Missing star Storm Reid hasn’t slowed down since her starring role in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time (2018), but it’s now all the more impressive when you consider that she’s also a full-time USC Trojan. Reid has been juggling a still-blossoming entertainment career with higher education since the fall of 2021, and she appreciates the chance to have a bit of normal in between her buzzy movie and TV sets.
In Will Merrick and Nick Johnson’s Jan. 20 release Missing, the mostly standalone sequel to the John Cho-led Searching (2018), Reid plays June, a defiant teenager who’s raised by her single mom, Grace (Nia Long). When Grace and her new boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung), fail to return home from their trip to Columbia, June uses the technology at her disposal to try to find answers. Unfortunately, her efforts immediately raise questions about her mother’s identity and mysterious past.
For Reid, the film was a stark reminder that the Internet is forever.
“What you put out into the universe, as far as social media, is always going to be there, whether you delete it, whether you put it on your story for 24 hours,” Reid tells The Hollywood Reporter. “People see it, people screenshot, people save. So I would just tell people to be careful with social media because it’s a double-edged sword.”
Reid, who’s one of the stars of HBO’s smash hit Euphoria, will soon be guesting on The Last of Us, HBO’s highly-anticipated video game adaptation, and the Atlanta native can’t help but rave about the series co-lead, Bella Ramsey.
“To be able to say that I shared a screen with Bella Ramsey is just incredible. I think she’s absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to see our episode. It was so much fun to film, and it was heartbreakingly beautiful,” Reid shares.
In a recent conversation with THR, Reid also looks back on her emotionally charged scene with Idris Elba in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, as it happens to be one of her favorite scenes to date.
Well, I just want the record to show that there’s a storm happening outside my window right now. So you couldn’t script this any better.
(Laughs.) I can control the weather, so I just wanted it to rain today.
You’ve been doing great work for a number of years now, so did you have to go out for Missing? Or did they come to you?
They came to me, fortunately, and the rest is history. I’m so excited and honored to be a part of this project. It was probably the most challenging role that I’ve done thus far, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. To be able to learn new skills and film on computers and phones was just a wild experience, and it’s something that I’m truly grateful for.
Yeah, I was going to ask if they really did use device cameras to capture you.
Absolutely. We used phone and computer cameras. And then, obviously, we had some other cameras connected to phones and the computer. [Co-directors] Will [Merrick], Nick [Johnson] and the entire team did an amazing job of using absolutely every technological resource, and they made it look real and gritty and raw and uncut.
Your generation grew up with smartphones and social media during the true crime boom. Thus, at least some people in your age group have become so skilled at online detective work that they’ve actually helped crack a few notable cases. So do you know some excellent digital sleuths?
I know a few people who are tech savvy and know how to find people on Instagram, but I don’t know anybody that goes deep into solving crimes and figuring things out. I don’t know anybody like that.
When June is FaceTiming or WhatsApping with another character, were you able to see the other actor? Were they at least in the room?
Sometimes, I was able to see them and other times, no. Sometimes, they would be in the next room and I could just hear their voice. So I had to envision them being on the screen, and it was a little challenging. But I did appreciate it when we were doing a FaceTime call or a WhatsApp call and I was able to see my fellow actor’s face on the screen. It made me feel good.
How detailed was the script? For example, if we see June typing on screen via iMessage or watching a certain TikTok, was all of that written out in the script?
Absolutely. All the details were in the script, and I think that’s why I fell in love with the project. When I read it, I was on the edge of my seat. I thought I knew what was happening, but I didn’t. There would be another plot twist and turn, and that’s why Missing is a great movie for the theaters. It’s poppy and it’s fresh. It makes you want to watch it with your fellow people and try to figure this mystery out. It really is a great co-viewing experience as well.
You have a number of intense scenes in this movie, and that’s consistent with the rest of your career. What do you make of the fact that Hollywood keeps coming to you for highly emotional work?
I’m thankful that I’m able to tap into my emotions and that I have easy access to my emotions. I am a part of projects that are gritty, emotional and drama-filled. But all of that has purpose and intention, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thankfully, I have a little bit of talent to do what I need to do on screen. (Laughs.)
Are those scenes exhausting, such as screaming at Idris Elba through a glass partition?
No, I think it’s so much fun to let out your emotions and scream and cry. As long as you have the ability to separate your real life from your character’s life and what they’re going through, I think it can be really fun. I mean, at the end of the day, you are a little tired or your head might be hurting from crying, butI I’m always having so much fun.
I’m amazed by how much work you’ve been doing while still going to school at USC. How are you able to pull all this off?
