“Bottom-line, it’s a coming of age story.”
That’s what Hot Summer Nights Maika Monroe wants you to immediately understand about her new movie starring along side Timothee Chalamet and Alex Roe. Monroe, known for her role in the terrifying “It Follows,” plays McKayla. She’s a young woman struggling to stay afloat in the 90’s in a place where you’re either a “townie” aka a permanent resident or a rich summer floater who is there for the summer and gone by September.
Looking back at being in your teens, the whole world in front of you and apparently your oyster, it’s easy to connect with characters who are on a mission of self-discovery. We’ve all been through it and Hot Summer Nights is here to remind you of what you may have missed or another person’s experience during the same life affirming and tumultuous time of teen-hood.
This is especially true for Maika Monroe’s character McKayla. At first glance she’s portrayed as this cruel girl. She’s in control of everything in her life and seems to hold a power over those around her. As the movie goes on you start to release that everything isn’t as rose colored as she’d like you to believe.
According to Monroe, “As the story goes along you learn about her past, and about how she lost her mom, and how her dad isn’t really involved in her life. She’s kind of on her own.”
Situations like this give birth to characters with multiple layers just waiting to be peeled back and explored. When she meets Daniel, the character portrayed by Timothee Chalamet aka Elio in Call Me by Your Name, we start to see a different kind of McKayla.
“She kind of feels like she can be herself. A side of her that no one else really sees. A vulnerability, I guess.”
And the more time she spends with Daniel the more we get to see the vulnerabilities, insecurities, and real life problems that plague such a young and in control young woman.
“It’s always nice having an arch for a character and seeing different sides and different layers of a person.”
McKayla’s relationship with Daniel isn’t the only thing that influences Monroe’s character and the journey that she goes on in Hot Summer Nights. There’s also her brother Hunter, played by Alex Roe. He’s a complicated piece of her past who ends up becoming tangled with Daniel, the boy visiting their summer town, when Daniel saves Hunter from getting arrested for drug possession.
“She cut him out of her life because of what he’s doing and how he’s making money and she doesn’t want any part of it,” Monroe said before diving into the heartbreaking circumstance of McKayla’s relationship with Hunter. “They both lost their mother at a very crucial point in their lives. And it’s kind of heartbreaking because they thought they’d be there for each other because they’re both so alone.”
Combine her brother’s broken relationship with the fledging and fresh one that she has with Daniel and you’ve got a recipe for disaster or reconciliation because Daniel is doing the exact thing that McKayla loathed that her brother did. It’s a powder keg of a situation just ready to blow.
Hot Summer Nights is now playing in a theatre near you!