The actors meet to investigate the next generation of teenage cinema
The next generation has turned the trope of awkward teenage geekdom on its head, discarding the dated stereotypes of classic ’80s films that have dominated pop culture since their inception. What once was geeky is now cool, allowing adolescents of today to express themselves as multifaceted beyond cafeteria clique identifiers. Burgeoning actor and model Ever Anderson is proof of this, as a brand ambassador for Miu Miu, an avid participant in BookTok (the broader, book-crazy corner of TikTok), and a student of the Japanese language, which she chose to learn of her own accord.
The realities of teenagehood have become more accurately translated in film and television today, illustrating a more nuanced youth, especially in its depictions of female and queer characters. Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart is an example of this, energizing the beloved coming-of-age genre by mastering the art of inclusive casting without sacrificing comedy. The film proves to the ‘wokeness is killing comedy’ crowd that progressivism can not only maintain, but also elevate the art of humor. In Booksmart, Diana Silvers plays Hope, a character who crescendos in the ecstasy and discomfort of early sexual experiences. Silvers is 10 years older than real-life high schooler Anderson. But, in playing a contemporary teen, she found herself embodying the Gen Z mentality of self-exploration and expansion.
Anderson herself carries particularly adult qualities for someone of her age, perhaps a result of starting a working career early in life. Her parents, actor Milla Jovovich and director Paul W. S. Anderson, undoubtedly passed along a deep creative drive, which has manifested in roles beside filmic powerhouses in features like Black Widow and the upcoming Peter Pan & Wendy, in which she plays the titular role of Wendy Darling. Despite the clear influence family has on her professional ambitions, Anderson maintains the most sacred act of adolescence—carving out an identity that is distinctly singular. The young actor embodies an elevated form of teenage rebellion; one that is less defined by what it’s working against than what it’s working towards.
Diana Silvers: Where are you in the world?
Ever Anderson: I’m at my house in LA.
Diana: Are you homeschooled?
Ever: I’ve been homeschooled on and off for the past couple of years.
Diana: Because of the pandemic?
Ever: It began during the pandemic, but for the last year and a half I’ve been working a lot, so I’m either with my tutor on set or doing schooling at home.
Diana: What have you been working on?
Ever: Last year, I spent eight months in Vancouver filming Peter Pan & Wendy, then they brought us back again in February for some added scenes. And I started working with Miu Miu.
Diana: I know you’re 15, which is young, but I feel like by the time I was 15, I knew I wanted to eventually write and direct as well. Is that something that interests you?
Ever: Definitely. I want to write, act, and tell stories. That’s, like, what I dream of doing with my life.
Diana: I hear that you also like to read a lot.
Ever: I do.
Diana: What are your top five books? What are the first five that come to mind?
Ever: Well, right now, three of them are The Folk of the Air trilogy written by Holly Black. I recently read The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I have to include a book I read for school—a collection of poems by Baudelaire. I really loved it.
Diana: How do you pick a book? What kinds of stories are you drawn to?
Ever: I would love to adapt any of these books I mentioned, especially The Folk of the Air series. I love the fantasy genre. What often draws me to a book is the cover. [Laughs] I know it’s like, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But I do! I look at the cover before I get the book.
Diana: We all do! We all look at the cover and the inner sleeve, and we make a choice from that.
Ever: I find a lot of my book recommendations on TikTok.
Diana: Isn’t that, like, a whole thing? BookTok?
Ever: Yes! There’s all sorts of discussions going on about fantasy and mystery. I got into Agatha Christie through BookTok. I have this giant list and go down it when I finish one book, and I’m like, ‘Okay, next on the list.’
Diana: I want to know more about Peter Pan & Wendy, because that comes out next year, right?
Ever: It all moved kind of fast, but slow at the same time. I got the material the day before I went in to meet the casting director. Then we heard that the director, David Lowery, had watched the tape and liked my audition.