It’s challenging, but I take it one day at a time. I have a great support system. My family, friends and team realize that my career and my academics are equally important to me, so they want to see me graduate in 2025 as much as I want to see myself graduate in 2025. (Laughs.) I just had to realize that my journey as a student wasn’t going to be like my friends, peers or classmates because they’re going to school full-time. I’m still acting full-time and then trying to go to school, full-time. So as long as I stay on top of everything that I have to do on top of my academics and communicate with the faculty and staff at SC, we’ll get that degree in the summer of 2025.
The last time I spoke to you, you were shooting The Invisible Man in Australia, and I just asked Jason Blum and James Wan about a sequel. And the answer they gave me left me feeling optimistic about its chances. So are you ready to help Aldis Hodge deal with Elisabeth Moss’ Invisible Woman this time around?
Hey, this is my first time hearing about it, but it might be really cool. You never know.
I touched on it earlier, but I loved your prison scene with Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad. Typically, those types of prison scenes are very sentimental, but the two of you channeled this primal rage of sorts. Was that a memorable day for you?
I was, of course, super nervous. Sharing a scene with Idris Elba was a lot of pressure, but he was so sweet. James Gunn is an amazing director, and he made me feel so comfortable. We did that scene all day, but it was so fun to just be able to play and improvise and work off of each other. So I think it turned out great. That’s one of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever done.
Alright, Storm, it’s your moment of truth. You told me a few years ago you were going to watch Titanic since Leo DiCaprio is a Euphoria fan. Have you finally pressed play?
Can I get an extension on the contract?
It’s funny you say that because there’s a re-release on Valentine’s Day.
Perfect! I’m going to watch it on Valentine’s Day. I guarantee it. For real, for real. By the next time we talk, I promise it’s going to be done.
Deal. So how’s Gia doing?
Gia is good. Gia is chilling. Gia is just trying to stay out of Rue’s [Zendaya] way. (Laughs.) No, we haven’t started filming [Euphoria] season three yet, but hopefully, in season three, there’s more levity, grace and joy. And hopefully, we’ll get to see a little bit more of Gia.
When you walk around campus, do you hear “Gia!” from every direction?
Not too much anymore, but when I first got to school, it was a little hectic, especially because we went back to school a week before or the week after the new season came out. So everybody was watching it and asking me questions about it. But people have simmered down a little bit.
I’ve seen the first four episodes of your other upcoming HBO series, The Last of Us, and it’s very well done. Did you enjoy your time on that one?
I did. I had a great time. To be able to say that I shared a screen with Bella Ramsey is just incredible. I think she’s absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to see our episode. It was so much fun to film, and it was heartbreakingly beautiful. So I just can’t wait to see it all come together, and I’m just excited for the show and the universe as a whole. I didn’t play the video games, but I am definitely going to tune in every Sunday to watch every episode. I’m just so invested as a fan now.
It’s also a really good time to be in the (M3GAN and Malignant screenwriter) Akela Cooper business.
So did you have a blast in France recently, filming the Cooper-penned The Nun 2?
Yes, I did! I was in France for a while. I was a little homesick, but I did have a great time filming The Nun 2.
Is the Wrinkle in Time group chat still a thing?
(Laughs.) It’s not as active these days, but I do communicate with the ladies, individually. I’m so glad I’m still connected with them.
Do most of your projects set up a cast group chat after wrapping?
Not necessarily. We do all exchange numbers and try to stay connected, at least through social media. But group chats haven’t really happened that much.
Has Missing changed your device or social media habits at all?
It’s made me more cognizant of how powerful social media is and how powerful technology is. It just always reminds me how important it is to have a positive digital footprint. What you put out into the universe, as far as social media, is always going to be there, whether you delete it, whether you put it on your story for 24 hours. People see it, people screenshot, people save. So I would just tell people to be careful with social media because it’s a double-edged sword. It’s a powerful tool. It can be positive, but it can also lead to a very dark place.
Decades from now, when you’re reminiscing next to a crackling fireplace, what day on Missing will you likely recall first?
Oh wow. There was a day that lasted until 3:30 in the morning, and it was a challenging and emotional scene that I always think about. So when I am sitting by the fire in a few years and just reminiscing, I’ll probably think about that first.
Well, congrats on the film, Storm.
Thank you, and when I see you again, I will have watched Titanic.
Leo DiCaprio is counting on you!
I know he is. That’s so crazy. I’ve gotta do it!
Missing opens in theaters on Jan. 20th. This interview was edited for length and clarity.
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