Austin Butler and Jodie Comer Break Down Their Intense First Scene in ‘The Bikeriders’

The co-stars and the film’s writer/director take a deep dive into the pivotal scene where their two characters meet.

Jackie Kolgraf
June 11, 2024

Austin Butler and Jodie Comer, co-stars in “The Bikeriders,” along with the film’s writer/director, Jeff Nichols, joined hosts Jess Cagle and Julia Cunningham for an exclusive conversation about the movie.

Set in the late 1960s and based off a photo book of the same name, “The Bikeriders” tells the story of a Midwestern motorcycle club, the Vandals, led by Johnny (Tom Hardy). Kathy (Jodie Comer) is inextricably drawn to the club’s newest member, Benny (Austin Butler). Much like the country around it, the club begins to evolve, transforming from a gathering place for local outsiders into a dangerous underworld of violence, forcing Benny to choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club.

Jodie described the scene in the movie where Kathy and Benny first meet as “pivotal,” as it’s the first time her character is introduced to the world of the Vandals.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: (L-R) Julia Cunningham and Jess Cagle speak with 'The Bikeriders' Austin Butler, Jodie Comer on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show at The Bike Shed on May 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

“I was trying to envision this woman who was a single mother, three kids, divorced, lived a very different life. And then she’s kind of surrounded by this different energy in this different world, and it is enticing, you know?” Jodie said. “And I think there’s a mystery to Benny … and I think there’s something about him that strikes her as like — he’s very comfortable on his own and who he is. He’s very fiercely independent.”

“You put something down on the page, and you hope for the best,” Jeff said of the meeting scene between Kathy and Benny. “Then we got to set, and it starts to play out in front of you in real-time, and it’s better than you could’ve hoped for on the page.”

Austin explained that the original photo book contained very few photos of Benny — and none included his face — which served as the basis for the “enigma” of his character.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: (L-R) 'The Bikeriders' Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, and Jeff Nichols appear on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show at The Bike Shed on May 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

“That was one of the things I loved about how [Jeff] wrote that scene,” Austin said, “was it wasn’t about all these words that we say to each other. It’s all the unspoken moments in between and that feeling of connection and being magnetized toward somebody else and not even having the words to describe how you’re feeling.”

Jeff revealed that it difficult to edit the scene because no one wanted to cut away from either shot of Jodie or Austin.

“You’ve got Austin just staring at her, and then, Jodie, you did this incredible thing where your head goes back, and you just slightly shake your head. It’s almost imperceptible,” he added.

As Austin and Jodie’s characters become closer, a love triangle begins to form between them and Tom Hardy’s Johnny while the motorcycle group evolves from a social club to a gang. Benny finds himself caught between the woman he loves and the increasingly dangerous Vandals.

SiriusXM’s full interview with Austin, Jodie, and Jeff premieres June 17 on Radio Andy. See “The Bikeriders” in theaters June 21.