Sarah Adina Smith, the writer and director of the new movie Birds of Paradise gave us an exclusive interview where we talked about the nature of competition in Hollywood, and in life, today. Her film, set at a highly competative parisian ballet school, focuses dynamically on the juxtaposition between trust and competition. Which is what drove us to our very interesting conversation!

Watch our Diana Silvers and Kristine Froseth Interview for Birds Of Paradise

Birds of Paradise Movie Poster
(Photo : Birds of Paradise Movie Images Amazon Prime)

Smith remarked that while she had never, to her knowledge, been anything of a saboteur in her own life, she has always been competitive. However, this competitive energy has always been focused inward. As a former athlete she recalled, "When you're playing singles tennis, you can't blame anyone but yourself when you miss the shot." The dog-eat-dog energy seen in the movie comes from this heart of truth. At the end of the day, you are up there alone. The true person to test is yourself.

A lot of this wisdom, the writer-director stated, has come with time. "In my younger days, like when I was the age of these characters, I was a little more competitive and, like, always sort of comparing myself to others or like 'Why haven't I achieved as much?' And now I'm in a place where I really truly feel genuinely happy when others succeed, especially when they're worthy, and I respect the work of others when friends succeed." Smith's feelings can be seen reflected in the compelling dynamics in the cutthroat but sisterly dynamic between Marine (Kristine Froseth) and Kate (Diana Silvers), the stars of the film.

Birds of Paradise Picture
(Photo : Photo : Amazon Prime )

It is so easy to compare yourself to the people around you, but at the end of the day, "You can only be the best version of who you are. You can't be somebody else's best. You can only be your best version." These wise words from Sarah Adina Smith are critical to remember, especially in this time of social media. It is so easy to compare yourself to the successes and failures of everyone around you, but at the end of the day, it's just you vs. you.

This competitive ideology is explored further in the fantastically twisted Birds of Paradise which comes out September 24th on Prime Video. I'll definitely be watching these two compete while contemplating my own internalized competition with myself. Howa about you?