Amanda Crew Loved Being a Mess in ‘Tone-Deaf’

On Silicon Valley, Amanda Crew plays Monica Hall, a professional businesswoman who can keep it together for demanding executives and when Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) loses it. In her new movie, Tone-Deaf, Crew plays Olive, an aimless millennial who breaks up with her boyfriend and stays at a stranger (Robert Patrick)’s house. Crew said she loved getting to play a total mess.

Amanda Crew in Tone-Deaf | Saban Films

Tone-Deaf is a horror movie. Olive’s host ends up murdering people and she may be next. Tone-Deaf comes from Richard Bates, Jr., the writer/director of Excision, Suburban Gothic, Trash Fire, and an upcoming pagan comedy. Crew spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about her work in Tone-Deaf, which you can see in theaters Friday, August 23.

Amanda Crew was tired of playing characters who had their act together

Hollywood often demands women be flawless, likable even. Olive was refreshing.

Amanda Crew in Tone-Deaf
Amanda Crew as Olive in Tone-Deaf. | Saban Films.

“I love Olive because she was so messy and wasn’t your classic female protagonist that is all clean and put together and polished,” Crew said. “She’s a mess and so I loved playing someone who you’re not sure if you like this girl or not.”

Being unlikeable gave Amanda Crew more to do in ‘Tone-Deaf’

Conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that female characters have to be likable, even though men can play antiheroes like Walter White and Tony Soprano. Amanda Crew said it’s not always explicit, but she can read between the lines.

Amanda Crew
Amanda Crew | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO/Getty Images

“I think we’re definitely stepping away from that now for female characters but I started when I was 16,” Crew said. “So that was many moons ago and definitely a time where the female characters that I was getting to play or auditioning for were very much the main driving point was that the guy was attracted to her. So that implied that there’s got to be something to be attracted to.”

Even if you don’t like Olive, Amanda Crew sympathizes with her

Olive has no job prospects and can’t make her relationship work, even when her living situation depends on it. Still, Amanda Crew saw the good in her.

Amanda Crew in Tone-Deaf
Amanda Crew as Olive in Tone-Deaf. | Saban Films

“I don’t really identify as stereotypical millennial which is Olive,” Crew said. “There are definitely aspects of her that I identify with, especially that time in your life where you feel just overly confident that you have it figured out but deep down you know you have no f*cking idea what you’re doing and you’re idling and you’re so messy.”

Amanda Crew is passed her Olive phase but she remembers it well

As she said, Amanda Crew was a working actor since she was a teenager. So she had goals and prospects, but that doesn’t mean she never went through that phase.

“I really identified with that,” Crew said. “I don’t think I was ever to the extreme of Olive but I definitely have the seeds of her in me. Acting doesn’t protect you from being a human being and failing in life and figuring out lessons that take you down for sure. If not, sometimes it just amplifies it.”

Amanda Crew
Amanda Crew | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Amanda Crew has not been typecast in comedies though

You might think the success of Silicon Valley would typecast Amanda Crew in comedies, and that Tone-Deaf would be a change of pace. One way Crew has been free in her career is to choose between all sorts of genres and roles.

“I’d say it’s kind of split which is very nice because I do love doing both,” Crew said. “The film that I did straight after Tone-Deaf is like a true-life story that I shot with Josh Hartnett. That was very dramatic so that came across right after this. So I definitely get both which is really nice.”