Exclusive: Maia Mitchell talks ‘Hot Summer Nights’

Well, its summer, so what could be more appropriate than a movie called ‘Hot Summer Nights’?

The aforementioned movie, a coming of age story about an awkward teenager who gets in over his head dealing drugs while falling for his business partner’s sister during one summer in Cape Cod, Mass, has all the makings of one of those summer movies that you just enjoy without really thinking about it too hard – including, yes, a ton of heat.

And we’re not just talking about the actual temperature.

Sorry, I just had to get that joke in there. I had to.

We had a chance to talk to Maia Mitchell, who plays Amy Calhoun, sort of a girl next door type, who, as Mitchell herself says, “is not just a girl next door, but deeper,” about the movie, her character, and what to expect.

Hint: this is a summer movie, so of course, romance.

For Amy, that “whirlwind summer romance” happens to be with the resident bad boy, because, of course. It just so happens that her presence will actually have an impact, and maybe, change this bad boy “for the better”?

I’m not telling you the end of the story. That’s why you watch. But this is not exactly the groundbreaking type of story. We all know how this ends. The question is if the characters, and actors, can pull you in enough to make you interested anyway.

Set in the summer of 1991 in Cape Cod, “Hot Summer Nights” is not just about the people who come for the summer, but what happens and “what’s left of the town when you take out those people,” which is a really interesting notion when you consider how many so called summer towns there are and how very little thought we give to what happens in those places when we leave.

Mitchell herself calls Cape Cod “a very carefree place where people go to escape their lives,” but you can’t escape your life forever, of course, and the people who actually live there never can.

And you can’t escape the heat, either, which Mitchell called the most “challenging part of filming this movie.” Hey, it’s not a summer movie for nothing. The title kinda warned us. The highlight, though, for Mitchell, was the people she met and the friendships she made, and those are the kind of answers that make us feel like the movie might be worth watching. If the people working on it had fun filming it, we should have fun watching it, right?

But back to Amy, who Mitchell calls a “hopeless romantic, a “giver” and someone with a “big heart,” something she feels is very easy to relate to, as she herself is like that in relationships, Mitchell insists she was attracted to the movie not just because of it’s tone and because of it’s director, but because of who the characters were by themselves, outside of the relationships they form with each other, and that’s what we should be looking forward to when watching this movie.

We should also be looking forward to how well, according to Mitchell, the movies goes from comedy to drama and to keeping the funny and real moments, even in the dramatic moments – something that is sure to set this movie apart from the typical just funny summer movies we usually get.

If Mitchell is to be believed, it’s not just the name.

Hot Summer Nights opens this Friday.

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.