LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Kathryn Newton has been in many projects that twist reality, most recently the body swap horror comedy Freaky and the Netflix series The Society, in which all the adults in a town disappear. In her latest film, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, Newton plays a teenager stuck in a time loop.
The 24-year-old Newton said she is comfortable exploring the different ways in which movies and television shows can bend reality. Newton added that she relates to fluid realities.
"I feel comfortable bending reality," Newton told UPI in a Zoom interview. "I think I bend mine all the time. I don't know what I'm going to be like tomorrow."
Margaret (Newton) and Mark (Kyle Allen) relive the same day over and over again, like the characters of Groundhog Day, Palm Springs and Happy Death Day. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things boasts the youngest characters to lead a time loop film yet.
For Newton and Allen, exploring how teenage characters react to reliving the same day set Map apart from movies with similar premises.
"I think when you're young, you have a really interesting relationship with time," Allen said. "When your mom tells you to wait an hour before you can watch TV, it feels like an eternity."
Newton felt that the never-ending day Margaret and Mark experience is a metaphor for how teenagers anticipate the future. Newton recalled eagerly anticipating events like the prom and graduation. Now she has passed those moments.
"You don't even have to be in a time loop to know that feeling like tomorrow's never going to happen," Newton said. "I know that's how I felt growing up."
To Newton, the time loop also represents a fear of the future. Margaret dreads a time when she has to face tomorrow, because she's grown comfortable reliving the day that repeats. Newton said she related to Margaret's desire to cling to the past.
"I think the best has already happened," Newton said. "I don't think anything better can come. I think that's growing up, though."
Newton said growing up also means facing an unknown future, and that playing Margaret helped her understand that.
"Margaret showed me that if I act like that or if I keep living that way, I'm never going to keep growing," Newton said. "I want to make the best for my future because that makes life better."
To convey that the same day recurred multiple times, the other actors in scenes with Newton and Allen had to repeat the same actions and dialogue precisely. Mark and Margaret maneuver through these scenes expertly since they have memorized the choreography of the day.
Allen said learning the scenes for The Map of Tiny Perfect Things drew on his dance background -- he was a street performer at the Venice Beach boardwalk in California.
The 24-year-old said he aspired to join Cirque du Soleil, but discovered acting when he responded to casting calls to make extra money. Allen also has danced in music videos, and likened the choreography of Map to dance performances.
"Everyone walks into the same room with a choreographer," Allen said. "In a couple hours, everyone knows what they're doing."
The film introduces Mark's expertise with weaving through the day in the opening scene. He rides his bike through town, interacting with vehicles and pedestrians whose repeating actions he's memorized.
"I was only going to do [the choreography] six or seven times, but make it look like he'd done it 50 times, 1,000 times," Allen said.
Margaret joins Mark in other scenes in which they take advantage of their foreknowledge of the day's events. Newton likened the choreography to Fred Astaire dance numbers. She said not only the actors, but cinematographer Andrew Wehde had to move in sync with them to capture their elaborate moves.
"It had to have that kind of harmony to really make those scenes work," Newton said.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things premieres Friday on Amazon Prime.