Two days later, my dad and I flew to London for a chemistry test with [the] three choices they had for Peter, and the three of us [who were] reading for Wendy. I was a bundle of nerves. Afterwards, I tortured my dad. I kept asking him the whole flight home, ‘Do you think I did well? I don’t know if I did enough.’ I just wanted the role so bad. Finally, my dad said, ‘It’s done. You did your best; you had fun. There’s nothing more you can do but be patient.’
Diana: That’s an exciting feeling to have—to be so invested in something that you just can’t think of anything else. But as a parent, your dad needed to remind you that all that matters is [having] fun.
When did you actually find out you got the part? How did you get the news?
“I love the fantasy genre. What often draws me to a book is the cover.”
Ever: I was sleeping over at my best friend’s house about a week later when my parents called to tell me. It was the greatest feeling to hear those words, ‘You got the part.’ I screamed, and my best friend knew exactly why I was so happy and screamed with me.
Diana: How did you celebrate?
Ever: My best friend has a basement area in her house where we put on roller skates and crashed into a bunch of things while watching movies.
Diana: That sounds fun. Tell me about filming.
Ever: I had just turned 12 when I was cast to play Wendy. We were planning on moving my entire family to Vancouver in a few weeks, but then everything stopped. The world shut down and production got pushed back. By the time we began filming, I was 13 and had grown two inches. I was so nervous that they were going to cast someone else to play my part.
I was so relieved to finally get to Vancouver. We did two months of fencing lessons, wire training so that we could fly, and rehearsals with all the Lost Kids. It was like magic. I loved every minute of it. I had a brilliant sword fight with Jude Law, who plays Captain Hook. It’s all like a dream now.
Diana: I feel like so much happens from, like, 12 to 15. As you grow older, time moves faster, but growth happens at a slower rate, because it’s like you’re reaching your adulthood. You know what I mean?
Ever: Yeah, I think so.
Diana: I’m curious to know what it was like to one day be a 12-year-old dealing with a pandemic, then at 13, you start filming a movie that’s coming out when you’re 15.
Ever: It’s kind of a big blur. One minute, I was preparing to go make a movie I was so excited about; the next, I was stuck at home waiting and waiting. Almost a year later, I was on my way to start production. Before I knew it, eight months had flown by, the summer was over, and we were wrapping the film. I didn’t want to stop filming. I had so much fun playing Wendy. I literally cried when we finished shooting our last scene. Two months later, I turned 14 and I felt like a totally different person than I was when I first auditioned.
I shot a lot of strange videos in 2020 and 2021, me giving these really long, cringy talks to the camera. [Laughs] But I’m happy that I saved them before deleting them off my page.
Diana: So those videos are how you documented your growth?
Ever: Yeah. Pretty much.
Diana: Wow. And you have siblings, right? I read somewhere that you are the oldest of three.
Ever: I am. I have a seven-year-old sister—her name is Dash—and a two-year-old sister called Osian.
Diana: Osian was born during the pandemic?
Ever: Yes. She was born right at the beginning.
Diana: [And] you’re close with your family?
Ever: Definitely, and we all became even closer [after Osian was born]. Dash and I pitched in with the baby, and she was amazing. I mean, Dash is a great little sister, but I noticed that she is also an amazing big sister to Osian. She’s much more responsible than I am! Dash is, like, on top of everything. She’s super organized. I am less organized. But, I’m also very protective of them. I guess because I’m much older.
Do you have siblings?
Diana: There’s three girls in my family and three boys. I’m in the middle. I’m closest to my younger sister. She and I lived together during part of the pandemic and it was a totally different experience. She turned 21 during that time, and to see how much she matured in those two years was beautiful to experience—for me as her sister and, like, as her friend, because I saw her life happen up close and personal. It was nice to have that distraction while the rest of the world was in this weird pause.
