summer of scam

How Caroline Calloway’s Jump-Scare Cameo Ended Up in Not Okay

Caroline Calloway and Zoey Deutch in Not Okay. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Shorty Awards and Hulu

Spoilers for Not Okay are a-okay below.

At the end of Not Okay, zillennial writer-influencer-scammer Danni Sanders, played by Zoey Deutch, falls from grace when the general public learns that she pretended to survive a terrorist attack for fame and followers. She’s forced to delete her accounts, move back in with her parents, and attend a support group for people who were shamed online. It’s at one of these meetings that real-life writer, influencer, and self-proclaimed scammer Caroline Calloway appears, like a jump scare in a flower crown. Calloway is best known for writing very lengthy Instagram captions, getting a six-figure book deal (and then never delivering an actual memoir), and charging her followers $165 to attend Fyre Festival–esque creative workshops. These days, Calloway is somewhat offline, but she’s allegedly writing a “very real book,” according to her Instagram bio.

“I wrote the first draft of the script in 2018, which was peak summer of scam, and I had her in mind as somebody who could do a cameo in the online-cancellation-support-group scene,” writer and director Quinn Shephard said at the movie’s July 28 premiere. “I reached out to her on Instagram, and we ended up drinking a lot of rosé together.” Then, just like the rest of the world, “I found out that she had accepted the role via her post on Instagram,” Shephard added with a laugh.

When it came to writing her lines in Not Okay, they “collaborated a little bit.” “I definitely went in with some jokes prepared, and we kind of hashed out what she was comfortable saying in terms of self-satire,” Shephard added. In case you’re curious about Calloway’s character’s advice to Danni (reflect on your actions, focus on the perspective you’ve gained, and make amends), Not Okay releases on Hulu on July 29. While she didn’t make a jump-scare cameo at the premiere, maybe we’ll learn even more in her very real book.

How Not Okay Got a Caroline Calloway Jump-Scare Cameo