Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze. Photo by Sam Emerson. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
Bel Powley is tired of talking about nudity. “Obviously it's weird to be naked, you know what I mean? It's a little bit weird.” The 23-year-old British actress has fielded one too many questions about her nude scenes in Marielle Heller's directorial debut The Diary of a Teenage Girl, in which she stars as Minnie Goetze, a curious, artistic 15-year-old on a sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll journey of self discovery in 1970s San Francisco. But while it may have felt slightly awkward for the actress to be nude on set, it was only in keeping with her character.
“The fact that [Marielle and I] were portraying something that is so real to both of us, and represents every woman to us, liberated me from wanting to pretend do be anything other than a normal, awkward teenager,” Powley explained.
Like many teenagers, Minnie keeps a diary. She records it to audiotape while sitting on her afghan-laden bed, beneath her Iggy Pop poster. “I had sex today...holy shit!” she recounts in one entry. Powley plays her gleefully, bouncing around like a 15-year-old in full bloom who has just passed into the realm of womanhood. But there's one problem. Minnie's paramour is her mom's 35-year-old boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård).