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If You Love Queer Enemies-to-Lovers, Birds of Paradise Is For You

If You Love Queer Enemies-to-Lovers, Birds of Paradise Is For You


Out chats with the film's stars and creator to talk about queering up Amazon Prime Video's new coming-of-age drama.

"Blessed is she who falls. Blessed is she who rises again."

Amazon Prime Video's latest title -- Birds of Paradise -- is officially out now, and it's a wild, messy, dramatic, and expectation-flipping film that we didn't see coming, but are so glad we got to experience.

Helmed by writer-director Sarah Adina Smith (Buster's Mal Heart, Hanna) and starring Diana Silvers (Booksmart) and Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska, The Society), the film tells the story of an ambitious American dancer named Kate (Silvers) who is trying to fulfill her dream of becoming a world-renowned ballerina by attending an elite Parisian dance academy. Along the way, she encounters Marine (Froseth), her classmate, rival, and roommate, and although they don't get along at first (some insults and punches may or may not have been thrown on their very first encounter with each other), their relationship takes a turn, and they slowly but surely start to become infatuated with each other. (We LOVE a good enemies-to-lovers story!) That is, until jealousy, backstabbing, and the competition to become the best in the school start to get in the way.

Out got the chance to chat with the film's stars, Diana Silvers and Kristine Froseth, as well as writer-director Sarah Adina Smith, to talk about what it was like crafting such an enthralling -- and queer -- coming-of-age drama that gets you hooked within the first few moments.

"I feel so lucky that I have been able to play these roles," Silvers (who also starred as Hope, the queer love interest of Kaitlyn Dever's Amy in Olivia Wilde's 2019 coming-of-age comedy Booksmart) told Out about getting to bring more queer representation to audiences through films like Birds of Paradise. "It's just really important to show that there are no lines in sexuality. It's something of nature, and in nature there are no lines, you know?"

She continued: "For me, sexuality can't really be defined. It's a feeling, it's an instinct, it's like freedom. And I to get to play people that show that on-screen that hopefully inspire other people to feel comfortable in their sexuality, to feel like they can be whoever they wanna be, and love whoever they wanna love. It just feels really special. And it feels like I've been given this honor and this strange responsibility and I just hope I'm doing it right. And I hope I'm doing right by the queer community. I will say every time I get a message on Instagram or someone tweets at me and says, with Booksmart at least, 'Hope helped me come out to my parents,' or like, 'I just told this girl that I actually liked her,' I just get chills, I just got goosebumps. It's such a beautiful feeling and makes me feel like I'm actually doing my job as an actor. I'm just a vessel to tell stories and a vessel for empathy. So if it works, amazing."

Watch Out's full Birds of Paradise interview above. Birds of Paradise is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.