Actress and director Amy Redford sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “Hollywood at Home,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Redford talks about being inspired at the Sundance Institute’s summer playwright’s camp, how she came to direct the upcoming thriller “Roost,” shooting in Utah during the peak of COVID, whether showbusiness has gotten better for female directors, and much more. Highlights below.
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Highlights from “Hollywood at Home” featuring Amy Redford –
On the importance of the Sundance Institute in helping young writers: “Yeah, the theater, it was interesting, because the Institute, that experience wasn’t just for the rarefied few, it wasn’t just for the people that said, ‘I will become an actor, or I will die,’ you know? It’s like, ‘I can do this. Yes, and.’ And I also want to have this other kind of life. And, you know, for these couple of minutes on stage, this is what I’m doing. You know, and then we went on to develop on the– I say, ‘We,’ because I take sort of, you know, inappropriate ownership of it. But the Sundance Institute was, you know, started the Playwrights Lab where people could come and have these amazing actors to read their plays, and make it the best possible thing that it could be so that it could compete fairly in the marketplace. And that to me– I mean, I was incredibly spoiled. I was raised to think that that’s how things work, you know? That everybody’s going to collaborate like that. And then, you know . . . I had to learn a little bit, the ways of the world, you know, being spoiled and being around, you know, the way that Michelle Satter would handle a project or, you know, it just– to me, that was what it should always be like, whether you’re at Sundance or not, it seemed efficient.”
On her new film “Roost” and filming in Utah during COVID: “Yeah, you find a girl on the eve of her 17th birthday. And she is talking online to a guy who is definitely not 17. And we can tell that she’s smart and independent, and probably outgrowing her nest, and probably not sharing that relationship with her mother who is very close to her, they have a very good healthy relationship. But we understand the rapid nature in which something can evolve online, they can get ahead of you. And so, you know, as we watch her navigate the world of this relationship and his advances, we understand that it is a more complex dynamic than we had set out to now. And one of the reasons that I thought it was important to investigate was the sort of twists and turns that happened throughout. It goes through a lot of genres, and like, my life goes through about 27 genres a day. So I understood that part of it. But it does touch on the ways in which we unwittingly might do things in our youth that fall out on the shoulders of our children. And if that is indeed the case, it is never too late to go back and own it. And try to sort of stop these downstream effects from continuing. So I thought that was an interesting thing to examine…. Scott Organ, who’s a playwright, was somebody that I collaborated with on an early project, and then that one sort of didn’t materialize. And I acted in a short of his. And he sent me this during COVID as a play, just sort of wanted my thoughts, and I thought it was brilliant. And I said, ‘Not only does this, you know, have the potential to be a film, but it’s a film that we could shoot under these circumstances in a fairly contained way.’ So we started collaborating, and he adapted it into a screenplay. And now we’re working on a project together. “Roost” was shot in Utah, actually in Park City, which is amazing. That community was so unbelievably generous. I mean, ‘Here, take my house for your film, shoot,’ I was like, ‘Are you insane?’ But they were just– the community came together in a way that was so embracing. I’m just forever grateful. And so we shot but you know, even though I live in Salt Lake, which is not too far away, I might as well have been in Timbuktu because I couldn’t see anybody. I mean, it couldn’t see my kids because it was COVID I couldn’t see– you know, we had to be a very you know, sort of isolated little group. So yeah, and it was, you know, a pretty efficient process.”
On whether showbusiness is getting better for female directors: “I do think it’s getting better. I don’t think we’re there 1,000% yet. I mean, I met these incredible women, I wish I had their name at my fingertips right now. They were doing a pitch meeting. It was like a pitch day, you know, where they’re pitching their films. And they were these incredible young directors. And I thought, ‘Why are they having to do these, sort of, like, forums where they have to get up on a stage with 65 other people and try to prove their worth?’ They already have experience. They’re both been in professional environments for years. So I think who we deem as being ready to hit the professional stage and not still needs some improvement. Why is this person getting training wheels, and this person isn’t, either by virtue of their gender; their orientation; their race? You know, I think we still have to sort of examine that. But I’m so gratified to see how many incredible directors there are, you know, getting those opportunities. You know, 90% of it is marketing — you can have 100 great women directors, but unless they’re getting the advertising that they need, it doesn’t matter. So I think people are coming to understand that that is the key to equity. You know, Dolby sound, all the boring, unsexy stuff that makes people be able to compete on an even playing field. So we still have a ways to go, but I think we’ve certainly– I mean, even since I started directing, have come a long way. I mean, I had somebody that was supposed to be in my corner tell a showrunner that I wasn’t going to direct anymore because I was a mommy.”
More about “Hollywood at Home”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”), Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Aaron Cooley (“The First Lady”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wayne Federman (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Frances Fisher (“Titanic,” “Unforgiven”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), LaMonica Garrett (“1883,” “Sons of Anarchy”) Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Evan Handler (“And Just Like That…,” “Californication”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Nathan Kress (“iCarly”), Jaren Lewison (“Never Have I Ever”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Melissa Manchester (“Don’t Cry Out Loud”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid,” “Shameless”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Younger”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Joey and Daniella Pantoliano (“The Matrix,” “Memento”), Ross Patterson (“Range 15”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Kyla Pratt (“The Proud Family”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”), Reid Scott (“Veep”), Paul Scheer (“The League,” “Veep”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Alena Smith (“Dickinson”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future”), Tramell Tillman (“Severance”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), KT Tunstall (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” “Suddenly I See”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”).
More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.