interview | kylie rogers

dress. STAUD

Performing has always been in Kylie Rogers’ blood. Her commitment to her work oozes into every scene as she dives head-first into each role. “I’m still so passionate about acting and my passion is still just the same as when I was a kid,” she tells Schön!. And while her enthusiasm hasn’t changed, she has developed an understanding of her characters’ motivations with age, which continues to fuel her ever-standing passion for acting. At 19 years old, she already has a career spanning 11 years, having landed roles in Miracles from Heaven, Collateral Beauty, and Yellowstone. Born in Texas, she moved to Los Angeles at 8 to pursue a career in acting, getting her first big break in Space Station 76

Starring in A24’s newest film, Beau is Afraid, alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, and the rest of the star-studded cast, Kylie’s career has climbed to new heights. The film, written and directed by Ari Aster, is a ‘nightmare comedy’ chronicling the crazy journey Beau embarks on to get home to his mother. Playing Toni, a temperamental and anger-ridden teenager, Kylie peeled back the layers to discover the emotional depths of her character. Widely released on April 21, 2023, spectators are in for the ride of their lives throughout the 2-hour and 45-minute film. And without giving too much away, you will leave the cinema with more than a few questions.

Chatting with Schön!, Kylie delves into preparing to play Toni, working with director Ari Aster, and giving it her all on set. 

I just want to say congratulations on your new film, Beau is Afraid. How do you feel now that it’s out in LA and New York, and being released nationwide?

Yeah! I feel so excited. I mean, I filmed it 2 years ago, so it’s been like—I’ve been anticipating it for a while and seeing the reactions to the movie… It’s such a crazy movie, you know, it’s so big and truly, I think it’s a masterpiece—Ari [Aster] is incredible. But, I think it’s so entertaining to just see, everyone’s like “What did I just watch,” and like, “Oh my God, that was crazy.” I can’t wait for it to release nationwide in a few days, it’s so exciting. 

It’s everywhere on social media right now. Whoever has seen it is trying to give their opinions without spoiling anything, but from what I can tell, it’s such a whirlwind of a film that you really just need to see for yourself. Can you give Schön! a brief synopsis of the plot, without revealing too much?

I guess a brief synopsis of the film would be… I always say—whenever I tell my friends about it or anything—I always kind of say that it’s about a very anxious man, Beau, who goes on a very long journey to go home to his mother and encounters some very weird things and people along the way. 

And your character, Toni, is one of those characters he encounters along the way. What can you tell us about your character? 

Ooh, it’s hard, because Toni has a lot of different layers and, you know, being an actor and speaking to Ari about the character, I see more of her layers than I guess other people would. But she’s a very complicated girl, I think. She’s very troubled, she struggles with certain issues in her personal… I’m trying not to give anything away! [Laughter] She has certain personal issues that she then takes out on [people] and lashes out in very unhealthy ways. 

From what you can tell us about her, she’s kind of your typical teenage girl who’s struggling with all these things, and most of us don’t really know what to do with these emotions. Have you played a character like her before? Was your preparation for this role different from your previous projects?

I’ve been on the show, Yellowstone since I was like 12 and I play a younger version of Beth, and at first, she’s a little girl, but in the most recent season, you see an actual older Beth forming, and you see who Beth really is and how she becomes who she is. I think, actually playing Beth, even though Toni and Beth are worlds apart and they’re so different in so many ways, they also share a similar emotional depth and they’ve both been so wounded by people important to them. So, I think Beth really helped me grow into Toni. 

The preparations were very different because [laughter] they’re both just such different people. For Beth, I mean really, I just try to hype myself up, like “Yeah, I’m so confident” and “I’m this cowgirl,” but for Toni, it’s more so really diving into the deepest part of my emotions. For Toni—for preparation—Ari suggested that I watch the film Blue Velvet because her character is loosely inspired by Dennis Hopper. So, that was really exciting because I’ve never been suggested a movie to watch to get into character and I thought it was such an interesting take on that. It made me see Toni in such a different way than I saw before, so I was so thankful for that. That was one of my favourite things, ever, because it also became one of my favourite movies.

tank top. Hanes
skirt + boots. Vintage
dress. Alexander McQueen
shoes. Dr. Martens

It’s interesting that you did mention the connection between Toni and Beth from Yellowstone because I’ve watched the show and Beth is such a unique character that is very hard to compare to any other character on TV. From watching the trailer and reading about Toni, the way that these two capture the scene is very similar. Building off of that, is there something specific that drew you to Toni? 

