When the Regal Cinema Theaters reopen nationwide on August 21, one of the first films people will have the chance to see is one about redemption, family, and forgiveness. Tulsa (starring Livi Birch as Tulsa) tells the story of a troubled father and his long-lost daughter’s journey to become a family in the face of their personal struggles. We spoke with Livi about her character and what this story means during a time when supporting one another is as important as ever.
“Tulsa and I are both strong,” eleven-year-old Livi Birch said of her character. “She is bossy like me, but she also has a lot of love to share, and I do, too!” She hopes people will loves these qualities in Tulsa as much as she does and get captured by the whirlwind of emotions present in the film. “I love that it is a rollercoaster,” she said. “It is happy, sad, and funny, and I think that makes a great movie.” Inspired by Livi’s co-star Scott Pryor’s work as a lawyer and one of his actual trial cases, the film aims to capture all of the emotions of the reality of having life hang in the balance.
A story about resilience and family, the cast of Tulsa became a family on-set as much as they did on-screen. Livi remembers pranking as a common behind-the-scenes activity, but her favorite memories are more emotional. “…everyone surprised me for my birthday with a big prank and then a big chocolate cake with Stitch playing a ukulele,” she shared. That doesn’t mean Livi doesn’t love to talk about all the fun she had on set from Mustache Day antics to smashing ice cream in her co-star and on-screen dad Scotty Pryor’s face.
Tulsa reinvigorates her father’s drive to be a bettter and more stable person with her own determination (and bossiness!), but one of Livi’s passions plays a role in Tulsa’s character, too. An avid musician, Livi loves to sing and play instruments. She has been playing the guitar since she got her first one at six years old, and she often shares her progress in videos on her Instagram (@livibofficial). Tulsa also uses music as an outlet. “Tulsa sings in the choir [at their church], so music is part of her faith which is what gave her hope after her mom died,” Livi told us. Livi wrote and recorded a song for the film. “Tulsa’s Song” is now available on iTunes. “I wrote it to explain how the song gives [Tulsa] happy memories of her mother and reminds her that God is with her,” Livi shared.
A story about supporting one another and holding on through dark times is one we can all relate to, especially now. Tulsa is a story about finding strength, looking forward, and holding onto hope. “I think people should pay attention to the message of always having hope, love, and faith,” Livi said. “Family and friends are so important.”