Prime Video’s new movie inspired by Canadian influencers, drug dealers

Dubbed the ‘Cocaine Cowgirls’, ‘Cocaine Cuties’ and ‘Cocaine Babes’, the new film Sugar (Premier on Amazon’s Prime Video November 18)is inspired by the story of two Canadian women, influencers from Quebec, convicted in 2018 of smuggling cocaine in Sydney, Australia, on board a luxury cruise ship, one of the largest drug seizures in Australian history.

According to the true story, Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagacé (aged 24 and 30 respectively at the time of sentencing) were on board the luxury cruise ship MS Sea Princess in 2016. Police dogs found cocaine in their cabin and Roberge then admitted that she agreed. to smuggle the drugs in exchange for the opportunity to experience this luxury vacation and talk about it on social media.

At the time, the judge said it was a “sad” reflection of people Roberge’s age who “seeking to achieve such an empty existence where the number of likes they receive is their motto.”

Katherine McNamara and Jasmine Sky Sarin in “Sugar” on Amazon Prime Video on November 18.

Sugar is a fictionalized version of events, simply inspired by this story. Jasmine Sky Sarin plays Mélanie, who naively follows a new friend, Chloé (Katherine McNamara), whom she meets in a Montreal club, during a free cruise. Chloé has a debt to pay to a local gangster and takes advantage of this trip to earn money with Jules (Éric Bruneau).

Melanie and Chloe are supposed to entertain Jules’ associates and collect their payment at the end of the cruise, while posting about the luxury experience on social media. In reality, they end up participating in a drug trafficking operation.

“It’s a very relatable story, which I really liked,” Sarin said. Yahoo Canada on what drew her to playing Melanie. “Obviously it’s extreme circumstances…but overall it’s about this character, Melanie in particular, who just wants to find herself.”

“She wants to feel seen and like she has a purpose, and she does this kind of crazy stuff to find it, but I definitely saw myself in her and I think a lot of people will too. Especially now with the use of social media so prevalent in our society.

One of the big questions is why Melanie, who just briefly bet on Chloe, would feel comfortable on this mystery vacation. For Sarin, all signs point to Melanie’s experience of sheltered living, while being caught up in Chloe’s influencer persona.

“Melanie hasn’t really experienced heartbreak or betrayal in her life yet, so she trusts people very easily and she believes in the best in people, which is an amazing quality to have sometimes, sometimes it gets you in trouble. “, explained Sarin. “I think she really trusts Chloe in the way that she sees her as this larger than life influencer, this celeb basically takes me under her wing and wants to be my friend.”

We just want to feel that we have a purpose. Especially in the sea of ​​social media, it’s really easy to feel lost and almost invisible, and I’ve definitely felt that before. It’s a good lesson how far are you going to go to feel validated and find that and at the end of the day,…what’s the point?…No matter what [strangers] think of me.Jasmine Sky Sarin, actress

Katherine McNamara and Jasmine Sky Sarin in

Katherine McNamara and Jasmine Sky Sarin in “Sugar” on Amazon Prime Video on November 18.

“Social media is the new Hollywood”

For Éric Bruneau, playing Jules often meant being the “bad guy” who puts Mélanie and Chloé in this situation, but he has a real love for Chloé, and he may not be as bad as you might first think. .

“You have to take care of your character, I know it’s a bit of a cliché,” Bruneau said. “That was what was interesting to me and [director Vic Sarin]there is no villain.

“I have to be the bad guy, if we want the story to work, but it’s always about trying to find that humanity in all the characters you play.”

Regarding the comment about the obsession with getting attention on social media, something that has become even more prevalent since the Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagacé affair years ago, Bruneau calls social media ” the new Hollywood.

“The fact that these two girls got on the ship, trying to get more likes, more followers, I think that says a lot about us right now, about our hunger to exist,” Bruneau said. “If that’s not it, they don’t exist.”

Social media is the new Hollywood. You can become a star and that’s what you need. Here is what you want. It’s what people want. It’s like a drug. So it’s interesting, the parallel with drugs and their drugs is to be seen.Eric Bruneau, actor

This social commentary is something Jasmine Sky Sarin hopes audiences will take away from the film.

“I think the main message of the film is that all is not what it seems,” Sarin said. “I really hope people take this movie, … just to be careful online and just to be aware of what you’re consuming, and what thoughts you have when you’re online – do you compare yourself to other people Do you feel a bit down about it or do you feel like you have to prove yourself?

“I just hope people can take that out of this and remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

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