What happens when your love for social media goes too far? Lifetime reveals how social media can can turn deadly with new original film inspired by true events, He’s Not Worth Dying For . The film follows the intertwined real and social media lives of Isla (Rachel Boyd), a 19-year-old girl who has established herself as a beauty and fashion influencer and Grace (Hilda Martin), the expected valedictorian of her class with hopes of a veterinary career.
Though both are very different, they unknowingly share one thing in common – Jake (Lachlan Quarmby) – who is dating them both without their knowledge. When Isla and Grace discover that Jake was cheating on them, the girls turn on each other in a jealous rivalry and use their arsenal of social media platforms to badmouth and attack one another.
While their followers take sides and pit them against each other, their hatred for one another escalates into a real life fight that ultimately turns deadly. Here’s a peek at the film.
As first time leads in a film, Martin shares that “It was such a healthy environment, from director to crew to cast. I think what also helped was working alongside castmates who were just so grounded, like personality wise, very humble”.
Although each character was very different, they were the same in that they desired love and a sense of belonging. “It definitely felt that way with Jake and that’s something that I’ve felt before.” Quarmby shared. The actors reflected on their characters personalities and the similarities and differences they had with them in real life. Quarmby went on to say that Jake “for the most part is very, very different from me in terms of how he behaves and also his past and everything like that. So that did scare me at first, but it also kind of gave me a nice little challenge to work on and try and execute as best I could. And there were a few little similarities in there that I was able to grab hold of and flesh out a bit more just to make him a bit closer to me, but yeah, for the most part, very different. And that was tough”.
“I honestly think a lot of other young people on social media share the same insecurities that Isla does,” Boyd added. I think while her upbringing and her behavior might be a little different from me, I did definitely, as an actor, give a lot of my own personal broken parts to her, and that was really therapeutic to be able to play and then to be able to see being made into art. So it was awesome”.
In the film, you see the negative impacts of social media and how it changes the lives of Isal, Grace and Jake. For the film’s stars, social media has also played a part in their real lives, from their personal brands to connecting with friends and family.
“I think social media is capable of a lot of positive things, for building a business…for making money remotely,” Boyd shared. “I think it’s really great when you can appreciate people just for being people. But I think where the pitfall is with Isla, and where the pitfall is with social media in general, is that she attributed that goal to a number that then defined her self-worth. She never felt satisfied or comfortable in her life.
In the film Isla says that “Once I hit 10,000 followers, everything’s going to change”. Boyd could relate to that line and shared that “when I first read the script and I saw that line, I was like, I get it. I see what she’s striving for. And sometimes I can get caught up in it too. I mean, I’m not going to act like I’m above it in any kind of way. Like I’m right there with her. So I was able to empathize with that”.
Jake is attracted to both Isla and Grace for different reasons. He can’t seem to let either go, which turns out fatal in the end. “Even though they are different, it’s getting love struck, Quarmby shared. “It’s that inexplicable understanding of, I don’t know why, but I need you and I don’t know why, but I also need you. There are so many times in the movie where I think we see him sort of just be like, I can’t keep doing this to these two young women, I’ve got to let them both go, but he just can’t”.
The film takes a shocking turn in the end that leaves everyone devastated. “They all lost,” Martin reflected. Whether it’s love, whether it’s validation, whether it’s the social media, the following…it was all about love and they all lost. And everyone around them did too”.
“What I want people to take away from Isla’s story specifically is that, that external validation, whether it’s from a boy, whether it’s from followers, likes, comments on social media, it’s always gonna come and go and push and pull. And if you depend on that to give you your entire self-worth and your entire self-value, then you will never, ever be satisfied,” Boyd said. “When it’s all taken away from you, which we see at the end, then all you’re left with is your self‑worth. And if you haven’t spent the time to work on that and to get that into a place that’s happy and confident, then that’s a real tragedy and loss of a life in itself. And we see that for Isla”.
Martin added, “whatever position you are in life, keep building yourself up first and have the people you love at your side, not at the center of your life”.
Watch He’s Not Worth Dying For Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.