‘Afterlife of the Party’ stars Victoria Justice and Midori Francis talk about the supernatural comedy
The stars talk about shooting in Cape Town, South Africa, and how the remote location brought them together.
In ‘Afterlife of the Party,’ Victoria Justice and Midori Francis play best friends Cassie and Lisa. After an argument, Cassie dies in a freak accident, only to discover that she’s going to have to play guardian angel to Lisa. The two actors spent time with us to talk about the movie.
Moviefone: Victoria, what was your first reaction to this premise?
Victoria Justice: I loved it. I like stories that are about the afterlife. One of my favorite movies is a romantic comedy called Just Like Heaven, and I think it's a really fun concept. And one that also brings a lot of hope and comfort to people, which I think is cool. But I love the fact that this movie, at its core, is about female friendship. It's about forgiveness. It's about second chances. And also just not taking a day of life for granted because you never know when it's going to be your last.
MF: Absolutely. Midori, what is the friendship between Cassie and Lisa? Because they're very different people.
Midori Francis: Yeah. It's funny. They're different in a lot of the external ways. How they dress, who they hang out with, what their jobs are. But, at the root of this is like a connection that they've had since they've been five years old that carries them through. I think Cassie can be a little bit more goofy and nerdy with Lisa. And I think that Lisa can be more of herself with Cassie than maybe she shows the world. So while they are different, I think that deep profound long-term connection of seeing each other, of finishing each other's sentences, that's kind of the thread.
MF: Where was this movie filmed?
Justice: Cape Town, South Africa.
MF: It's beautiful. I mean, the location is beautiful. What memories do you have from this shoot?
Justice: So many.
Francis: So many memories.
Justice: Honestly, it was such a unique experience because we filmed in the middle of a pandemic. So we were all living in this bubble together. We had to quarantine first for 10 days. I think it was. And then, we were set free in our little bubble, but we couldn't leave the bubble. So we would just see each other every single day, like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You're with your same peeps every day. We really got a chance to hang out and bond more than you usually would when you're making a movie. And it felt like a really emotional and more poignant experience too, because of just doing something in the middle of a pandemic. We hadn't worked in a while. I feel we were all really grateful to be there. It was an exceptionally kind and good group of humans.
MF: That is the preparation right there for the role. Just being there.
Francis: Yeah, 100%. You're not wrong. You're not wrong. I saw Vic for dinner. I saw Vic walking outside of my hotel. I saw Vic in the bathroom, you know what I mean? Everywhere you go is each other. And also, we were led by a lot of incredible female producers. We had Robin from Netflix, and we had Vlokkie on that South African side. He really designed our bubble. Yeah. And also the crew was mostly local Capetonian or Joburg South Africans. And they were the most hardworking, kind crew I've ever been with. We would be hanging by the pool and there would be somebody from the sound department right next to us. We were all together.
Justice: Yeah. It was so great. We felt like a team. And we really had a deep appreciation for every single person, and every person's job was equally important. It was really cool.
MF: Well, after watching this movie, it really makes me think about really trying to find forgiveness to people before it's too late, making bonding friendships that are here before it's too late. So going through this process of actually making this movie, did you personally take away from this movie anything like that?
Francis: Yeah. I mean, for sure when I was watching, I'm sure subconsciously, but when I rewatched it recently, I did think about forgiveness a lot. And especially, it's interesting when Cassie and I haven't talked to each other for a year. It's actually ourselves who we need to forgive. There's so much shame. It's like, "Why she doesn't want to see me and I don't want to see her." Because I'm so ashamed of how I treat her that night. It kind of just made me think, "Wow, what am I not forgiving myself for?" Yeah. And the power of... Yeah, like that.
Justice: Yeah. As a reminder and in friendships, sometimes when you fight with people, sometimes it's just, like you said, we can get so in our heads about what we did wrong, or sometimes it's just about putting your ego aside and just being like, "Okay. This person is more important to me than this fight or whatever". It's worth more than just holding a grudge onto the small stuff, I guess.