We were joined on the Popternative show by Isabela Merced (Madame Web, Instant Family) who stars as Aza Holmes in the upcoming romantic drama Turtles All the Way Down, premiering May 2nd on Max. The film is based on John Green’s bestselling novel of the same title and is directed by Hannah Marks (After EverythingDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency).

Turtles All the Way down centers on mental health through 17-year-old Aza Holmes (Merced) struggling with OCD and anxiety. While dealing with obsessive thoughts that she cannot control, she’s also trying to get through school and being a teenager. When she reconnects with her childhood crush, Davis, Aza is confronted with fundamental questions about her potential for love, happiness, friendship, and hope. 

(L-R): Isabela Merced as Aza and Felix Mallard as Davis in Turtles All the Way Down. Photo by: Max

The film also stars Felix Mallard (Ginny & Georgia, All the Bright Places) as Davis, Cree (Mr. Iglesias, Game Shakers) as Daisy, Maliq Johnson (The Equalizer, Grand Army), as Mychal, Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever, Big Little Lies) as Dr. Singh, Judy Reyes (Dr. Death, Scrubs) as Gina Holmes, and J. Smith-Cameron (Succession, Vengeance) as Professor Abbott.

“The script is so loyal to the book, there’s a lot from the book in [the movie], and actually more, we added more to it. I was very hesitant to read the book, it did scare me that it might inform me a little too much and might skew my vision of Aza. I did read it and I’m glad I did, but I didn’t rely on it too heavily,” Isabela says on the existing source material.

Watch the full conversation below.

Turtles All the Way Down premieres May 2nd on Max.


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