Steve McQueen’s second Small Axe film, Lovers Rock, was the opening presentation at this year’s virtual New York Film Festival and, pretty immediately, it set a high bar for the rest of the fest. Our own A.A. Dowd claimed that the director “has never made a film this loose and joyful,” and later—on our Push The Envelope podcast—shouted it out as one of the best features he saw at this year’s NYFF. As the film weaves through a rollicking ‘80s reggae house party, it eventually settles on its lead, a young woman named Martha, played by stage actor Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn making her screen debut. While Lovers Rock is a can’t-miss introduction to an exciting new talent, it’s also one hell of a party, inviting viewers in and letting them feel the groove as attendees get carried away in the romance and sing-alongs. Ahead of the film’s November 27 premiere on Amazon Prime Video, The A.V. Club had the chance to speak with breakout star St. Aubyn about her role. The actor explained how she immersed herself in the film’s early-‘80s setting, told us what it was like to work with McQueen for her feature debut, and took us behind the scenes of Lovers Rock’s standout moment featuring Janet Kay’s “Silly Games.”
Lovers Rock—the second of Steve McQueen’s five Small Axe films—premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, November 27.