Armani Jackson and Amy Keum Interview: Honor Society

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“Honor Society,” which is currently airing on Paramount+, is a coming-of-age comedy that has a lot of unexpected twists. The story tells about high school student Honor Rose (Anguri Rice, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), who is ready to do everything possible to get to the school of her dreams.

Realizing that a group of students may threaten her admission to Harvard, Honor comes up with a plan to sabotage the competition. Despite her ruthlessness, Honor finds herself at a crossroads when she makes friends with rivals Kennedy Smith (Amy Keum, Evil) and Travis Biggins (Armani Jackson, Anatomy of Passion) and unexpectedly falls in love with her worst enemy, Michael Dipniki (Gaten Matarazzo, Very Strange Things).

Screen Rant talks to the stars of the Honor Society, Armani Jackson and Amy Keum, about their characters and what they hope the audience will take out of the film.

Screen Rant: I really liked this movie. I’m not quite sure what I expected when I entered it, but it definitely wasn’t. It kind of threw me into a dead end. There were quite a few plot twists that I didn’t expect. What attracted each of you to the film? Was there anything special about the script that made you take part?

Armani Jackson: Yes, no, I mean, just off the bat, I just liked how cute it was, how carefree, how realistic it was, but I think what made me stay — what kept me on my toes — was how each character has something to hide and is what to reveal. And I think that’s a good thing, because sometimes in movies you see characters who don’t get their moment or don’t get their payoff. And so it’s great to see that each character has their own little arch, and that’s their own little payback in the movie.

Amy Keum: Yes, absolutely. And I think that, apart from the individual payouts, I think there’s something very cute about the script, just in the friendship that is formed between – I mean, I think we all know the kind… the idea of a high school clique and people sticking to their way, but actually seeing all these people from different walks of life come together and end up— I won’t say what — but end up doing something pretty cool together.

Screen Rant: It’s very easy to fall in love with both of your characters, which Honor discovers for herself quite early in the film. So, was there anything you particularly liked—or even disliked—about your characters?

Amy Keum: I mean, as soon as I read the script, I just fell in love with the Kennedy character. She’s so on her own, so intense, brilliant and unintentionally funny. And I think something that I really appreciated about her, and the way the whole team approached her character, was not to leave her one-dimensional, but to really let us see something beyond, you know, kind of tough and deadpan dry the thing she does is just to please her gentleness, as well as a sincere passion and desire to communicate with people. And it was interesting, challenging and very fun for me to explore this when creating a character.

Armani Jackson: Yes, I know. With Travis, I felt like I had to play two characters at once at different times. And it was really cool because I feel like its the beginning and the end… such a huge contrast. And that’s why sometimes we shot out of order, and that’s why I jumped back and forth from some other part of his arch to a more confident part of his arch, so it was just cool to accept such a change in [characterization] while the film was going on.

Screen Rant: Armani, I want to ask about this because Travis has a pretty cool arch throughout the movie. To be honest, when he was first introduced, I didn’t expect him to play such a big role as he eventually did, and I really liked it. Have you done anything to prepare for this role and prepare to switch back and forth? Was that a challenge for you?

Armani Jackson: Yeah, with roles like that, I usually just try to put myself in their shoes, you know? And I always try to put myself in a role a little bit, for example, the way I am — my real personality. But also, while just piling on top, if I was in a situation like, how do I think I would react to that? And I wanted it to be restrained and realistic, because this is a very realistic situation. I think many children are in this position. And I think it’s a great role for kids to see and say, “Hey, this is a good example to set.” And especially for children who are much younger, who may not even have seen a romcom before. This is their first. I think this is just a good initial example of what it might be like to just open up.

Screen Rant: Absolutely. I totally agree. Honestly, that was part of why I liked the movie so much. It was very refreshing. I really liked this aspect. And then, Amy, I especially loved Kennedy.

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