In the Netflix film -- which follows a shy 16-year-old along with a diverse group of women, who lead a revolution against the toxic and sexist status quo of their high school -- Langford stars as Emma Cunningham, the popular girl and head cheerleader, who was voted "Most Bangable." However, at the end of the movie -- spoiler alert --, Emma announces to the entire school that she was sexually assaulted by a classmate.
In an interview with TooFab, Langford explained the significance of her character's revelation.
"[Emma] has this message that's all about not judging a book by its cover, which I think a lot of people are inclined to do," she said. "Just because someone is the head cheerleader at school and it seems like they have their lives together and they're pretty or they're smart, that doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean that their life is perfect."
"I think her character really represents the important message of holding off judgment until you really know what someone's going through. And also just checking in with people. I think that's why we have 'R U OK? Day,'" she continued, referencing the national day of action in her native Australia. "Like just asking people around you if they're okay, not just assuming that people are [okay] because their grades are good in school."
While she noted that there are several takeaways from the film, the actress said the overall message is about finding your voice.
"It's definitely an important film because a lot of the issues in it are really relevant. It talks about bias in school dress codes we're seeing come up more ... and more attention is being drawn to this," she explained. "And [the film is] just about speaking up. It touches on intersectionality and feminism and generational differences in activism and how different generations choose to advocate differently, you know, the younger generation [advocates] more with social media. And so I think it just touches on a lot of really relevant things for the time that we're living in."
"There are lot of different things people can take from the film about not just feminism, but family and friendships and speaking up," she added. "The overall message that I would hope people get from it is to find your voice and find your moxie -- that might just be speaking up in other areas of life, like at school, in your family or in the workplace with friends, but just learning how you can speak up."
Meanwhile, Langford spoke to TooFab about wrapping up the third and fourth installments of the "After" franchise: "After We Fell" and "After Ever Happy." Langford -- who stars opposite Hero Fiennes Tiffin in the romance films -- recalled the final day of filming, describing it as "bittersweet."
"It's always funny finishing a movie because there's never really this big last day with all the cast where it ends," she explained. "It's always like people are wrapping ... [there's a] three, four, five-week-long process when cast members are like dropping off."
"I feel like with these films it's always me doing some random thing like rolling out of the bed or sitting in a bathtub as the actual last thing in the last shot," she continued with a laugh.
"It was really bittersweet because obviously, it was sad finishing it," Langford added. "It doesn't really feel like it's over of it yet. I haven't accepted it. I think that's because the film just hasn't come out, but yeah bittersweet."
The "After" film franchise is an adaptation of Anna Todd's book series of the same name, which is based on a Harry Styles Wattpad fanfiction. The second film adaptation, "After We Collided," was released in October 2020. (TooFab spoke to Langford, Tiffin and Todd about the sequel at the time.)
To fans' excitement, a steamy teaser for the third "After We Fell" was released last month. A release date for the film has yet to be announced, although it's expected to be sometime this year.
When asked what she thinks it is about "After" that has created such a massive, passionate fan base, Langford credited Todd and how the story "pulls you in."
"She's the one who wrote these books and really drove this huge amount of attention to them," she told TooFab. "There's probably a lot of different things, but the story pulls you in because it's just a rollercoaster and you don't know what's going to happen next. And then when you're reading a book or watching a film, you go, 'Oh, okay, everything's fine now.' And [then] there's something else happens. So I think I would probably attribute it could to just the story and the ebbs and flows of it."
"I also think sometimes there's just something about things which people love and you don't know what that X-factor is," Langford said.