‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower': Meet Mary Elizabeth

by Jessica Marshall

Tomorrow, tomorrow, we’ll become infinite tomorrow! Friday marks the New York and L.A. release of Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and we’re clearly very excited about this one. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, “Perks” tells the story of friendless freshman Charlie (Logan), whose life is changed forever once he’s taken under the wings of senior step-sibs Sam (Emma) and Patrick (Ezra).

All week long, in anticipation of the release, we’ve been introducing you to the five pivotal characters of “Perks.” Today, meet Mary Elizabeth, who will share her opinion with you in great detail, whether you’d like to hear it it or not.

Who she is: She’s that smart-talking vegetarian feminist with a tattoo, a belly button ring and a snobbish preference for indie girl bands. You all knew one of these girls in high school, and you could never get a word in edgewise in her presence. She always talks nonstop about her opinions, her big plans for college and beyond, and the fact that Hollywood is stupid. Psychologically, she has an unconscious need to be in control of her situation, and that includes the people she dates. But underneath that overconfident exterior, she is a vulnerable gal who just wants to be loved and valued. Mary Elizabeth thinks she may have found that affirmation in Wallflower Charlie, but he doesn’t really feel the same way, and that creates a bit of classic teenage drama.

Who’s portraying her: Aptly, an actress known for her recent roles as the dumped or under-appreciated girlfriend—Mae Whitman! Her latest onscreen escapades involved playing an angry, vengeful ex-lover in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” playing George Michael’s chronically bland and unremarkable girlfriend on “Arrested Development” and assuming the role of angsty teen Amber on the NBC series “Parenthood.” Mae’s characteristic onscreen blend of sarcasm mixed with fleeting moments of caring and honesty make her a natural to play Mary Elizabeth.

Mae on Mary Elizabeth: “She starts out so confident. I mean, she’s just the most opinionated girl in the world and everything she says goes,” Mae told MTV News earlier this year, admitting that Mary Elizabeth was her favorite character in the book. “She has a golden heart, but she sort of goes through this change where for the first time she can’t just control the situation because someone else is involved and she really has to sort of learn to operate with someone else, with Charlie. But I think ultimately in the end she comes out even stronger in a real way than she was before, so I think it’s really special.”