Odette Yustman: Sweetest "Mean Girl" Ever!
In her new comedy film You Again, beautiful, dark-haired actress Odette Yustman plays that frenemy, that mean girl you love to hate in school. What if she grew up and was marrying your brother? That's what Kristen Bell's character has to deal with in the funny film.
Courtesy of Lynn Barker
Kidzworld is in Beverly Hills with the star who looks glam/cute in white tee topped with long black, belted vest and black skirt by Dolce and Gabbana. Her very high, studded half boots by Jimmy Choo are kicked off under a table.
Odette, about to be married to cute actor Dave Annable from TV's Brothers and Sisters, gives us great advice for tweens and teens on surviving mean girl torture and about making huge life changes at a young age. Kick off your shoes and join us.
Kidzworld: You went to a regular high school where you were Homecoming Queen. You can be a "queen" and still have a mean girl making your life miserable in high school. Did you?
Odette: I had a mean girl, yes! I went to a small school and graduated with a class of 67 kids and I was really friendly with everybody. At one point I was actually [voted] the friendliest student and I think that's why I was Homecoming Queen because I was friendly with all the different cliques. It's still important for me to kill everyone with kindness and be as good of a person as I can. It's the truth, even if it's cheesy.
I did have a mean girl and she was horrible to a lot of people. I feel like a lot of people, to this day, have nightmares about this girl. It's so interesting because I really believe that high school can shape who you are. My grandmother still has these thoughts of this girl who bullied her in high school. So, I feel like everybody can relate to this movie, even men because they can still translate it into guy on guy bullying.
Kidzworld Do you think girls can be worse than guys when they are on a revenge kick?
Odette: Women are caaaatty! They known how to do it right. The guys will have their moments and go punch somebody out but girls are vindictive and really get in your mind and you've got to watch out for the mean girls. Sometimes best friends can turn on you. You have to be careful. You can't trust everyone.
Kidzworld Your character Joanna really reinvents herself after high school. You are young and are about to be married but have you made major changes in your life that you feel were life-altering already?
Odette: Yes, I have. I feel like I've made a lot of changes and choices, from moving out here [to L.A.] when I was 19-years-old, leaving my family and I have the big Cuban family. Cubans like to stick together and I was the one who said, “No. I'm gonna venture off and I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna choose to do acting and, if it doesn't work out, I'm gonna go to school. I need to try this out for myself.” That was a huuuuuge change in my life because I was in such a comfort zone, in a little bubble back home. Moving to Los Angeles, it's so big and you can get caught up in different things. I think it's all about finding the right group of people and just being stable and knowing yourself. That was a big change.
Kidzworld What advice would you give to girls in school now who 1. might be too self-involved and might end up becoming a mean girl and 2. Who are being picked on by mean girls?
Odette: The ones that are being picked on, you've gotta have confidence and own who you are because it's okay if you like to read books instead of going down to the beach with your friends or to the movies. It's okay if you like to stay home and okay if you want to be more social but you need to own who you are because that will help you so much later on in life, to say No or say Yes. You have to know what your boundaries are. Setting boundaries is one of the most important things you'll ever do.
Kidzworld And for the girls who are on the track to being "mean"?
Odette: You've got to check yourself. A lot of girls hang out with other mean girls. If you know you are going down that track, it's like the buddy system. Have a friend to check you. It works for me sometimes when I get a little ahead of myself, I have a best friend who is like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.”
Kidzworld Since you and Kristen Bell are enemies through most of the movie, did the two of you kind of stay away from each other off set and try not to be buds to make the parts you were playing easier or…?
Odette: Kristen Bell is going to be the next huge thing. She's so amazing and so warm, has a great personality and really befriended me which I really appreciated. All that was acting. I'd be mean, mean, mean then, “Cut! I love you!” She took me under her wing from relationship advice to grabbing bites to eat together. She's a wonderful girl.
Kidzworld You worked with an adorable dog. Your character Joanna sort of takes over Kristen's family pet. Was it fun to work with the doggie?
Odette: [big smile] Chopper!! He was so amazing and loved to work! He was the sweetest thing. I'm such an animal lover. He was darling and I wanted to take him home with me.
Kidzworld This is your first comedy and it's a big ensemble comedy. What surprised you the most about working in a comedy movie?
Odette: How difficult comedy is! It's so challenging. The timing is everything and I was really nervous. I'd never done a comedy before and then I was working with Jamie Lee Curtis and Kristen Bell and Betty White and Sigourney Weaver, so many women who can be just so funny and they've nailed it. I learned a lot from them.
Kidzworld Your character Joanna wears some amazing clothes in the movie from cheerleading wear to a gorgeous wedding dress. Did you keep anything and what was your favorite?
Odette: Gorgeous. I wish I would have kept something. My favorite was that wedding dress but white? Maybe a different color.
Kidzworld Who was the big prankster on set always cracking everyone up?
Kidzworld Is there a woman in a novel or a woman in history that you would like to play some day?
Odette: Maybe Jackie O? [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.]
Kidzworld You've got the dark good looks for it.
The interview ends with a chat about her shoes. We wear the same size.. Humm, maybe those Jimmy Choos might just go home with me? No such luck.
Lynn Barker, an editor and entertainment journalist for several websites, magazines and newspapers, has been active in the entertainment industry for many years.