What does a Girl Night Stand look like in a pandemic?
Out actress-writer-filmmaker Jenna Laurenzo is giving the sapphics everything they want in Girl Night Stand Chapter 2, the forthcoming sequel to her popular short film about a girl-on-girl hookup from almost six years ago. The original Girl Night Stand was created as a “proof of concept” so that Laurenzo could make her first feature film. The short has amassed a whopping 13 million views since it first premiered on YouTube, proving one thing once and for all: queer women are hungry to see themselves represented onscreen.
Now, the short is getting a long-awaited sequel. The backdrop? 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, which has radically changed the ways all of us navigate sex and dating.
Speaking to NewNowNext, Laurenzo says she’d wanted to revisit the characters, Sarah (played by Meryl Jones Williams) and Katie (Laurenzo), for a long time. The pandemic was simply her entry point.
“During this past year, being largely confined to our apartment, I sometimes felt like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken,” she explains. “I wanted to see what it would look like for two people to reignite a romance, with all that bottled energy, and how quickly they’d be willing to drop their masks — both physical and emotional.” With the help of her co-star, who reprised her original role, and a bare-bones crew committed to following strict safety protocols, Laurenzo was able to bring Chapter 2 to life mid-pandemic.
In the years since Sarah and Katie first met in the original Girl Night Stand, Laurenzo has stayed busy. As NewNowNext reported in 2018, she directed and starred in Lez Bomb, a groundbreaking gay holiday rom-com and coming-out story. The indie flick predated last year’s deluge of big-budget queer holiday movies from major studios, including Hulu’s Happiest Season and Paramount Network’s Dashing in December.
Laurenzo says it’s been “uplifting” to watch the industry tell more queer-inclusive stories. “I was very happy to see the studio get behind Happiest Season and hit a mainstream audience in such a big way,” she says. “I look forward to seeing more of these stories, and I look forward to making them.”
Watch the trailer for Girl Night Stand Chapter 2 below, and check back for the full short when it premieres next Friday, February 5, on Laurenzo’s YouTube channel.