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EXCLUSIVE: Laura & Vanessa Marano on How '13 Reasons Why' Helped Get Their New Movie Made

EXCLUSIVE: Laura & Vanessa Marano on How '13 Reasons Why' Helped Get Their New Movie Made

Dark, gritty YA is having a moment – just ask Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano.

The sisters are busy promoting their new film, Saving Zoë, which is a passion project they’ve been working to bring to the big screen for more than a decade.

Saving Zoë, based on the novel of the same name by Alyson Noël, tells the story of a high school freshman (played by Laura who searches for the truth about her older sister’s (played by Vanessa untimely death.

The story is dark and deals with important, harrowing real world issues like online sexual exploitation.

Laura, Vanessa, and their mother, Ellen Marano, optioned the book after reading it 12 years ago, but struggled for years to get the film made, in part because no one wanted to make a dark YA book into a movie or television show.

“By the time we finished [the script], something kind of crazy happened with timing – 13 Reasons Why came out,” Laura explained exclusively to JustJaredJr.com. “And, to be quite honest, all of a sudden, everyone was like, ‘We want dark YA! We want dark stories!’”

Vanessa says that fans of 13 Reasons Why are the same people who will appreciate Saving Zoë, but that, for years, the people with the power to make the project a reality just didn’t believe those viewers even existed.

Click inside for more of what Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano had to say about the importance of Saving Zoë. More Here! »

Laura & Vanessa Marano, Spencer Boldman, & More Attend an LA Screening of 'Saving Zoë'

Laura & Vanessa Marano, Spencer Boldman, & More Attend an LA Screening of 'Saving Zoë'

The stars turned out last night to support the Marano sisters!

Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano teamed up with The MOMS (Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein) to host a Mamarazzi event in partnership with Sylvania for the sisters’ new movie, Saving Zoë, on Wednesday night (July 10) in Los Angeles, Calif.

Their real-life mom, Ellen, plus Constance Marie, Virginia Marsden, Spencer Boldman, Greer Grammer, and author Alyson Noël also stepped out for the screening.

Saving Zoë is a project that Laura and Vanessa have been working to bring to the world for more than a decade.

In the movie, a high school freshman (played by Laura), uncovers the truth about her sister’s (played by Vanessa) secret life a year after her untimely death. The film deals with very mature themes, including online sexual exploitation.

FYI Vanessa is wearing an Elizabeth Franchi dress and Stuart Weitzman shoes. She’s carrying a Tyler Ellis clutch and wearing jewelry by ANK Jewelry and Anne Sisteron. Laura is wearing a Tadashi Shoji dress and Stuart Weitzman shoes. She’s carrying a Swarovski Alelier clutch and wearing XIV KARATS jewelry.

20+ pictures inside of the stars at the Saving Zoë screening…

Read what Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano had to say about their awkward first kiss stories here!

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Vanessa & Laura Marano Tell Their Awkward First Kiss Stories!

Vanessa & Laura Marano Tell Their Awkward First Kiss Stories!

The Marano sisters are kissing and telling!

Vanessa Marano and Laura Marano recently sat down with BuzzFeed to promote their new film, Saving Zoë, and talked about their various “first.”

One of the firsts the Marano sisters shared? Their first kiss stories.

Vanessa revealed that her first kiss went down on a movie set – and the scene was ultimately cut from the film.

“Mine was on-camera,” she explained. “I did an independent film called Easy and I was 10 years old. The characters have their first kiss and it’s supposed to be cute and sweet. It’s a flashback to the older girl having her first kiss and it’s supposed to take place in the ’80s, so the way she decides to kiss the boy, is they were watching Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ video. So, my character leaves while he’s watching the video, goes and gets a blonde wig, dresses up like Madonna, and starts singing ‘Like a Virgin’ to seduce him into a first kiss. Also, the boy did not want to kiss me.”

As for Laura, her first kiss venue was super relatable – a school dance.

“My first kiss was at a dance,” she said. “I was such a jerk, I could tell he was really nervous so I took a lot of comfort in that. I was not gonna do it on the dance floor so we went upstairs to the venue and we kissed. Then I was like, ‘You gotta give me more than that.’”

Laura, always the perfectionist, made her dance date kiss her not once, not twice, but three times to get the milestone moment right.

“Then we kissed again and missed each other’s mouths. And then we kissed again and it was good, so it was third time’s a charm for a first kiss.”

Read Laura Marano’s response to rumors that she’s starring in Pitch Perfect 4 here!

Laura & Vanessa Marano Promote New Movie 'Saving Zoe' in NYC

Laura & Vanessa Marano Promote New Movie 'Saving Zoe' in NYC

Laura Marano poses for a cute pic with her older sister Vanessa during their appearance at Build Series in New York City on Tuesday (July 8).

The 23- and 26-year-old actresses are out promoting their new movie, Saving Zoe, which hits select theaters on Friday, July 12th.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Vanessa Marano

“It’s really dark. There was a lot of fear in getting it made because of that, which to us just meant we NEEDED to get it made,” Vanessa emphasized about the subject of their new flick.

You can watch Laura and Vanessa‘s entire interview below!

FYI: Vanessa wore Stella Luna shoes.

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Laura & Vanessa Marano Unplug at Victoria's Secret Pink Grl Pwr Retreat

Laura & Vanessa Marano Unplug at Victoria's Secret Pink Grl Pwr Retreat

Laura and Vanessa Marano spent the weekend unplugged from technology!

The sister duo attended Victoria’s Secret Pink Grl Pwr Retreat on Saturday (June 22) at the Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona, AZ.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Laura Marano

“Real talk: I love talking to you guys, and I am so grateful for the amazing things social media can bring, but it’s also really important to be mindful of how social media and technology affect our mental health, and weekends like this are very needed, not just for our generation, but for everyone. Take a short break when you can/want to/need to ❤️,” Laura wrote on her Instagram.

During the three-day event, Laura, Vanessa and a group of young women got to spend time away from their screens to relax, recharge, and be present.

Guest were treated to morning yoga, stargazing, a tour of Sedona’s tranquil red rocks, and a discussion and Q&A hosted by Laura.

15+ pics inside of Laura and Vanessa Marano at the Victoria’s Secret Pink Grl Pwr Retreat
More Here! »

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