Alison Brie’s new film inspired by grandmother’s mental illness

Alison Brie used her grandmother’s battle with schizophrenia and her own experience with depression for her new role in drama Horse Girl.The GLOW star, who also co-wrote the script with director Jeff Baena, revealed to Vulture that she had been looking…

Alison Brie used her grandmother’s battle with schizophrenia and her own experience with depression for her new role in drama Horse Girl.

The GLOW star, who also co-wrote the script with director Jeff Baena, revealed to Vulture that she had been looking to develop a story inspired by her family’s mental health struggles for years.

“My whole life I’ve wanted to make something about my mother and my grandmother,” she told. “My mother’s mother lived with paranoid schizophrenia, and my mother grew up in a really traumatic situation. And I grew up with the mythology of my grandmother’s mental illness, hearing a lot of stories about my mother’s childhood and how the mental illness affected her.

“How it trickled down, affected my aunt and uncle and their kids – also how it didn’t affect them. It had different effects on everybody,” the 37-year-old shared, adding that her mother would even joke that Brie would “make a movie” about it one day.

The actress was also influenced by her own experience with mental illness, which she called the “deepest bout of depression in my life”, while developing the thrilling psychological drama.

“In my own personal struggles with depression, I know the feeling of being helpless, feeling powerless, feeling alone,” she explained. “And then I realised, ‘OK, the movie I want to make is about this woman who has this history of mental illness, and what if something real started happening to her? What is something really wild, really scary, started happening and she didn’t have the ability to know whether it was real or not? If she didn’t have the ability to even trust herself or her own grip on reality?'”

Horse Girl, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will be released on Netflix on 7 February.

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Lupita Nyong’o emailed Taylor Swift to secure song rights for Little Monsters

Lupita Nyong’o personally wrote to Taylor Swift to ask for her permission to use Shake It Off in her new movie Little Monsters.In the independent Australian comedy, the Oscar-winning actress plays Miss Caroline, a kindergarten teacher who must keep h…

Lupita Nyong’o personally wrote to Taylor Swift to ask for her permission to use Shake It Off in her new movie Little Monsters.

In the independent Australian comedy, the Oscar-winning actress plays Miss Caroline, a kindergarten teacher who must keep her class alive when zombies break out of a military testing facility and wander to the nearby petting zoo, where they are on a school trip.

Miss Caroline can usually be found playing the ukulele to entertain her youngsters and their particular favourite is Swift’s 2014 hit single. However, director Abe Forsythe struggled to get the rights to the song at a price the production could afford, so Nyong’o stepped in and made it happen.

“We tried for months and months and months to get the rights to it with no luck,” Forsythe explained to Vulture. “We tried reaching out to Taylor herself; didn’t get through. We tried her management. We tried her record company. Management I think came back at one point and said, ‘It will cost this,’ and it was like completely unaffordable for the type of movie we were.

“Anyway, when Lupita came onboard, Shake It Off was one of the things that appealed to her about Little Monsters, too. The song played a really particular role in one part of her life, so she really resonated with that being in the script. She was like, ‘We can’t not have this in the movie,’ so she told me she was going to write Taylor an email and not give Taylor the opportunity to turn her down… The only reason that song is in the movie is because Lupita is in the movie. I wouldn’t have been able to make the movie that we made with anyone else.”

Forsythe went on to explain that he wasn’t aware of the song but wrote it straight into the script after he heard children from his son’s school perform it on a ukulele at a recital.

Little Monsters in U.K. cinemas now.

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Jessica Chastain is ‘bothered’ by nudity in American cinema

Jessica Chastain is campaigning for less nudity in American cinema because she fears much of it is “victimisation”. The Zero Dark Thirty actress has no problem with actors stripping off for the cameras, unless it is not their full decision to do so. …

Jessica Chastain is campaigning for less nudity in American cinema because she fears much of it is “victimisation”.

The Zero Dark Thirty actress has no problem with actors stripping off for the cameras, unless it is not their full decision to do so.

“I have no issues with nudity, especially in a lot of European cinema that I adore, but I find that, in American cinema, the idea of nudity has always bothered me,” she tells Vulture. “For me, I’m uncomfortable with nudity when it feels like it’s not the person’s decision to be naked, when it’s something that has been put upon them.”

“In a way, I see that as like a victimisation,” she adds. “It trains an audience that exploiting someone in their body should be normal for nudity, when I think the opposite. When people are completely in control of their decisions, that is a really exciting thing. I love the human form – male nudity, female nudity, I’m all about it.”

In 2006, Chastain starred alongside Al Pacino in a theatre production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, in which she had to perform a dance in the nude. After researching the role, she felt it was appropriate to strip down for it.

“I had to get to that place where, for me, it was my decision,” she continues. “The more I researched and read about the other versions of the play, I learned about how scandalous it was… and I read a book called Sisters of Salome which talked about what it meant to dance naked.”

“What is that power?” she adds. “What is that freedom? Even the idea of the Salem witch trials, when you think of the young girls dancing naked… what is so scary to society about that kind of female sexual freedom. I realised that there’s power in that to harness, so learning all of that stuff actually made me feel it was important for the character that there was nudity.”

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