quite come completely naturally to me.
"I admire anyone's ability to like take a quick video and throw it on their story. If I'm having a moment I don't have the instinct to go to my phone. So yeah, I find social media, honestly, incredibly challenging to navigate because you do get that serotonin and you get that boost when you see like likes and comments, and I don't want to have that as a part of my day to day life. So anytime I have posted, I usually will like throw my phone into the ocean afterwards and just pretend like it doesn't exist," she added with a laugh.
"The thought of it almost gives me a lot of anxiety, actually, which I think is the opposite of the desired effect."
Fans will undoubtedly find this fact interesting, as Aisha is no stranger to playing social media-savvy characters, with her character Kat in The Bold Type being the social media manager of the fictional magazine Scarlet.
"It's so funny, I don't know what it is, because I'm so bad at it in my life!" she joked. "I feel bad for the people that follow me actually, I'm like, 'I apologise! I'll try to post more!'"
Aisha adds that if you do see a post on her Instagram account, it's likely something that a friend has posted for her, "I'll like show them a photo and be like, 'Should I post this?' And they'll be like, 'Yeah!' And I'll be like, 'OK, maybe one day I'll post it!' And they'll just grab my phone and post it and put their own f**king caption on there."
The 'challenging' move from The Bold Type to Sissy
Speaking of her shooting schedule, Aisha explains that going from The Bold Type to Sissy and back again to shoot the show's final season was "challenging".
"Honestly, I haven't thought about it in a really long time, but yeah, it was challenging," she explains. "I'd gone from being in lockdown in LA to then doing Sissy and being around hundreds of people every day. And then, I went back to Melbourne for Christmas. And, you know, there was no lockdown, it was like very free, and immediately, I was back in Montreal, filming the fifth season of The Bold Type, and there was a curfew every day.
"The only things that were open were like the pharmacy and the supermarket, wasn't allowed to see anyone, wasn't allowed to like, hug anyone or kiss anyone. It was like I did another quarantine when I went back to Montreal. So it was very challenging."
Aisha also shared that she's excited for fans of The Bold Type to watch her in something extremely different, "Honestly, when I read Sissy, and once it was really like kind of more finalised, I had this thought like, 'I hope people know, if they're fans of The Bold Type, and they're gonna watch this movie, I really hope they know what they're getting into.'
"But honestly, now I'm like, 'I hope they don't!' I hope everyone thinks they're about to watch one movie and then halfway through it switches on them and just scares the s**t out of them. I think that's the best way to experience the movie. And I love that it's talking about, I guess, similar things to The Bold Type, but from a completely different lens. Like, you know, it's posing different questions."
She added that her Bold Type co-stars Meghann Fahy and Katie Stevens haven't watched Sissy yet, saying with a laugh, "I hope they're still my friends after, I hope they don't think I'm crazy!"
'I'd love to do a gay rom-com!'
Aisha also shared that she hopes to work on more indie projects in the future but will do any project if "it feels fun and cool", including an SBS series that's out next year called Safe Home.
"I'd love to do a really gay rom-com. That would be fun!" she tells us. "I'd love to play a supervillain with no real skills, but somehow, you know, wins. I want to do dumb, weird stuff, and I want to do everything because I love playing make-believe! And that's really what it is. I don't really care if it's an indie or if it's not.
"But I do think there's something really special about, especially Australian independent stuff. There's a freedom that comes with that. And you can try things that maybe are a little bit off the wall and a little bit weird, but that's what I'm into."
"But like, I don't know what I'm doing, like, I'm not making strategic moves myself. I am literally just being like, 'Oh, how fun! I want to kill people in the outback. I want to be a magazine girl in New York and then something else that feels weird!'"
Sissy will be in cinemas November 3, with Halloween sneak previews from October 27.
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