‘Thelma’ Trailer: June Squibb Is a 93-Year-Old Grandma Out for Revenge

From Harrison Ford to Tom Cruise, Hollywood stars have become increasingly comfortable performing stunts in the later stages of their careers. But June Squibb might have set a new standard when she took on the lead role in “Thelma” and did the bulk of her own stunt work at the age of 93.

Josh Margolin’s directorial debut, which is loosely based on a true story about his own grandmother, stars Squibb as a nonagenarian who falls victim to a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson. The injustice inspires her to hop on her motorized scooter and travel across Los Angeles to take down the thief and reclaim her lost funds. The result is an action movie that promises to show audiences that it’s never too late to reclaim agency over your own life.

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In addition to Squibb, “Thelma” also features “Shaft” star Richard Roundtree in his final film performance. Fred Hechinger, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, and Malcolm McDowell round out the supporting cast.

“Thelma” premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, where many critics praised Squibb’s willingness to embody her first leading role with so much life.

“Margolin and Squibb deftly explore that surprisingly complicated emotional tension, bringing to life a woman not yet ready to debate every tactical move she makes with the cadre back at headquarters. Simultaneously fragile and fearsome, the 94-year-old actress (she’s had a birthday since filming!) remains as enchanting and spunky as she was in 2013’s ‘Nebraska,'” IndieWire’s Alison Foreman wrote in her Sundance review of the film. “Her chemistry with Roundtree is platonic but contagious, and while your take on the scene in question might vary, there is a read of this film that sees Squibb getting seriously flirty with Malcolm McDowell, whose role is a surprise.”

During a visit to the IndieWire Studio at Sundance, Margolis spoke to IndieWire’s Brian Welk about being pleasantly surprised by Squibb’s willingness to perform her own stunts as the shoot progressed.

“At the beginning of the process, I wanted there to be a sense of reality, but we had a stunt team and we were gonna try to be creative about it,” Margolis said. “But as the shoot went on, June wanted to do more and more of these stunts. Little by little, we started figuring out where that line was and trusting her to do more and more. And she ended up doing quite a bit of it by the end. She kept setting the tone of being a pro, and I think it brought out the best in everyone.”

Magnolia Pictures will release “Thelma” in theaters on Friday, June 21. Watch the trailer below.

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