Joe Keery and Camila Morrone‘s upcoming film Marmalade is full of chemistry, complications and crime, so expect Us to be seated in the front row.
“Once upon a time, I was just a wee boy. I worked at the post office. Then [I met] the girl of my dreams,” Keery’s character, Baron, says in Us Weekly‘s exclusive first look at the movie’s trailer. “From then on, we was inseparable.”
The sneak peek shows Baron agreeing to help his girlfriend, Marmalade (Morrone), rob banks when he needs money for his mother’s medicine. But what starts out as a means of survival quickly puts Baron’s future at risk and makes him question Marmalade’s true intentions.
Marmalade, which was written and directed by Keir O’Donnell, flashes back to Baron’s intense romance with Marmalade after he is imprisoned for their crimes. Determined to be reunited with the love of his life, Baron strikes up a friendship with his cellmate Otis (Aldis Hodge) as they make a plan to escape.
The movie is an unexpected addition to the filmographies of both Keery, 31, and Morrone, 26. Keery is best known for playing Steve Harrington on Netflix’s Stranger Things but has started to choose more edgy roles as he prepares for the series to end.
In 2020’s Spree, Keery played a social media obsessed rideshare driver who murders his passengers in an attempt to go viral. He followed that up with scene-stealing performances in Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds and in an Italian period drama titled Finally Dawn with costars Lily James, Willem Dafoe and Rachel Sennott.
On the small screen, Keery has received praise for playing Gator Tillman on season 5 of FX’s Fargo. He previously spoke about wanting to pursue roles that set him apart from his fan-favorite Stranger Things character.
“I think shaking things up is exactly what I’ve been trying to do. I just really want to work on something that is different and with complex characters, preferably as someone with an arc who learns or grows from something,” he said during an August 2020 interview with The Playlist. “Maybe even more important than the script for me is the director, who is at the end of the day the person I’m going to be working with closest and needs to be someone I can talk to, and so far that is something I’ve been really lucky to have had happen in everything I’ve worked in.”
Keery further opened up about how his childhood inspired his interest in acting, telling The Hollywood Reporter that same month, “I have three younger sisters, so the four of us would make movies together, and I would be kind of in charge. I’d be the director, actually.”
He continued: “I’d sort of tell them, ‘OK, you’re the lead actor. You’re going to do this. You guys are these two characters. And we’re going to shoot this movie.’ And we would shoot the movie, then I would cut the movie together and then we would play the movie for my family. That was maybe the beginnings of all this.”
Morrone, meanwhile, juggled both acting and modeling before earning an Emmy nomination for playing Camila Alvarez-Dunne in Prime Video’s limited series Daisy Jones & the Six. She has also appeared in movies such as Death Wish, Mickey and the Bear, Valley Girl and Gonzo Girl.
“I’ve always been a bit of a ham, and I grew up surrounded by industry people, so I always knew that [acting] was something I’d end up doing. But I was also a bit in denial,” Morrone told Interview Magazine in August. “I was in denial even with myself and I was pretending like I wasn’t going to do it. Meanwhile, I knew it was all I ever wanted to do. But being born in L.A., you’re so exposed to the industry at a young age that there is a part of you that rebels against it before you inevitably dive into it.”
Morrone admitted she had reservations about becoming an actress, adding, “What has given me confidence has always been to work with a coach. I was hesitant about acting class for a really long time and then when I dove into it, you realize there are infinite possibilities to explore within this craft. I’m never going to hit perfection or know it all, so I’m just going to soak up everything.”
Marmalade premieres in theaters and on demand on February 9.