From the people who brought you Stranger Things and The End of the F—king World comes the self-described "irreverent origin story" of a teenage girl dealing with not only the pressures of high school and her own sexuality, but also budding mysterious superpowers. Dropping on Netflix Feb. 26 and starring breakout Sharp Objects star Lillis, in addition to her It co-star Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant (The Good Wife), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes), Aidan Wojtak-Hissong (Falling Water) and Richard Ellis, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based series was developed from a graphic novel by the same name by Charles Forsman.
Ahead of I Am Not Okay With This' premiere, Lillis, 17, opened up to PopCulture.com about what drew her to the character Sydney in the first place, as well as the relevance of a story of coming into your powers as an adolescent girl.
"It's of course female power," she said of the current draw to characters like Syd and Eleven in Stranger Things. "At the same time, it's also very nostalgic. As a kid, you would love to think, 'Oh, I wish I had powers. I wish I was this person,' and now you watch it and you kind of see your dream as a kid on screen."
"That's what I think when watching those films is that I remember when I was [reading] any books or something with that [kind of] lead, which has kind of my age or slightly older having these powers, and I just thought, 'One day, maybe,'" she continued. "Of course, I didn't really think it would happen, but I guess it's just that part that really draws people, or at least drew me anyway."
The deadpan, dry-witted Syd was a bit of a subversion of the trope, Lillis noted, as her attitude towards her growing powers is more "troubled" than enthusiastic.
"It was actually very interesting to see," Lillis noted. "Usually with, I want to say, superpower stuff, you kind of see the origin story and they, in the very beginning, want that power. It's so strange to see a teenager get this power and then not wanting to have anything to do with it. I just thought it was a very interesting aspect and very interesting way of looking at it."
Syd's burgeoning powers do nothing to unground the show from its relatable roots, however, which also dive into the roles of friendship, sexuality and family as a young person.
"Bottom line, it's a coming-of-age film," Lillis told PopCulture.com. "So as a person, also a kid, growing up, still in school, I could just take it from my own life. I got to see my classmates, myself [in the characters]. I'm living it, so I could really take from there and my experiences and put them in this role."
I Am Not Okay With This comes to Netflix on Feb. 26.
Photo credit: Netflix