fb-pixel Skip to main content

Olivia Wilde has already added director to her resume this year, and on Thursday she got another feather in her cap: Boston Duck Tours conDUCKtor.

In town to promote her feature film debut “Booksmart” (out May 24) with actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein and co-screenwriter/producer Katie Silberman, Wilde — who attended boarding school at Phillips Academy in Andover — took in Boston by land and sea during an abridged version of the tour. Along with the actresses, Wilde even took a turn navigating the amphibious vessel through the Charles.

“She can drive a boat, and she can direct a movie,” exclaimed Feldstein, singing Wilde’s praises. “She’s everything! She’s supah-woman!”


The tour guide, who identified himself as Supah Fan!! — a gregarious, Celtics-merch-swaddled wellspring of Boston knowledge — was initially oblivious to his celebrity passengers but soon caught wise, taking breaks from his scheduled narration to ask questions about “Booksmahts.”

The comedy stars Dever (“Short Term 12”) and Feldstein (“Lady Bird”) as two high-school overachievers who — realizing their more relaxed peers are also headed to Ivy League colleges — let loose in epic style the night before graduation. It’s like “Superbad,” Wilde explained.

“What’s that guy’s name, Seth Rogen?” Supah Fan!! asked innocently, drawing a weary “nope” from Feldstein (younger sister to actual “Superbad” star Jonah Hill) and laughter from others on board.

Snagging the conDUCKtor’s mic, Dever announced the only two baseball games she’s seen were at Fenway Park. Not to be upstaged, Feldstein contributed a piece of Boston trivia that even surprised the tour guide: Puritans used to bring dogs to church to warm their feet during daylong services (bizarrely, that’s true). If Feldstein seemed to find her sea legs faster than the others, there’s a reason for that — a theater-camp friend from Wellesley has brought her on the tour before.


After disembarking, the group headed into Cambridge for events at Harvard, then a free screening for college students at the Brattle. Asked what advice she might give to college students, Feldstein — a Wesleyan grad who guided campus tours throughout her four years there — told the Globe, “Enjoy it, but let go of the pressure, and let go of all the expectations.”

Added Wilde: “Where you go to college shouldn’t define you. We set up these things in our life, these goalposts, and we think achieving them determines who we are and our worth and value. [‘Booksmart’] is encouraging people to value themselves and others for who they are truly, in all their complicated ways.”

Isaac Feldberg can be reached at isaac.feldberg@globe.com or on Twitter @isaacfeldberg.