Taylour Paige stars in new trailer for ‘Zola,’ movie based off viral Twitter thread

The film tells the story of two women who take their newly-formed friendship on a suspenseful trip to Florida

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A trailer has arrived for the highly anticipated film Zola based on a viral Twitter thread from A’Ziah King.

theGrio reported Zola premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to raucous applause four years after the Twitter thread went viral. The film’s director, Janicza Bravo (Lemon), infused her unique vision into the project and managed to make it feel just as entertaining as the original tweets while highlighting the more sinister parts of the story.

Let’s be clear: there’s nothing funny about realizing just how degrading sex work can be, and Bravo walks the line between comic relief and intensely realistic scenes.

“Humor, in general, is something that everybody can relate to — we can heal through laughter,” said King. “I tried to intertwine a serious topic with a sense of humor, and it became relatable to people even if they thought something like this only happens in movies, or could never happen to them.

The humor made them want to dig deeper into the story, and they realized it’s something that could happen in their backyard — I was their waitress. I was the girl they walked past in the grocery store or hotel lobby.”

The IMDb Studio At Acura Festival Village On Location At The 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 2
PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 25: Taylour Paige of ‘Zola’ attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 2 on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

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Paige has had quite a busy year thus far. In addition to Zola, she played the girlfriend of a leading character in the recently released Boogie featuring Eddie Huang and the late Pop Smoke. During an interview with Marie Claire, the 30-year-old actress described how portraying Zola impacted her differently.

“I knew [then] I had to stop apologizing—apologizing for my space and waiting for the world to inform me who I was,” she said of playing the main character.

“So much of acting is waiting for someone to say you’re good enough. Doing a movie and then going back to waiting for the movie to come out and not knowing if you’ll work again, and then working a party where you’re catering and you’re at the door greeting people and one of your costars is at the party.

It’s so insecure. I still have my bullshit, [but through Zola] I found myself.”

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King’s original Twitter thread was shared on October 27, 2015, and took over 100 tweets to detail the entire saga. At the time, theGrio reported the suspenseful tale caught the attention of Ava Duvernay and KeKe Palmer. 

The official film synopsis reads as follows: “Zola (newcomer Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress, strikes up a new friendship with a customer, Stefani (Riley Keough), who seduces her to join a weekend of dancing and partying in Florida. What at first seems like a glamorous trip full of “hoeism” rapidly transforms into a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, some Tampa gangsters, and other unexpected adventures in this wild, see-it-to-believe-it tale.”

PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 24: (L-R) Nicholas Braun, Aziah King, Janicza Bravo, Riley Keough, Taylour Paige, and Colman Domingo attend the “Zola” premiere during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 24, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

theGrio reported the film also features Jason Mitchell in a pretty prominent role. Still, the actor who has been the subject of sexual misconduct allegations was noticeably absent from the film’s premiere and production notes. 

Alongside Paige and Keough, Zola also stars Nicholas Braun, Ari’el Stachel, and Colman Domingo. The movie debuts on June 30, 2021.

Watch the trailer below:

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Cortney Wills.

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