Bones and All Star Taylor Russell Was the “Only” Actress Who Could Pull Off the Cannibal Romance, Says Director Luca Guadagnino

“She really felt perfect for playing Maren."
Taylor Russell as Maren in BONES AND ALL
Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

Bones and All is easily one of the buzziest, most highly anticipated films of the year. It makes total sense as to why — the film, which stars Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet, is a cannibal love story. With a horror romance hook like that and two captivating young stars at the helm, Bones and All naturally has audiences ravenous for the full story.

As detailed in the film's synopsis, Bones and All is a tale of first love between Maren (played by Taylor Rusell), a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee (Timothée Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter. The Luca Guadagnino-directed flick, which also stars André Holland, Mark Rylance, and Chloë Sevigny, is a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.

“You don't think I'm a bad person?” Lee asks Maren in the movie's trailer. “All I think is that I love you," Maren responds. Now, in a behind-the-scenes featurette debuting exclusively on Teen Vogue, leading lady Taylor Russell is breaking down her portrayal of Maren, what drew her to the character, and how she stepped into the role.

Taylor Russell as Maren in Bones and All

Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

“I'd never read anything like this script before," Taylor says with a smile in the exclusive clip. "Maren is just so unique. She wants to connect but is having a hard time doing so… and then you find out why." Cut to: a scene in which Maren interrupts the playful atmosphere of a slumber party by eating a classmate's finger. “We all feel like outsiders when we're growing up," continues Taylor. "I think everybody feels like that. It's a very universal thing to feel misunderstood.”

“Maren is a girl, she's 18. She's in the midst of being that, but also tries to hold very strongly onto what she's lost," says director Luca Guadagnino. “When they started to talk about the cast, I think Taylor is the only one who could do it. She really felt perfect for playing Maren."

Taylor Russell as Maren in Bones and All

Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

Hailing from Canada, 28-year-old Taylor has previously starred in Netflix's Lost in Space, the 2019 psychological thriller Escape Room and its 2021 sequel. She's perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed and award-winning performance as Emily in 2019's A24 family drama Waves, which also starred Kelvin Harrison Jr., Sterling K. Brown, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

“It was a joy working with Taylor… so open for anything, willing to try new things in scenes," co-star Timothée Chalamet raves about Taylor in the exclusive featurette.

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“She just brings herself," agrees supporting actor Mark Rylance. "And that's a very true aspect of it. You can read her thoughts in the camera very beautifully.”

“I just try to follow my instincts and that usually leads me to very strange places, which is good," Taylor explains of her creative process. "Because now I'm not fighting it anymore. I'm relaxing into the strangeness of life."

Bones and All hits select theaters today, November 18, and will be released everywhere on November 23. Watch the full featurette with behind-the-scenes clips from the movie below:

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