Troian’s new drama is now available on iTunes, and she gives HollywoodLife.com a look inside her damaged character.
Between her junior and senior years of college, before anyone knew her as one of the Pretty Little Liars, Troian Bellisario spent a summer in New York City, filming an intense indie drama called Consent. Five years later, Consent is finally being released on iTunes and on-demand, giving Troian’s fans the opportunity to see her tackle one of her darkest roles to date — sorry, Spencer! — and she tells HollywoodLife.com she’s excited for people to experience another side of her.
“I hope that my fans support me in all of my work,” Troian tells us. “While a lot of people may not be dealing with matters of incest, they are perhaps dealing with loss or sadness or simply trying to find themselves in high school, where everything is so grey. I hope my fans like the movie, and I think a lot of people will.”
Directed by Ron Brown, Consent tells the tragic tale of a wealthy Manhattan family wading through the emotional wreckage of a recent death. By failing to face their heartache as a united front, each family member is sent down an individual path of self-destruction — peppered with drugs, alcohol and sexual taboos — as they attempt to conquer their grief alone.
“None of these people are more equipped to help their own family than each other,” Troian explains. “What’s so tragic is that if they would simply speak about it — the loss, the grief, the heartache — so much of this would be avoided.”
Troian stars as high-school junior Amanda, whom she describes as a “desperate, unformed creature,” who looks for love in all the wrong places. But if only it were that simple. Amanda’s emotional handicap creates a particularly awkward situation for her older brother Josh — played with brilliant vulnerability by Peter Vack — who finds himself on the receiving end of his sister’s misguided search for love.
“They have nobody else to turn to; they need each other,” Troian says of Amanda and Josh’s relationship. “And through them, you see how Amanda’s version of love is so skewed. Some people might call it perverted, but it’s really not her need for love that’s perverted. It’s just the way she seeks it.”
Troian and Peter ooze such intense chemistry that you’ll often forget they’re supposed to be playing brother and sister — which, to be fair, is kind of the point. A major part of the film is the exploration of Amanda and Josh’s familial relationship, and what happens when the delicate line between siblings is crossed.
But just as Josh and Amanda fail to appropriately grapple with their sister’s death, their parents — Kate Burton and Jeff McCarthy both deliver powerhouse performances — also go about relieving their grief in all the wrong ways, mostly by disconnecting from their own feelings, and ultimately, their own children.
“The title of the movie isn’t necessarily about Josh giving consent to Amanda, but it’s really abut the parents giving consent to their children to behave in these ways,” Troian explains. “Without parental guidance, what are you saying is OK for your children to do in the world? What’s most interesting about Amanda’s character is seeing how far she’ll go, and what toll it will take on her emotionally and mentally.”
So how far does Amanda go? That, my friends, is something you’ll have to learn by watching the movie. Check out the trailer below, then head over to iTunes and indulge!