I honestly think what really drew me to the character was when I got the audition and the breakdown for the role. The very first sentence was, ‘If Dennis Hopper from Blue Velvet had a TikTok’. I was like, “What?” I thought it was so funny and so interesting. That immediately drew me to the character. And, of course, Ari was, and always has been, one of my favourite directors, and I’ve seen all of his work. I was so beyond excited. And then, when I did the callback, they added on an extra scene and it just really peeled back the layers of the character and I’m not just [playing] this mean person, there’s maybe a little more to it than I thought.

But, she really is just such an interesting character. After I got it, I had a Zoom with Ari, and we just talked about the character, and he—without giving too much away—was originally going to make the character a stereotypical weirdo and then he was like, “No, it’s weirder if she’s this normal teen girl who has a TikTok and does little TikTok dances.” I think it’s such an interesting take and I’m so excited for people to see Toni. 

Because she’s a ‘normal teenage girl’, did you find it easy to connect to her?

[Laughter] I wouldn’t say that I relate to her, but I found it easy to connect to her character because of how much I talked about her with Ari and how much I sort of started to understand her, where she was coming from, and why she is the way she is if that makes sense. 

It does, completely! So, moving on… You worked alongside Joaquin Phoenix, arguably one of the greatest actors of our time. What was it like working with him on this project? What did you learn from him and how do you plan on using it in your next project? 

Well, first of all, working with [Joaquin] was a dream. He is the kindest, most gentle, most understanding person ever and I could go on and on about it forever. But, his work ethic is insane. This article came out not too long ago that was talking about how he passed out when he was filming with Patti LuPone and that really is how it is. He puts in 110 percent, no matter what. No matter if the camera’s on him, if the camera’s not on him, he’s constantly just putting in 110 percent for everyone around him.

It is the most—it’s such a nice thing to watch and such a nice thing to see someone, like Joaquin Phoenix, just… be so amazing! People say never meet your idols, or whatever the saying is, but it’s the opposite with him. Joaquin is the best person ever and, I mean, I really took [a lot] away from that, I think I really learned to just literally no matter what, always give 110 percent, because everyone else, all the cast and crew, are also giving 110 percent. Everyone has to be giving their full effort to really make things work… And it makes everything go so much smoother and so lovely. It was the best experience in the world and I learned so much from him. 

How—from watching him work—did you expand on your character and the way you were playing her whilst filming?

I think I was really able to expand on my own character working with him because he, again, was so in it, everyone was. Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane, everyone was so in on their characters and so ready to just, like, be the full extent of their characters however far they [need to] go. It was such a beautiful experience and I really, really felt like just seeing everyone so dedicated to their character made me feel so comfortable because I was so nervous working with these amazing people that I look up to. But, it was so comfortable getting into this crazy character that I’ve never really portrayed before because of how everyone else was so comfortable doing it. So, it was great. 

dress. Alexander McQueen

We spoke about how interesting the film is and that you can’t really put it into one box. Ari has described the film as a ‘nightmare comedy’, would you say this is an accurate description? How would you describe the film in a few words?

I would say that’s a very accurate description, a ‘nightmare comedy’ for sure. I think I would describe… It’s such a hard thing to describe in a few words, but I think I would describe it as a… It’s so hard! [Laughter]

I know!

I really think it’s an odyssey, I think it’s a masterpiece. When you’re watching the movie, you feel every single emotion ever, and I think it’s brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie like it in my entire life, and this is so much more than a few words, but it’s so hard to just put it into words. Ari does it much better than I do! 

No, that’s perfect! From what you’ve just said, it seems like you will leave the theatre not really knowing what you’ve just watched…


…But you know that it’s something incredible. 

Yeah, for sure. When I watched it for the first time, I watched it in this small little theatre in LA, in this tiny screening room and it was just me and my mom, and Armen [Nahapetian], who plays young Beau. But I watched it, and I was just speechless. I was in shock, like, “Oh my God!” Of course, I had read the script and I’d filmed it, but it was so cool to actually see it in front of my eyes. It leaves you speechless. You’ve got to think about it for a little bit, but it’s undeniably so amazing and brilliant.

