‘Paradise Hills’: Emma Roberts, Eiza González & More on the Beauty of Self-Acceptance & Sisterhood

     February 1, 2019

If you’ve seen director Alice Waddington‘s award-winning short film Disco Inferno, you’re probably well aware of her penchant for an intoxicating fantasy with wildly original costume and production design, and she most certainly brings those standout qualities to her very first feature film, Paradise HillsEmma Roberts leads as Uma, a young woman who wakes up in an island-based facility called Paradise Hills. Per the head of the facility, the Duchess played by Milla Jovovich, Uma is there for emotional healing, but the longer Uma and her friends (Eiza González and Danielle Macdonald) stay there, the clearer it becomes that the staff doesn’t really have its residents’ best interests at heart.

While celebrating the world premiere of Paradise Hills at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Waddington, Roberts, Jovovich, González and Macdonald took a moment to swing by the Collider Studio to talk about making the film, the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin, the sisterhood they formed on set, and loads more. You can catch it all in the video interview at the top of this article, and there’s also a handy breakdown of the complete conversation below.


Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”

Danielle Macdonald, Eiza González, Alice Waddington, Emma Roberts & Milla Jovovich:

  • The thrill of sharing Paradise Hills at Sundance.
  • The cast didn’t just get a script; they also got a look book to help picture the world Waddington aimed to build.
  • How much of what we see in Paradise Hills is digital and how much is practical?
  • Truly feeling like they were stepping into another world while making the movie.
  • Jovovich on her character, the Duchess.
  • Understanding the Duchess versus just labeling her a villain.
  • Qualities about themselves that they didn’t like, but ultimately came to value.
  • The struggle to feel comfortable in your own skin and how Paradise Hills addresses that.
  • How the Paradise Hills ensemble turned into a true family.

Image via Sundance

Here’s the official Sundance synopsis for Paradise Hills:

When Uma wakes up alone on a strange island called Paradise, she instantly suspects it’s anything but. Helmed by the Duchess (Milla Jovovich), Paradise Hills is a center for emotional healing that at its core serves as a reformatory-style boarding school for privileged young women. Yet behind the rose-covered pathways and fairy-tale decor, Uma and her friends learn something more sinister is at work.

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