One of the breakout stars of Tate Taylor’s Ma is newcomer Diana Silvers (who also has a role in Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart), who plays a new girl on the block named Maggie that ends up mixed up in the titular character’s web of insanity as she and her newfound friends come to realize that their middle-aged party pal, Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), has some deeply disturbing ulterior motives.
At the recent press day for Ma, Silvers chatted with Daily Dead and discussed why she had to be a part of this project, how much she enjoyed working with everyone on location in Mississippi, and what kind of impact it had on her to be able to creatively collaborate with both Spencer and Juliette Lewis, who plays her mom in the film.
I’d love to start off by talking about your initial thoughts coming into Ma and what that initial hook was, where you were were like, “Yeah, I really need to do this.”
Diana Silvers: Well, when you get a script and you're so desperate to finish it because you want to know what's going to happen next, that's always a very good sign. And also, you get a script where there's a complex, nuanced female character—that's also a very, very good thing. And this script had both of those things, so I was like, “I need to be in this film.” When I found out Octavia Spencer was going to be playing Sue Ann, I absolutely needed to be in the film because I love her. Plus, the chance to work with Tate seemed like a dream come true. There are so many reasons why I'd want to be in this movie. It seemed like an incredible opportunity.
So, let's talk a little bit about Maggie—she’s very relatable, where you like her, but you can also understand her motivations when she makes a few mistakes in this story.
Diana Silvers: Right. I think what's great about Maggie is that we all know this girl, we all know her in real life. Maybe we have been this girl where we're new in town, we want to fit in, we're finding our place in the world. And for me, making Maggie have that kind of authenticity was just like me connecting with who I was in high school and trying to relate to girls I knew in high school that Maggie reminded me of, to give her some sense of truth. And doing that, making her nuanced, making her complex, giving her quirks and things that I did when I was 15, because at that age, we're all just trying to figure out who we are and our place in the world. And I definitely hope that shows in my performance.
I also really liked the back-and-forth between your character and Juliette’s character. I was raised by a single mom, so a lot of those moments really rang true with me.
Diana Silvers: We met each other and we just fell in love with each other. Juliette is so special to me. I was a fan of hers before this movie and I'm an even bigger fan of hers now, and now I get to call her a friend, which was even more special. The first time we met, we just looked at each other and we were like, “This is going to be great, isn't it?” We really bonded, especially during our Walmart runs, and she was just such a dream to work with, so I got to check that off my bucket list.
In terms of your younger co-stars, did Tate give you guys a lot of time to work out the chemistry or did that just happen naturally as you guys were on location?
Diana Silvers: Well, Corey [Fogelmanis], Gianni [Paolo], and I all met each other the day of our chemistry read with Octavia, because Octavia had read with all of us before we all got the parts. Corey and I actually read for Octavia together, and we instantly had this good chemistry and he's such a sweetheart, too. Because we were on location in the middle of nowhere, everyone was together all the time, and we all just really bonded and became this little family, which made everything so much easier and more fun on set.
Before we go, how much did you enjoy working with Octavia on Ma?
Diana Silvers: Oh, we clicked instantly. We both love The Eagles. We both love dad rock and we bonded over that. Octavia and Tate have such a strong bond, too, and working with her was so easy and she's so much fun. I don't know if you've ever talked to or met her, but her energy is infectious and she's just so lovely and she always knew when she needs the space to tune in to what the character needs. And then when they call cut, she's back to being fun Octavia, you know? We had a great time together and she's become a bit of a mentor to me as well, which I'm very grateful for, because to have such a seasoned actor guiding you and walking you through the industry, what more could you ask for?
Check HERE to catch up on our previous coverage of Ma, including Heather Wixson's review and her interviews with Tate Taylor and Juliette Lewis!