Olivia Wilde on the Easter Eggs in 'Booksmart,' Including a Tribute to Her Daughter (Exclusive)

Olivia Wilde at SFIFF
Kimberly White/Getty Images

Wilde takes fans inside her feature directorial debut, revealing to ET some of the hidden nods to her personal life.

Olivia Wilde made the most of her experience directing the acclaimed teen comedy, Booksmart

Released in theaters earlier this year, the film stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as two best friends, Molly and Amy, who finally break the rules and go to their first high school party the night before graduation. Determined to let loose before they set off for college, the young women set off on a hilarious evening of hijinks and unexpected adventures. In addition to the young stars, the movie also features a number of scene-stealing performances from Billie Lourd, Noah Galvin, Skyler Gisondo and Diana Silvers while Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow and Wilde’s fiancé, Jason Sudeikis, round up the adult cast. 

“His entire relationship with me has been one long audition for Booksmart and he nailed it,” Wilde previously joked with ET about casting her partner in the film, adding: “There's still a shorthand that comes from being someone's closest partner, but I loved being able to just set him free because he's one of the best improvisers in the world. And I just loved that we got him to take this bit of information that we had in the script and run with it.”

In the film’s home release -- now available on digital as well as Blu-ray and DVD -- Wilde takes fans inside her feature directorial debut with her first official audio commentary. “I tried to provide a certain amount of insight into the process of making the film,” she tells ET by phone. “But mostly watching the movie was an emotional, nostalgic experience for me that I felt like I spent the whole time thinking about how much I loved everyone.” 

Wilde does, however, drop plenty of revealing information about making Booksmart, from how she got Maya Rudolph to record a cameo as the voice of a motivational speaker to attending a Los Angeles immersive theatre experience at a house that would end up being the location for their own murder mystery dinner party in the film.   

One of the hidden Easter Eggs in the film is a sweet tribute to her daughter, Daisy, whom Wilde gave birth to in October 2016. (Daisy is the second child for her and Sudeikis.) About halfway through the film, the two girls are stranded in the parking lot of a pizza restaurant, where they wait until their teacher can pick them up. The scene, Wilde says, is an homage to Clueless when Cher is stranded in a parking lot after a party. Next to the pizza restaurant is a salon called “Daisy’s Nails,” which Wilde reveals, “is a little nod to my daughter Daisy.” 


When asked if there were any more hidden tidbits throughout the film, Wilde says there are several in Amy’s bedroom. “The girls have a lot of posters and language that was all very purposeful,” she says, adding it was fun to design that room. “There are a lot of tiny Easter Eggs.” 

But, perhaps, the most obvious one is in English class, seen on the last day of high school before they set off into the night. “There is a 1984 poster hanging in the back. And before Booksmart, I had just done six months on Broadway doing an adaptation of 1984,” she continues. It was something that Katie Byron, the production designer, incorporated into the space. 

Wilde says, “I really loved that each department was really owning their creative license and adding texture to the movie. It always delighted me when they found a way to incorporate something that was personal to me.”