The new Lifetime movie He’s Not Worth Dying For explores the dangers of basing your self-worth on social media followers and likes.
The film stars Robin Givens, Rachel Boyd, Hilda Martin, and Lachlan Quarmby.
Martin plays Givens’ teenage daughter “Grace,” an honor roll student who loses her way when she becomes obsessed with a good looking boy named Jake. What Grace doesn’t know is that Jake is cheating on her with Isla, a 19-year-old beauty and fashion influencer played by Boyd.
The script had several twists, which caught Boyd off guard.
“My first reaction was kind of like, ‘oh,’ a little taken aback,” Boyd told Urban Hollywood 411 in a recent interview.
Quarmby portrays Jake, a mediocre student with little ambition, who works in a fast food. He sleeps with both girls and enjoys watching the two as they begin to compete for his attention.
“It’s kind of exciting to play something so different to you. So I was excited to just dive in,” Quarmby said in our interview.
The movie is part of Lifetime’s “Ripped From the Headlines” slate of films based on real events.
The story is inspired by a teenage love triangle in Pinellas Park, Florida, which saw two girls with promising futures fall in love with the same bad boy before their feud ended in tragedy.
In the film, a nasty war of words between the romantic rivals plays out over social media, bringing each girl more likes and followers. In one scene, Isla posts a video online of herself saying: “If he’s in my bed, he’s not your man.” Her follower count soars.
Quarmby said the movie exposes the dangers of one-upmanship on social platforms.
“You can literally follow anyone you want around the world, and you start comparing yourself to them,” he noted. “And that’s where the real danger comes in, is when you start comparing yourself to other people who are completely different to you.”
For Martin, the film has an important message about people who become obsessed with social media.
“They want to be accepted, they want to be valued, they want to be seen,” she said. “And by saying they have enough followers, it’s kind of like building yourself up and trying to say that you’re a certain person, even though you are not.”
Boyd said she enjoys spending time online, but realizes she has to set boundaries.
“It’s been a really big part of my life. I don’t really know myself without it, which I think is a really, really big pitfall of social media, especially for younger people who have never experienced, really social life without it,” she explained. “I just really hope that this movie is able to shed light on, especially with Isla’s character, the real negative impacts [social media] have on your self-worth, and how you perceive yourself.”
He’s Not Worth Dying For is directed by Kevin Fair from a script written by Jacqueline Zambrano.
The movie premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.