Pearl director explains why Mia Goth isn’t a co-writer on MaXXXine

Mia Goth in PearlA24

After starring in Ti West’s X, Mia Goth was a co-writer on Pearl – but while she’s hailed the script for MaXXXine, she doesn’t have a credit this time. So, we asked why.

Goth headed up the ensemble cast in 2022’s X, a porno-gone-wrong horror set against a grimy, ’70s Texas Chainsaw Massacre backdrop, playing the dual role of Maxine and Pearl; the former being a young, aspiring adult film star, the latter being an elderly, randy woman jealous of the youth surrounding her.

Produced for just $1 million, it grossed more than $15 million worldwide, paving the way for success for its surprise prequel: Pearl, with Goth reprising her role in a demented, technicolor slasher.

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Goth is the answer to her character’s pleas: she is a Staaaaar, thanks to a sensational performance and her work on the script alongside writer-director Ti West. However, the third and final chapter of the X trilogy will be a little different.

Pearl’s Ti West talks working with Mia Goth on MaXXXine

Ahead of Pearl’s UK release on Friday, March 17, Dexerto sat down with Ti West to chat about the movie, as well as its upcoming, anticipated follow-up MaXXXine.

West said: “We’re gonna shoot it soon,” but kept his cards especially close to his chest. Little is known about the movie, but the threequel will see Goth return as Maxine and continue her pursuit of fame in ’80s Hollywood.

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While she’ll also serve as an executive producer, Goth isn’t a co-writer on the next film. “I had the bandwidth to write Maxine when I did,” West explained.

“Pearl was also, like, a story from the ground up about a character that I felt like Mia was that character in in X. I felt like… it only felt right that she’d be involved from the conceptual nature of that.

“MaXXXine’s a very, very different kind of movie, and it just felt like… her performance is very different in MaXXXine as well, so it just didn’t sort of like… require the same. We’re still as collaborative as far as all the things about the character with making the movie. It just didn’t require the on-the-page amount as much.”

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One thing is certain: MaXXXine is the definitive end of the trilogy. “I think this will be the end of that. I think Mia and I with this, these characters, this is about as far as it can go,” he said.

MaXXXine is not like X or Pearl “at all”

Pearl’s “X-traordinary Origin Story” was conceived and shot without anybody knowing, but curiosity MaXXXine is increasingly pervasive. West has been open about the “joy of these movies being keeping them a secret”, but unlike Andrew Garfield and co. having to “werewolf” their way out of every interview, the director doesn’t find it that hard.

“That was the goal, for no-one to know about Pearl until SXSW. And I mean, really, the way we achieved that was: you just don’t tell anybody, and then it’s fine,” he said.

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Mia Goth in PearlA24

“You know, it’s a little trickier on MaXXXine because people know it’s coming, but we kept MaXXXine a secret until Toronto, and that was the goal also with having a teaser there. Now, it’s a little trickier because people know the movie’s coming, so they’re looking a little bit more.

“But, you know, I’m not that worried about it. I just kind of tell people, like, let’s just try to keep it between us for as long as we can.”

Inevitably, when we tried to pry a few details about MaXXXine, West was ready and on guard. We asked if he could talk about any of the visual inspirations for the movie, given the clear, contrasting influences behind X and Pearl, and he said: “No, probably not.

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“It’s very different. I mean, it’s not gonna be like… it’s the eighties. It’s not gonna be something you can’t totally imagine. I think it will make sense when you see it, but it’s not like the other two films at all.”

Ti West says Mia Goth being an icon was “the goal”

Iconic is an overused word now; fans are all too happy to slap it on something that’s moved them, no matter how fleeting the high. Goth, however, is an exception: some of her scenes in Pearl already feel enshrined under this era of the genre, with her fearless, hectically violent energy making scenes just as electrifying as they are rewatchable.

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“It’s great. I mean, that was the goal. I mean, you never know how it’s gonna go, but I mean… when you’re making a movie where there’s a person named Pearl in every single frame of every single shot in the movie, and it hinges on your interest in her, it went as we would hope it to go,” West said.

“I think Mia’s deserving of all of the accolades that she’s getting and it feels great.”

Pearl hits UK cinemas on March 17. In the US, it’s available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime and other VOD platforms, as well as DVD and Blu-ray.

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