How to Build a Girl: It’s Hollywood by way of Wolverhampton as Beanie Feldstein takes starring role in Caitlin Moran book adaptation

Based on the best-selling novel by Caitlin Moran, How to Build a Girl charts the journey of teenager Johanna Morrigan, who reinvents herself as music critic Dolly Wilde.

By Sophia Moir Published: 15 July 2020 - 12.31am
Amazon Prime Video

Fans of Caitlin Moran’s best-selling novel How to Build a Girl couldn’t contain their excitement when it was announced that it was going to be adapted into a movie.

And you might be able to watch it earlier than you thought, after the film’s planned theatrical release was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

How to Build a Girl, directed by Coky Giedroyc (Harlots) and starring Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) in the title role, will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

The film charts the journey of working class teenager Johanna Morrigan (Feldstein), who reinvents herself as fast-talking music critic Dolly Wilde. 

Discover more about the UK launch of How to Build a Girl here.

Plus, don’t miss the best of what to watch on Amazon Prime Video this month, and the best films to watch on Prime Video now

When is How to Build a Girl out in the UK?

How to Build a Girl is available to watch on Prime Video from Friday, July 24.

The film launches exclusively on Prime Video in the UK after its theatrical run was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon Prime membership is required.

How to Build a Girl Amazon Prime Video
“How to Build a Girl” publicity still

What is How to Build a Girl about?

Based on the best-selling semi-autobiographical 2014 novel by Caitlin Moran, How to Build a Girl is a sassy, sexy, and a profoundly touching coming-of-age comedy that traces the rocky road to womanhood through the lens of a unique and wildly hilarious protagonist. 

Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein) is a bright, quirky, 16-year-old who uses her colourful imagination to regularly escape her humdrum life in Wolverhampton and live out her creative fantasies. 

Desperate to break free from the overcrowded flat she shares with her four brothers and eccentric parents, she submits an earnestly penned and off-beat music review to a group of self-important indie rock critics at a weekly magazine. 

How to Build a Girl Amazon Prime Video

Despite being brushed off initially, Johanna climbs to the top of the 90s rock music scene by reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde - a venerable, impossible-to-please music critic with an insatiable lust for fame, fortune, and men. 

It isn’t long before the rapid pace at which Johanna’s life is changing becomes overwhelming and she runs face-first into a devastatingly real, existential crisis: is this the type of girl she wants to become, or does she need to start over and build again from the ground up? 

Who’s in the cast of How to Build a Girl?

Johanna Morrigan is played by American actress Beanie Feldstein, best known for roles in  Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Lady Bird and Booksmart - the last of which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She is also the younger sister of fellow actor Jonah Hill.

The Los Angeles-born actress spent two weeks working at a gift shop in Wolverhampton to pick up the tricky West Midlands accent.

Speaking to BBC News, she said: "The first week [I was there] I did not fool anybody!

"But then by the end of the second week with a little help from the girls I was working with - they would yell at me when I got something wrong - by the end of the week I felt much more comfortable.”

Sarah Solemani (Bridget Jones's Baby, Him & Her), and Paddy Considine (Journeyman, Pride) play Johanna’s ‘unconventional parents', Angie and Pat Morrigan.

How to Build a Girl Emma Thompson Amazon Prime Video
“How to Build a Girl” publicity still

Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility) plays Amanda Watson, the editor of the music magazine who employs young ‘Dolly Wilde’.

Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones, John Wick) plays a rock star called John Kite in the film.

Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Laurie Kynaston (England Is Mine), Joanna Scanlan (Pin Cushion, Notes on a Scandal), Arinzé Kene (The Pass), Frank Dillane (In the Heart of the Sea), Tadhg Murphy (Guerrilla) and Ziggy Heath (Spies of Warsaw) also star in the film. 

Watch the How to Build a Girl trailer

How to Build a Girl is available to watch on Prime Video from Friday, July 24.