Leave the World Behind star Myha'la explains "genius" change from book

Leave the World Behind makes a significant change to Rumaan Alam's source novel.

In the new psychological thriller, which gives Julia Roberts her very first Netflix role, the characters of George and Ruth Scott (played by Mahershala Ali and Myha'la Herrold) have been switched from an older Black couple to a father and daughter duo.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy before the movie's debut later this week, Herrold praised this change from the book.

myhala herrold, mahershala ali, leave the world behind

Related: First trailer for Julia Roberts' Netflix movie Leave the World Behind

"I think it brought the generational conflict between the characters," she explained.

"But also when [writer-director Sam Esmail] said, 'I've decided to change it to a daughter because it was really important to have the perspective of this middle-age group in the context of the global event', which I thought was brilliant.

"I feel like Gen Z or young millennials can be some of the most opinionated when it comes to world issues, environmental issues, global issues, political issues, and they also seem to be the loudest and most emphatic. I thought that was a genius choice. It also [gave] some razzle-dazzle to the conflict between Amanda (Roberts) and Ruth."

mahershala ali, myhala herrold, ethan hawke, julia roberts, leave the world behind

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The story of Leave the World Behind sees one family's Long Island holiday interrupted by two strangers reporting of a blackout.

Also starring Ethan Hawke (Moon Knight) and Kevin Bacon (The Toxic Avenger), each character must decide on the best method to survive this crisis, while grappling with their place in a world on the brink.

"This film feels like a more satisfying version of the not-dissimilarly apocalyptic, but ultimately preposterous Knock at the Cabin from earlier this year," read Variety's review.

Leave the World Behind is out now in select cinemas and comes to Netflix this Friday (December 8).

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