Isabela Merced Has Anxiety in Movie

Isabela Merced tries to get out of her own head in the first trailer for the forthcoming feature adaptation of John Green’s best-selling 2017 novel Turtles All the Way Down.

Hannah Marks directs the movie which hails from New Line Cinema and Temple Hill and begins streaming via Max on May 2. Merced stars as 17-year-old Aza Holmes, who deals with anxiety and invasive thoughts while reconnecting with her childhood crush, Davis Pickett (Felix Mallard). Rounding out the cast are Cree, Maliq Johnson, Poorna Jagannathan, Judy Reyes and J. Smith-Cameron.

“You’re sweating,” Merced tells herself during an internal monologue in the trailer. “They probably think you’re just a sweaty freak. You can’t have a boyfriend. You can’t go to college. You can’t even control your own brain.”

During a different spot in the footage, Merced tells Mallard, “New things aren’t exactly my strong suit.” He replies, “I’m sort of a new thing, and you’re doing fine with me.” Later, after he asks why it’s so easy to talk with her, Merced reasons, “Maybe because our hearts are broken in the same places.”

Marks (Don’t Make Me Go) directed the film from a script by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Previously set up at Fox 2000, Turtles All the Way Down counts Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner as producers.

Merced had a role in Sony’s Madame Web, which was released in February, and is set to appear in such forthcoming projects as Alien: Romulus and James Gunn’s Superman. Mallard is known for his role on Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia.

The actress told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year that Turtles All the Way Down was the first of her own projects that didn’t make her “clench up” while watching. “I felt at ease watching it, and maybe that’s because I knew how much work I put into it and how I felt after each shooting day,” Merced said at the time. “So I do feel really proud of myself for that.”

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