Kristine Froseth on Playing a Mean Girl in ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’ & The Importance of Having a Support System (Exclusive Q&A)

If you mooch off your bestie’s Netflix subscription have a Netflix subscription and you haven’t seen Sierra Burgess Is a Loser yet, then you should stop reading this article right now. Seriously, this interview is teeming with noncontextual and contextual spoilers. So if you’re planning on divulging in the second part of Noah Centino’s movie-based thirst traps on literally everyone, then GTFO out of this article because we’re not about to become the Tom Holland of your Netflix binging ventures.

Now that that’s straightened out, if you’re still on this page, then you either have an obsession with spoilers (weird, but we aren’t judging too much) or you’ve already fallen in love with Jamey, Sierra and Veronica simultaneously. We feel you. 

We were lucky enough to talk to actress and model Kristine Froseth, who portrays Veronica, an apparent mean girl, in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. However, Sierra and viewers soon realize that Veronica only uses her mean girl status as a coping mechanism and later transitions into an empowering role, both for herself and her new bestie Sierra. Froseth isn’t a stranger to being an empowering voice, as she’s used her platform to speak out against abuse in the fashion industry. Aside from our inquiries on how Kristine Froseth got into the headspace to play a high school bully (before Veronica’s character development, obviously), we asked Kristine Froseth about her high school experience and her life philosophies. (We also sort of pitched a sequel to Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, nbd.)

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

September 7th much love for this crew. Y’all are epic. #bts

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Her Campus: In Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, you play Veronica, who starts off as a mean girl. What’s it like to play the resident mean girl? How did you get into the headspace of being someone that finds joy in consistently pushing other people down?

Kristine Froseth: Well, I definitely had to go back to my own high school experiences where there we tons of those girls like Veronica. I dress a lot of Veronica’s characteristics from them, actually. I went back to those days. But, I also wanted to make sure that Veronica didn’t just only become the mean girl—that she would have this depth and the audience would understand why she is the way she is. That she wouldn't be just a shallow "villain." So, I kind of drew a lot of inspiration from my own experiences with mean girls in high school.

HC: I feel like everyone has had those experiences with means girls in high school, unfortunately. Throughout the film, Veronica transitions into a "loser" herself and develops a friendship with Sierra, and even shows empathy toward Sierra after she acted like a mean girl herself. How do you think young women can learn to reclaim the "loser" label for themselves and defray bullying in their own school or life? Because Veronica kind of reclaims the loser label herself when accepting that she isn’t a mean girl anymore.

KF: That’s a very good question. I think, ultimately, once you kind of open yourself up to others around you and you really embrace who you are, it’s all about that, in the end. That’s what it takes. It’s a defensive mechanism really, the cool girl personality that she puts on. That’s not really her. So, I think she was always kind of a loser, or whatever the definition of a loser is. I think once she finds her true self after learning a lot from Sierra, she’s finally herself, and I think that’s kind of what it takes.

HC: Absolutely, absolutely. Overall, Veronica goes through some major transitions throughout the film, from becoming a reformed mean girl to learning what she wants in her life, beyond what she thinks boys want to see from her. Have you learned anything about yourself from portraying Veronica?

KF: I have! Definitely the fact that I still struggle as an adult not to judge a book by its cover. You know, to see myself and to be true to that. So, it’s a constant reminder to me. After shooting, it was definitely a lot more in my face—the reminder of it and trying to live by it. So, I’ve definitely grown in that way.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The most beautiful inside and out @shannonpurser

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HC: Did you find yourself relating to Veronica on any other levels?

KF: Yeah, I did. I didn’t really know who I was in high school. I moved a lot, so I kind of was in different social groups. I was always adapting to everybody because I wasn’t really sure of who I wanted to be or who I wanted to hang out with. I do think I’ve kind of put on a little facade sometimes to fit in. I know Veronica puts on this facade, so in that way we had that similarity and struggling with home situations for sure. You know, not as intense, obviously. But yes, I do share some of my own personal experiences in that aspect as well.

HC: I think that everyone puts up this sort of facade or barrier to hide their true selves at times. I think that’s really important for Veronica’s character to be shown in that respect.

KF: Yeah, it is. And it’s a shame because you can’t really have true relationships when everyone’s just putting up a facade.

