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Aubrey Plaza Was Proud There Are No Guns in ‘Emily the Criminal’

"I think it actually makes it more anxiety-inducing," Plaza said of the indie film's lack of firepower.

Aubrey Plaza appears in Emily the Criminal by John Patton Ford, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Low Spark Films.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Emily the Criminal”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Aubrey Plaza is glad that Emily the Criminal was also not Emily the Gunslinger.

The “Emily the Criminal” star revealed that her favorite “really cool, kind of weird thing about the film” is that her titular character, despite committing crimes, does not use guns.

“I was kind of proud of that, because I don’t think you need guns,” Plaza said during “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” earlier this week. “Most thrillers introduce guns, like, immediately…We don’t need guns in every movie.”

The “The White Lotus” Season 2 star continued, “I don’t think it’s like – it’s an unconscious thing, I think, for the audience to watch that movie and not even realize, like, ‘Oh, there’s no guns.’ But I think it actually makes it more, kind of, anxiety-inducing, because you’re like, ‘How is she going to take these guys down without a weapon like that?'”

Plaza previously explained during IndieWire’s 2022 Sundance Studio that the indie film is rooted in the subversion of expectations, both societal and with a moviegoing audience.

“I think people are interested in it because it’s fun to break rules,” Plaza said. “And it’s fun to watch someone break rules. It’s dangerous.”

She added ,”There’s an underlying theme in this film about making your own rules. The system, the economy, the man, whatever you want to call it, is the villain of this film. You have someone who was punished by the system, and she has to make rules.”

Plaza also addressed the parallels between “Emily the Criminal” and the Safdie Brothers’ “Good Time” starring Robert Pattinson.

“Robert Pattinson’s character in ‘Good Time’ is despicable,” Plaza said in August 2022. “In some way, it’s character, but you don’t really care. You’re just along with him for the ride. I find that there’s not many female characters that can do that because people normally want female characters to be likable, or there needs to be some moral thing going on with them, or the audience will not like them, and this didn’t have that. It was just unapologetic. That’s what I liked about it. It was like, ‘No, she’s just got to survive and do what she’s got to do.’ Like it or not kind of thing. We don’t have to explain everything. Be in the moment.”

Plaza’s friend, writer-director Edgar Wright, likened newfound action star Plaza’s turn as Emily to “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”

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