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Alexandra Shipp's Biggest Wishes For What People Take Away From Asking For It - Exclusive

This article contains references to sexual assault.

From the Pink Ladies of "Grease" to Harley Quinn and her allies in "Birds of Prey," women have often banded together in movies. The latest example is "Asking For It," a tale of a gang of femme vigilantes out to defend and protect the world from bad men. One of the leaders of the group is Regina, played by Alexandra Shipp, whose past experiences have instilled in her the drive and determination to take on men attempting to hurt women, whether that means sex trafficking, physical assault, or the movie's alt-right Men's Rights Movement that is broadcasting an anti-woman message to men all over America.

Shipp, who has previously appeared in a wide range of roles from Storm in "X-Men: Apocalypse" and "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" to Susan in "tick, tick...BOOM!" makes Regina an aspirational figure; someone brave enough to stand up for herself and others and empathetic enough to know when Joey (Kiersey Clemons), a recent sexual assault survivor, needs a friend on whom she can lean. "AskingĀ For It" is an empowering film of women working together to right some often-overlooked wrongs, and in an exclusive interview with Looper, Shipp discussed her hopes for the impact the movie's message will make in the real world.

A vigilante fantasy that shines a light on real-world issues

"Asking For It" presents an entertaining fantasy of a well-trained gang of women vigilantes, but it also addresses real issues. Shipp observed that this is one way art can make people consider issues they might otherwise turn away from.

"What I'm hoping is that by having this film, we shine a light on something that is usually swept under the rug," Shipp shared. "Sex trafficking, the women being assaulted at colleges, we talk about these things and nothing happens. What I love about art, television and film in particular since it's my side of the coin, is that we can tell these stories and not make it feel like we're preaching. People can see these things, they can see these situations, and they're able to make the decision for themselves."

In fact, Shipp revealed she's often felt the movies she's appeared in have helped move the needle on key social issues. "We can affect social change through representation," Shipp stated. "I really do believe that TV and film have the opportunity to do that. I've felt that on many occasions, whether it was with 'Love, Simon' or 'tick, tick...BOOM!,' and really asking the questions and allowing your audience to create the answers."

Asking For It is now playing in select theaters and available for rental and purchase on digital and video on demand.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).