HC: Absolutely. What are some other important lessons that you hope viewers learn from Veronica?

KF: I really hope that, after watching this, everyone will try to be a bit more open to why people are the way that they are—that there’s always a story. To never judge, basically. And try and understand where they’re coming from, regardless of how awful they may seem in the beginning. In the end, you realize that Veronica isn’t this awful, shallow cold mean girl, she’s just really lost and struggling. You know, it’s no excuse, but I do hope people will hopefully be more open to each other and be more themselves, so there’s no secret or facade.

HC: I think that’s a great lesson for anyone.

KF: Yeah. It’s difficult, but yes.

HC: At the end of the film, Veronica sets off to become a professional philosophy queen. Are there any philosophies about life that you hope to take from Veronica's experiences and apply to your own life? Or are there any philosophies, in general, that you live by?

KF: I forget the quote right now, but it’s basically just to be true to yourself. That’s basically what the quote is, very loosely. Shannon Purser would know this. She knows this stuff.

HC: And are there any philosophies in general that you live by in your day-to-day life?

KF: You know, be kind, really. And to have courage—I like that one a lot. I forget where that came from, or if that’s just a general insight.

HC: Yeah, I think that’s a general philosophy, but it’s a good philosophy though. I feel like we don’t have enough courage in our own lives, as human.

KF: I know. Fear really runs us. Do you have one?

HC: Do I have one? I don’t know. I’d say I’d agree with courage and just believing in yourself. I feel like we get all caught up in being our worst critics when we should be our best critics, too.

KF: I know! You should talk to yourself exactly like you talk to your best friend.

HC: Absolutely. And what was high school like for you? I know you talked about it a little bit earlier, but how did you work through dealing with mean girls in your life?

KF: I’m fortunately very close with my sister, and she would always have my back. She was always my best friend through it all. I had to move so much that I would always have to leave my friends behind and make new ones, so my sister was always a constant in my life. She was the one who got me through it all. I was bullied a little bit, but I know kids can be very horrible and I’m really grateful that I had my sister through it all.

HC: It’s amazing when you have a support system in your family.

KF: Yeah, exactly.

HC: At one point in the film, Sierra is asked to fill in the blank ‘Sierra is...____’ ‘Sierra is what?’ If you could fill in the blank for who Veronica is, what words would you use?

KF: Veronica is growing. She’s definitely growing. Hopefully, in the right direction.

HC: Definitely. I think that’s the best way to describe her. That’s interesting. Where do you think Veronica’s story would go if the movie had continued?

KF: Oh, wow. That’s a really good question. I feel like she and Sierra would become close. She definitely would not [be a] bully. I’m not sure she would hang out with her two friends, or her two former friends, still. Yeah, I wonder what groups she would be in. Or if she would just be with everyone. That’s such a good question—I need to think about that more.

HC: I feel like it would be a good self-discovery experience for Veronica, herself, just to see where she would go.

KF: Exactly. Because she spends all her life and energy and time on being this personality and this character. But, who is she really?

HC: Yeah, that would be interesting to watch.

KF: Part two. [laughs]

HC: Pitch it to Netflix. [laughs]

KF: Yes, exactly!

HC: Was there ever a time in your life when you became friends with someone you used to dislike or who put on a facade that you didn’t really like? In high school or otherwise, maybe in regards to someone you have the wrong impression of initially and didn’t really want to become friends with them or get to know them better, but then you changed your opinion and started to become friends with them.

KF: Yeah, that’s something that’s happened a couple of times. That’s usually always fear-based, kind of from both parties really. There was actually one mean girl in my high school that I become quite close to when she had kind of an intense fall in her "empire" or whatever in her high school life. And we kind of connected and that’s when I realized she wasn’t truly that facade that she put on. She was just really struggling with her own situations, so she was kind of like the main inspiration for Veronica, really. But it has happened, and I wish it had happened sooner because you spend so much time waiting when you could be best friends with all these people. You just never give it a chance.

HC: And those learning experiences can help you keep that open mind [mentality] with other people.

KF: Exactly. I try to remind myself to never assume or judge someone’s story.

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser starts streaming on Netflix this Friday, September 7.