Kiersey Clemons isn’t just a face worth stopping and staring at. The talent is undeniable. Since her breakout role as Diggy in Dope, alongside Shameik Moore, A$AP Rocky, and Chanel Iman, the millennial thespian has been continuing to secure bag after bag on screen, from thriller films Sweetheart and Antebellum to the side-holding Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. She has also taken her wit, style, beauty, sass, and effervescence to her most recent project on Amazon Prime, which debuted ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Directed by Dave Franco, Somebody I Used to Know follows the story of workaholic Ally (Alison Brie) who has a run-in with her ex, Sean (Jay Ellis), and begins to question every choice she’s made up until that point. Things become more confusing for her feelings once she realizes that Sean is engaged to Cassidy (Clemons), who reminds her of a younger, feistier version of herself. The question remains when watching the film: Are Sean and Ally falling in love with each other all over again, or is it just the idea of what they once had bringing back the sparks?
During a conversation with xoNecole, Clemons got personal with contributing writer D’Shonda Brown about whether she believes in fate, her thoughts on romantic comedies, and her recipe for a fool-proof relationship.
xoNecole: What are your thoughts on romantic comedies, and how would you say that ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ challenges what a rom-com is?
Kiersey Clemons: I think all rom-coms kind of offer the same feeling. It’s cozy, you can watch it by yourself, and you know what feeling you’re going to be left with, which I think is the best thing about the genre. It’s promising, like a horror movie. I know that I’m going to be scared — that’s the point. I know that I want to watch it with other people, and someone has to sleep over because I don’t watch scary movies without a sleepover. We’re having a sleepover, and we’re watching a scary movie. You’re staying.
xoN: How did playing Cassidy challenge you as an actor, as opposed to previous roles that you’ve had in the past?
KC: Probably keeping her so chill. Dave [Franco] was like, «No. She’s like hella chill. You can even chill out even more.» I got to the point where I was like, «You just want me to play someone who’s high all the time?,” and he was like, «Exactly.» She is so unbothered. It’s crazy to me.
xoN: If you were in Cassidy’s shoes, is there anything that would’ve been a non-negotiable for you when it came to your fiancé’s best friend’s behavior like, «Okay, this is unacceptable behavior. I have to say something»?
KC: I think that if it was a person acting the way that she’s (Brie’s character, Ally) acting, I would not be welcoming her into the space as much. I would definitely be having a real conversation with her like, «You’re not coming to my wedding weekend.»
xoN: If you could give Cassidy and Sean a piece of advice before they jump the broom, what would you tell them?
KC: Can I be honest?
(L-R) Jay Ellis and Kiersey Clemons
xoN: It’s a safe space.
KC: ‘Y’all shouldn’t get married.’ I’m just saying. I mean, I love the end of the film because it doesn’t always go the way that the person who’s watching it, or even made it, thinks that it should go, but I don’t think they are ready. I think they both have some developing to do. They both want to live in that fantasy world that I was talking about, but good for them; they’re going through a phase. They’ll probably get divorced later, it’s fine. We all have to get divorced at some time.
xoN: There was a point in time where Ally’s character said that the way that she and Sean had reconnected was fate. Do you believe in fate, or do you believe in timely coincidences?
KC: I don’t know if I necessarily believe in fate. I think I do believe in things lining up with intention, more than I do fate. Like when something happens that most people would call fate, I’m more so one of those people that’s like, «I made this happen.» Ugh, I hate to say that I’ve been manifesting it, but that’s me. That’s who I am.
xoN: Do you believe that love should be an easy, smooth sailing train, or do you feel like nothing that you have shouldn’t come without some type of tug of war?
KC: I think that it should be healthy, but if it’s smooth sailing, you’re not living in reality. I think that you are living in delusion, and living in a place of what you want life to be like. I think the best love, even with your friends, is [that] a lot of people want to be like, «I’m going to cut that person off,» but I think if you’re able to resolve conflict and communicate, that’s real love.
xoN: Another interesting part of the storyline was there’s this compare and contrast between a life that you can have with love, and a life that you can have when you put your career first. What’s the importance of having a balance of a person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, as well as a fulfilling career path?
KC: I think if there’s anything that you also want to do for the rest of your life, it must be part of your purpose, and you should stick with that thing, but also if there’s a person you want to do with that as well, then yeah, it has to be balanced. Committing to one thing or another, if I have to do that, I’m dropping both. I’m starting over, I’m doing something else. I don’t like sacrificing everything. That’s so weird. I’m not doing that. I ain’t choosing.
«Committing to one thing or another, if I have to do that, I’m dropping both. I’m starting over, I’m doing something else. I don’t like sacrificing everything. That’s so weird. I’m not doing that. I ain’t choosing.»
Jeremy Chan/Getty Images
xoN: What does closing a door look like for you, and how do you personally address triggers from old relationships?
KC: I think it’s closure, it’s having a conversation, allowing yourself the space to heal from whatever it was and whatever happened. I kind of like the idea of resolve before going your separate ways. I think two people who are angry and have animosity, going their separate ways is… I don’t know. It allows space for a grudge that personally, I don’t like to have grudges, and that’s also what creates triggers.
xoN: In a relationship, what do you think is more important — communication, trust, or commitment?
KC: I think all of them. Commitment more so. Again, divorce [and] things happen, but you have to have trust and communication in any relationship if it’s your family, your friends, or your partner — or what are you really doing?
xoN: What’s the most important piece of relationship advice you’ve ever learned that you still take with you to this day?
KC: Conflict, communication, resolution. I always keep that in mind. I just had that with a friend. They couldn’t do the communication part and I was like, «We can’t ever get to the resolution.» I love when I have conflicts with my friends. I don’t create it because it allows us to get to a place that is in here. I love that. I made it up. Doesn’t it sound like a therapist told me?
xoN: It does.
KC: You know what I also came up with yesterday? This has nothing to do with anything, except it does have to do with marriage and me thinking that I’m a therapist. By the way, it leads to nothing, but this is going to help people. We were talking about splitting duties in the house, like why don’t people just do the job that they like? Even if you end up doing more things than me, if you like cleaning dishes, then you can clean the dishes. I like to vacuum.
I was like, okay, partners should have the list of things that need to be done in the house, and without looking at each other’s piece of paper, from one to five, you rate out what you hate to do, being one, and what you like to do, being five. What brings you satisfaction? Vacuuming. Mwah, chef’s kiss. And then that’s how you decide what each person does. Don’t I sound like a fricking marriage counselor?
Somebody I Used to Know is now streaming on Prime Video.
Featured image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images