Photography by Christopher Dibble
Drugs, robbing, and shit going wrong,” is how Israel Broussard describes Sofia Coppola’s very millennial true-crime drama The Bling Ring, based on the real-life Los Angeles–area teenagers who burgled more $3 million in cash and belongings from stars like Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge, Megan Fox, and Lindsay Lohan between 2008 and 2009.
In a cast that includes Emma Watson and Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Broussard plays Marc, the male lead and the best friend of the clique’s ringleader, Rachel (newcomer Katie Chang).
“He’s an insecure person, very self-conscious and lonely,” says Broussard. “[Rachel] takes him in, and he feels so lucky to have her that he does whatever she tells him, like a puppy dog.”
Raised and home-schooled in Mississippi, the well-mannered 18-year-old (who’s inclined to say “Goodness!” in conversation) received a crash course in iced coffee drinks, My Super Sweet 16 privilege, and Sunset Plaza fashion while shooting the film.
“I learned a lot from Bling Ring,” he says with a laugh. “Things like Dior, Marc Jacobs, and Y-3.” That education also came from movie’s surreal locations, like the house of real-life “Bling Ring” victim Paris Hilton. “In the movie, there are pillows with her face and pictures of her on the walls, and that’s all legit,” Broussard says.
As he braces himself for the film’s release on June 14, he’ll take a three-week retreat to South Dakota to work in his uncle’s parachute store. After that, plan to see a lot from the rising scene-stealer. “Mom always said, ‘Do what you’re good at,’ ” says Broussard. “I guess it’s been paying off so far.”
Watch a trailer for The Bling Ring below: