Leighton Meester on Playing Beth, Motherhood And Kate's Killer in 'The Weekend Away'

The Weekend Away is Netflix's latest thriller starring Leighton Meester, Christina Wolfe, Luke Norris, Adrian Pezdirc, Amar Bukvic, and Ziad Bakri.

Based on Sarah Alderson's novel of the same name, The Weekend Away has twists and turns at every stage that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The movie follows the story of Beth who risks everything to find who killed her best friend Kate during what was supposed to be a much-needed girls' trip to Croatia.

Leighton Meester spoke to Newsweek about why she wanted to be a part of Netflix's The Weekend Away, how Beth and her have something in common, female friendship, and Kate's killer.

Filming for The Weekend Away, which was adapted for Netflix by the book's author Sarah Alderson, took place in the summer of 2021 on location in Split, Croatia—but what attracted the Gossip Girl alum to the project in the first place?

"It was kind of like a combination of all of its parts, upon first reading I saw the description as a 35-year-old with a 10-month-old, and it was uncanny that that was the exact moment that I was in myself. I love that they were having that as the forefront of the character's journey," Meester told Newsweek.

Just a few months before filming commenced, Meester had given birth to her second child, a son, with husband Adam Brody. In August 2015, they welcomed their daughter, Arlo Day Brody, into the world.

Meester reflected: "Beth has just become a mother, her whole life has changed. Her entire universe has shifted to focus on her baby, her body, her friendships, her marriage, her career, everything's changed, and she is looking forward to this time to kind of rekindle a friendship that had been neglected. So I can very much relate to that precious, fragile, delicate period of time and then, of course, the murder mystery element was really enticing to me."

To prepare for the role, Meester asked questions such as "Who is Beth? Where is she in her life?"

She continued: "I could very much find a lot of common ground with her, and the high stakes of being out of the country, from your child, and having your child be thousands of miles away. That in particular was what kept me gripped to the character and her journey and what's happening to her.

"I guess, I just have as much compassion and the ways that I can relate to a character are what drives me in each scene so there's that and then I think, truly just the subject matter, for moment by moment it was intense, and at times really hard but the best thing was that everyone on set was super talented and supportive and helpful."

In The Weekend Away, it is very clear Beth and Kate are in entirely different places in their lives. From the get-go, Beth seems to want a relaxing, weekend away whereas Kate, who is going through a divorce wants to party, and party hard and even hires two male escorts for their big night out (without Beth's input).

In the end, Beth realizes Kate's actions—whether they were wrong or right—were all intended to make Beth realize who she used to be, without her cheating husband Rob.

Reflecting on Kate and Beth's friendship, Meester said: "I think that Kate and Beth's relationship is obviously the most important relationship to have established early on in the film and to have Christina [Wolfe] in that role is so perfect.

"Because, while she can of course capture the fun and the lightheartedness and the joie de vivre Kate has, I think she also gives her such a sort of sadness or a history and a real warmth and also likability that gives Kate such a well-rounded presence in the film.

"It makes you understand why Beth cares so much about their friendship and why they've been friends for so long. I can't think of a better person to have done that than Christina."

As for Beth, Meester said despite having a friend like Kate, she actually feels quite alone in her life.

She shared: "I think, what a lot of women go through the first year, two years, three years or more beyond, after having a child that their life really transforms and I think she's sort of trying to navigate it in what feels like being alone.

"She's trying to navigate it alone essentially, without a lot of support from friends or her husband and she, I think, is more timid and insecure and untrusting of her own gut and her own self [compared to Kate].

"And then I think as she moves forward through this tragedy, she is faced with truly being alone, and that she is enough and that she can trust herself and her inner voice which is really powerful."

Kate's killer turned out to be Beth's husband Rob (Luke Norris). He had traveled to Croatia the day before Kate's body was found in the ocean to confront her about their affair. Rob feared Kate would tell Beth the truth about their illicit relationship but in reality, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.

Full of rage and rejection, Rob pushed Kate and she sadly fell hitting her head on some rocks. Instead of helping her out of the water, Rob let Kate slide into the sea and drown.

Beth was dealt the devasting blow that her former husband was her best friend's killer after discovering a bead from the necklace Kate was wearing on the night she disappeared in Rob's jacket pocket months later.

On the dramatic reveal, Meester said: "The thing that drives the movie so beautifully is how many red herrings there are. I think the other part of it that makes it more cinematic is the tension, but then also truly, you know, this sort of undercurrent of tension with the police, and in general, anybody that Beth interacts with, that makes her feel like she has to scream, to be heard, and to be listened to and believed. So I think that [ending] is giving it even a newer meaning and just trying also not to give it away.

"I think that the script, as I was reading it for the first time, did a really good job of redirecting you, and the thing that I think gives the twists such weight, is that nobody is all good or bad. Everyone in the movie has a dark side but then you question what were their intentions, and why."

The Weekend Away is streaming on Netflix now.

leighton meester the weekend away
Leighton Meester as Beth in "The Weekend Away" on Netflix Ivan Šardi/Netflix

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