Filmed in New Orleans, the film follows Jodi Kreyma (Ava Michelle) as a 16-year-old high school student self-conscious about her 6′ 1” height.
You can see parts of the city throughout the movie and Stewart says filming in The Big Easy was quite the experience.
“[Tall Girl] wasn’t supposed to look like New Orleans. It was supposed to be a random place. I was like ‘That’s so boring, you’re in the greatest city. It’s such a wonderful set. Why are we trying to hide this? Let’s play that up, let’s put in those markers and let’s make this movie special because it’s now more specific.'”
Shooting the film in New Orleans was made all the more special because Stewart also got to experience the city through someone else’s eyes.
“It’s funny. I’m a 90-day fiancé, now I’m a wife. It wasn’t as horrible as that show. We have been together for five years, but we did get the visa and my husband came over from Morocco. Right then is when we got the visa when I started this movie and it’s like I bring this man from the devout Muslim country-and he’s like super devout- to New Orleans, where it’s like “Would you like some bacon on your pork? Show us your tits” and this poor guy is having to digest so much that it was an interesting cultural shock. Even for me to see it though his eyes. Like, what is America about?”
Tall Girl is Stewart’s first feature film. She’s spent much of her career in television, directing episodes of favorites like Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and The Game. Prior to working in television, she directed music videos for stars like Common and Bilal.
“Going into pretty much all of the things I have done in my career, once you get into features you realize how they all feed each other. I think, starting in music videos, you get very precious about creating a really cool cinematic image. It’s not enough to just get coverage, it has to look a certain way or feel a certain way. Then when you come from television you are on a schedule. So, the biggest thing you have got to figure out is how to shape your day. In features, the stakes get higher because the budgets get higher and the show is yours top to bottom.”
Nzingha has already moved on to the next project.
According to her IMDB page, the director is set to direct Gabrielle Union in The Perfect Find. And she’s wrapping up an episode of upcoming miniseries Little Fires Everywhere, starring and executive produced by Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. The series is adapted from Celeste Ng’s novel of the same name.
“Right now, as we speak, I’m on set doing Little Fires Everywhere. After this, I do an episode of Black Monday, specifically so I can work with Don Cheadle and reunite with my spirit animal, Regina Hall.”
Hall and Nzingha worked on the 2015 TV movie With This Ring.
Next, she’ll helm the upcoming Misy Copeland biopic from New Line Cinema.
“I’m very excited. It’s been a good year and I feel like Tall Girl just sort of opened the gate for a million wonderful things to happen.”Share :