States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Watch an exclusive clip from Palo Alto

Nat Wolff talks about assing it up in this douchey scene from Gia Coppola's first feature film

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day.

Roman Coppola put his thang down, flipped it and reversed it by founding director's collective The Directors Bureau, a who's who of directing superstars like Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and CANADA. For Dazed, The Directors Bureau chart the changes in indie cinema, and challenge young filmmakers to pick up a camera.

Nat Wolff, who has been bleeping on Gia Coppola's radar for quite some time, plays an asshole incarnate in her first feature film. As Fred, he's the prince of peer pressure, forcing good friend Teddy to draw dicks in library books and taunting unsuspecting teen girls (as in this clip above) to jump in the pool. We all knew this guy in high school, but Nat Wolff plays him off as the ultimate d-bag. Here, he reflects on how he jerked it up as a complete and utter asshat.

"Gia had seen me in a movie and the character was basically the exact opposite of (my character in Palo Alto), Fred, so I went into the meeting and said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, I don’t know if I am this guy.' I said, 'I’m much more like the Teddy character,’ and she said, ‘Yeah, but I’ve seen you do that before. I want to see you do something else.’ She gave me a big chance and I don’t know exactly why she trusted me with it.

“I found (Fred) weirdly seductive and it was a really exhausting part because of that. It was basically everyday finding the parts that I liked the least about myself and putting them to the front” – Nat Wolff

There were definitely people who I went to high school with and had grown up with who were just destructive in that way (that Fred is), and I spent my teenage years kind of avoiding them, you know what I mean? But also I found myself sometimes oddly wanting to be around them, interested in them – a lot of it was just finding that part of myself that needed a lot of attention and a lot of validation and putting that to the front. If you’re just a person who needs attention and you’re not getting it for doing good things then you start doing bad things.

When I read the script (for Palo Alto) I found Fred oddly charming in a fucked up way. I thought he was definitely not a good guy, you know, a really damaged person. I found him weirdly seductive and I understood his appeal to people wanting to be around him even though he was so destructive and it was a really exhausting part because of that. It was basically everyday finding the parts that I liked the least about myself and putting them to the front."

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