This combination of genres, if you will, is something that you don’t see in a lot of films. Were you intimidated when you read the script and found out that there were going to be so many ideas merged into one?

I don’t think I was intimidated… When I read the script, it was so much information all at once. I had to read it two more times to really grasp what was going on, but I wasn’t intimidated, mainly because I had so much faith in Ari and I knew he was going to present it in such a beautifully crafted way. I was just so excited and mindblown more than anything. Reading the script for the first time was, like, truly a one-of-a-kind experience. 

dress. Soulessence
dress. STAUD


Yeah, I can imagine! I mentioned at the beginning of our chat that the film has already premiered in LA and New York. Do you like seeing reactions from viewers and critics or do you prefer to stay off of the internet?

No, I look it up! I look at the reviews, and I think it’s so fun… I love seeing the reviews. I mean, everyone has different opinions, but I think it’s so overwhelmingly supportive so far, and it’s so exciting. I think it’s so funny to read reviews, to be honest! Everyone is just so—like they don’t know what’s just happened to them, and I’m like, “Oh my God, finally people are seeing it!” It’s so exciting… I’m not afraid to look at reviews. I mean, I don’t deep dive or anything, I’ll just do the basics, but no, I’m not afraid, I think it’s great. 

If you can walk that line and not, as you mentioned, dive too deep into what people are saying, it can be really positive and a really fun way to see people’s reactions. I mean, I’ve only watched a few TikTok’s about the film, and it’s obvious that there are so many different reactions and it must be so interesting for you to finally see how the public is receiving it. For those that haven’t seen the film yet, do you think there’s going to be a common reaction? 

I don’t know, I mean, I’ve gone with my friends, and everyone’s just like, “What did you just take me to see?” [Laughter] It’s so funny! I think another common theme and response that I do expect… I mean, I don’t know! I think it’s a brilliant movie, I think it’s amazing, so I think people are going to be like, “Oh, it’s amazing.” It’s sort of like, “WTF” and “Oh wow, that was awesome!” 

You’ve been acting since you were 8, how has the preparation and the way you approach your roles changed throughout the years? 

Honestly, truly, it hasn’t changed much. I mean, obviously, I’ve grown so much and my characters have changed by a landslide, but I’m still so passionate about acting and my passion is still just the same as when I was a kid, when I was just like, “Let’s make movies!” [Laughter] I’m genuinely so excited about everything every day. But, in terms of my process, I am now, obviously, more capable of understanding the characters, what they’re going through, and the emotions they’re feeling. I can understand more in-depth what’s going on there and why they’re like that. Whereas, when I was a kid, I would just try to and I’d be like, “Oh, she’s sad in this scene,” you know what I mean? But, I wouldn’t fully understand why she was sad. I’ve definitely been able to grasp a good understanding of characters. 

It’s interesting you say that you’re able now to actually understand why a character is like they are, and I think when you’re young—with everything—you don’t really understand why, you just kind of know that it is. You are now playing such complex roles, not to say that you weren’t before, but now you can get to know the character and their motivations more. 

Yeah, 100 percent. 

Lastly, what is one piece of advice that’s the most valuable to you, either in your acting career or life in general?

I think mainly, in life, there’s going to be a lot more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’s’ and you can’t take everything personally… You just take everything with a grain of salt and move on with your life. I think that is the best advice I’ve ever been given and it took me a while to fully understand it and actually take things with a grain of salt and not take things personally. But, it is the best advice ever and I tell everyone, in a very non-annoying way. I think that’s the best advice anyone could be given. 

I agree. That is something that I still often struggle with, but it’s kind of the only way you can approach things. You know, life is hard…


…It’s not something that’s going to be a breeze, so that’s some great advice!


Thank you so much for your time, Kylie, it has been an absolute pleasure chatting with you! I can’t wait to see the film.

sweater. Kenzo
trousers. Marni
shoes. Sam Edelman
jacket. Wilsons Leather
dress. Cult Gaia

Beau is Afraid is out now.

photography. Shelby Goldstein
fashion. Emily Cavari
talent. Kylie Rogers
hair. Ashley Lynn Hall
make up. Vivianne R
set design. Dominique Prout
lighting. Timothy Mahoney
interview. Amber Louise

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