The following post contains slight spoilers for Netflix’s The Perfection.
There’s something quite twisted about Netflix’s new movie, The Perfection. About the relationship between a troubled musical prodigy, a new star pupil, and their teacher, the dramatic thriller, available on the streaming platform now, has enough twists, turns, and unexpected plot points to keep a viewer guessing. And that’s exactly what made leads Allison Williams and Logan Browning sign on.
“I was drawn to this role because I couldn’t figure [the character] out,” Williams told Out. “I always think that’s a good sign, as I’m reading a script, because it means that the character has multiple layers to her. She’s not an archetype that I feel like I’ve seen before. She’s a very specific person, [and] the movie made room for that, and it begged for that kind of deeper character development.”
Browning agreed, adding that having two women lead such a genre specific picture was a feat that intrigued her.
The Perfection follows Williams’ Charlotte who, as a child, was a star cello player. Her instructor, Anton (Steven Weber), saw to it. But when Charlotte experiences a life-defining moment, she gives up her gift. Years later, Charlotte returns to her former school to meet the new star player Elizabeth (Browning). What results is a sinister story of love, betrayal, and revenge directed by Emmy Award-winning Richard Shepard (Ugly Betty).
The roles serve two different purposes for the actresses. For Browning, Elizabeth is a character we’ve never seen her play before. On Dear White People, she leads as a seriously flawed student activist. Then there was her role on the romantic drama Hit the Floor. But here, she demonstrates an ability to turn out a darkly-motivated character with ease.
And as for Williams, while Charlotte is surely reminiscent of her spell-binding turn as Rose in Jordan Peele’s blockbuster Get Out, she’s spinning the audience’s expectations on their head.
“With Get Out, I learned so much about the psychological thriller genre… and I also learned that it’s possible to use my career against itself, meaning Jordan expected the audience to understand Rose immediately because of my appearance, my role on Girls, and my biography. And then he used that against the audience,” she said. “So, given that many of the people who see The Perfection might have watched Get Out, I figured it would be good to do the same thing again: use the distrust from the audience to inform the way they should feel about Charlotte when the movie begins. I’ve fooled them once, so they’ll be on high alert for me to do it again. It fuels the ride.”
That ride includes a steamy scene between Charlotte and Elizabeth. And while the characters aren’t labeled as lesbian or queer, that’s another facet of what drew the actresses to the story.
“It’s just there,” said Browning. “We don’t focus on it or put a label on it because it’s just a part of their lives.”
Williams agreed, noting that one of the things she loved about the script ‘is that it became clear to me that the movie was going to be about a duet, in so many ways.”
“And that particular scene is intercut with two other duets — one when they’re dancing and one when they’re playing an actual cello duet, so I saw the scene as just another expression of their connection,” she said. “I loved that the movie didn’t seek to label them or sensationalize or exploit their feelings towards each other. They are two people who feel deeply connected with each other, and they’re attracted to each other.”
The Perfection can be streamed on Netflix now.