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Aubrey Plaza Nailed The Reason Why ‘Emily The Criminal’ Is A Ragingly Successful Thriller Without Including Guns

Aubrey Plaza will soon host SNL, long after she bombed her audition for the Lorne Michaels mainstay. She’s frankly everywhere lately, and this feels long overdue. From her foreboding turn on The White Lotus to her shattering performance in Emily The Criminal, she will always be the Parks And Rec star that I’d most like to have a drink with, even though our combined mutual awkwardness into one room could cause the world to implode.

The above-mentioned film, however, will stick with you, and although Jimmy Fallon doesn’t ordinary get too heavy, he and Aubrey got into the thick of the plot around the 4:30 mark above. In the movie, Emily descends into a sinister underworld to pay off her student loans while saddled with an old felony conviction. Notably, the film does not include gun violence despite many terrifying scenes and attacks. Early on, Emily protects herself with pepper spray, and later, Theo Rossi’s “mentor” character gives her something stronger: a stun gun. That becomes her weapon of choice, and she wields it well. While speaking with Fallon, Plaza expressed pride in how the movie might actually be more tense without those deadly weapons:

“But I think it actually makes it more anxiety-inducing because you’re like, ‘How is she going to take these guys down without a weapon like that?’ … I was kind of proud of that because I don’t think you need guns. We don’t need guns.”

She’s not wrong. The film’s close-quarters use of a stun gun makes the story’s most dangerous scenes feel more intimate in the most tension-inducing way possible. Emily The Criminal surfaced as one of Barack Obama’s favorite movies of 2022, and it’s a horrifying story that puts the focus on why Emily feels driven to do the crime that she does, nothing more and nothing less. That doesn’t include shooting anyone, which makes the film’s central message even more devastating. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to avoid gun violence in Hollywood wherever possible, especially considering the ongoing fallout from Alec Baldwin’s Rust production.