Ever: I absolutely understand what you’re saying. It definitely put my family in a whole other perspective for me, because I wasn’t seeing my friends at school. I feel like, at least for me, I didn’t have all these distractions of my own life, my extracurriculars and other things happening all the time, that made me pay less attention to my family. It made us all work together and see each other. I had to stop to think, Do I remember my sister’s favorite color, or do I know what her favorite animal is? Lockdown made me way more tuned in to everyone else. And that was amazing, because I was like, That’s my mom, but she’s also more than that; she is also a person who has things that make her happy or upset.
“I had to stop to think, Do I remember my sister’s favorite color, or do I know what her favorite animal is? Lockdown made me way more tuned in to everyone else. And that was amazing.”
Diana: To have a good relationship with your family is such a gift. And having sisters is also special. You have friends for life right there, who really know you and love you.
[Do you have] other hobbies?
Ever: Learning Japanese—that was something that I chose to do on my own. At first, I started practicing on Duolingo. Then, last December, I did some research and found an amazing Japanese tutor who I work with a couple of times a week over Zoom, and it progressed from there.
Diana: So this is proof that Duolingo is the gateway to learning languages. You could end up becoming super cool and, like, know fricking Japanese when you’re 15. But wait, why Japanese? What made you want to learn Japanese?
Ever: My parents worked [in Japan] when I was a kid. We went to Tokyo a few times and I always liked the people. They were so nice, and I love Japanese food. I thought it would be nice to learn Japanese so that when I do go back there, I can communicate more easily and not rely on others to accommodate me by having to translate. When you travel, people really appreciate when you make the effort to speak their language. Here in America, many people only speak one language, but I grew up speaking two and then three.
Diana: Wait, what other languages do you speak?
Ever: Well, my mom was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and at that time, everyone spoke Russian. Since I was a baby, my mom and my grandparents always spoke Russian at home. Then, every summer we would go to France, and by the time I came home I was also speaking some words in French, so my parents thought it would be a good idea to enroll me in French school when I was really little.
Can I just tell you—when I found out it was you interviewing me for Document, I was so excited. I’m such a fan of yours. I loved Booksmart. I really liked your character and the way you played her.
Diana: I’m glad someone’s a fan! [Laughs] I mean, if I have fans like you, maybe I’m doing something right.
Is there anything you can share? Like, a message you may have for yourself, or for anyone?
Ever: I think [I would say] just be kind to yourself, because I’ve had an issue with beating myself up. Words are so, so important, so be careful with what you say to others, but also with the words you say to yourself. It’s like manifesting. What you say to yourself is what you will become. So, when you wake up every morning, tell yourself, I’m great, I’m gonna be good at something. And if you put the time in, I’m sure you will be. I went through a period of time where, if I wasn’t really good at something right away, I would get frustrated and so upset at myself. But then I learned you can overcome anything if you give yourself time and repeat positive words to yourself.
Diana: If you’re reminding yourself that at 15, you’re already ahead of the game. I feel like my generation wasn’t that nice to ourselves when we were 15.
Ever: Actually, I’m still 14. I’ll be 15 later this year.
Diana: You’re still 14. When’s your birthday?
Ever: November 3. I’m a Scorpio.
Diana: I’m November 3.
Ever: Really? Oh my God. No way.
Diana: Oh, man. I wish you were my friend when I was 14.
Ever: We would have been friends, for sure.
Diana: It’s kind of special to get to talk to someone a generation behind me. You’re exactly 10 years younger than me, which is crazy, but it’s cool.
Ever: It really is.
See the full fashion portfolio here.
Model Ever Anderson. Hair Jonathan de Francesco at Streeters. Make-up Holly Silius at R3 MGMT. Set Design Robert Doran at Frank Reps. Photo Assistants Dominic Rawles, Irene Tang. Stylist Assistant James Kelley. Set Design Assistants Matthew Tyler Ray, Cedric Adajar. Production Coordinator Natalie Leonard. Production Ms4 Production. Casting Director Angus Munro at AMC Casting. Retouching ink. Special thanks to Chris Brenner.