Early in the new movie “The Florida Project,” 6-year-old Moonee gives two friends a tour of the dingy motel at which she resides. Strolling along a balcony, Moonee offers a short biography of the dweller behind each violet door. The woman in this room “talks to Jesus,” she announces; the man in that room “gets arrested a lot.” We don’t learn how long Moonee has lived at the Magic Castle, where bright facades fade under the luster of nearby Disney World, but we know it’s enough to glean her neighbors’ goings-on.
Had Brooklynn Prince ― the 7-year-old Orlando native who portrays Moonee ― and her young co-stars gotten their way, we’d also discover that a certain superhero crashes at the motel when he’s not saving the world. Director Sean Baker had asked Prince to improvise a few lines, as he often did during last summer’s shoot.
Prince’s ad-lib? “Deadpool lives in here! Deadpool lives in here!”
Baker, whose previous credits include the low-budget gems “Tangerine” (2015) and “Starlet” (2012), had to insist she not add the Marvel mercenary to the motel’s residents list. “That’s where a kid’s imagination might get out of hand,” he told HuffPost earlier this week, laughing at the memory. Read more