In Goldie, breakout model Slick Woods’s debut film role, she plays an 18-year-old who’s trying to get famous despite the odds: she shares one room in a Bronx shelter with her mom and younger sisters and just got fired from her job. When she finally has a chance to star in a music video for the rapper Tiny (A$AP Ferg), it coincides with her mother getting arrested and Goldie being forced to try to keep her family together under one roof. (The plot mirrored some of Wood’s own struggles; her mother was arrested for manslaughter when Woods was only 4 years old and was just released from prison in February.) Still, she’s determined that she can make it all happen — especially after she gets the money to buy an electric yellow fur coat she’s been eyeing.
Woods and Goldie director Sam de Jong talked to the Cut the day after the film’s Tribeca premiere on why they wanted to collaborate, the most difficult scenes they filmed, and, of course, that yellow fur coat.
So how did you two first meet?
Slick: Sam wanted to meet me and I met him and we made a dope-ass film.
Sam: We met at a little bar in Little Italy and I was just working on some rough ideas for the film and Slick shared her story with me. It took awhile since our first meeting because I think that was three years ago.
Slick: Yeah. It’s been a minute. My 21st birthday shooting your film, bitch! I was trying to go to a strip club, but it was 5 a.m. when I got home.
What was your favorite part of collaborating together?
Slick: Definitely living my own worst nightmares over and over again. It was bad at first, but now that I’m looking back on it, it’s like yo, thank you so much for that therapy.
Sam: I think we both didn’t expect that for you to go through those experiences [in the film] would be as rough as it was.
Slick: It was rough but at the same time, you were completely professional. You were like, yo, let’s push through it, let’s use those tears. You really were on it, and that’s what helped me a lot because it kept me professional where I was like I’m crying, fine, let’s do this shoot real quick.
Sam: Yeah but you always used to say people should see this, it’s important to spread this message, there’s too much inequality in the world.
Slick: People understand the black experience after they see this movie. And you’re Dutch! You killed it.
Sam: Well, you killed it.
What scenes were particularly difficult to film?
Slick: The most difficult to shoot was my mom getting arrested. My fake mom, or whatever. In real life, my mom got arrested when I was 4 years old. It was really hard to watch that over and over again, and then we did it like 30 times. I broke down and I was like y’all playing dress up, you don’t know what real life is like. I was going HAM. But after I finished it and I pushed through it, it was a dope experience, but at the same time, it was really hard for me because that’s something I really lived through.
Goldie gets really fixated on this yellow coat that she thinks is going to solve all of her problems.
Slick: I wore that last night.
Sam: Why didn’t you wear it on the carpet?
Slick: [Pointing to her hair color] Because yellow and red … looks like McDonald’s.
Have you ever had anything like that, where you think “if I just get this one thing, everything’s going to fall together”?
Slick: I mean, everybody feels like that at some point. If I get this one leather coat or this one makeup job, I’m going to be the most beautiful bitch in the world. No, let’s be real. I’m very logical so I know that the coat is not going to fix my life. I think you mature faster when you are in the struggle. I knew how much rent cost when I was 4 years old.
Sam: What’s the yellow coat for you now in real life? Do you have a concrete thing now, in this present life, where you’re like if I get that thing, I’ll be…
Slick: No. I’m a mother. We don’t work like that.
What was it like filming in a heat wave?
Sam: It was very hot, every day.
Slick: It was hot? I can’t tell because we were shooting until 2 a.m.
Sam: Remember, you were in that coat, and the sun was fucking burning your face.
Slick: And I was like, please get me ice.
Sam: And then the wasps came.
Slick: The wasps came for the coat. They were like that’s yellow, that’s a flower. And I was like bro, please leave me alone.
What was it like transitioning from modeling to acting?
Slick: Acting is very immortal. As much people watch the movie or buy the movie or whatever, it has more value. But modeling, my pictures can disappear in a week. So it’s dope to be able to be in an immortal field, where people watch my movie and it doesn’t disappear. I have another movie I’m working on a couple months from now.
What’s that about?
Slick: It’s a model-turned-porn star. So, it’s like sex-ay.
What made you want to make a movie with Slick?
Sam: I’m just inspired by her directness and her unfiltered reality appealed to me and I thought she would be a great star in a film and so did the producer. I don’t like to sit behind my desk and just come up with something. I’ve done a lot of research since meeting Slick but I just thought she would be a great star.
Slick: Let’s be real though, where’d this movie come from?
Sam: You mean in my life?
Slick: Let’s be real.
Sam: You mean one of my previous acquaintances. Personally, I grew up with people who lived similar experiences as Slick did.
Slick: Your ex-girlfriend.
Sam: That was in Holland, but it translated to a story in New York. What I saw in her, not in a romantic way…
Slick: I’m your ex-girlfriend.
Where do you hope Goldie’s story goes from here?
Slick: I hope we do a No. 2. We gotta figure out how we gotta get the girls back.
Sam: It would be nice … you were writing something at some point. You had movie ideas at some point about a relationship.
Slick: My ex-girlfriend. I want to do a lesbian movie. Let’s do it.
Sam: I already blush thinking about it.