If you liked Loving Annabelle and its lead Erin Kelly, prepare to meet and love Sarah Stouffer in Bloomington, which you can catch at your local LGBT film festival. Stouffer plays Jackie, a former child star whom, while venturing out on her own at college and attempting to adapt to everyday student life, falls for Allison McAtee‘s Catherine, a fierce professor with a reputation for having affairs with her students.
AfterEllen.com caught up with Stouffer to discuss the straight actress’s first film role, working with out director Fernanda Cardoso and what happened when she hit on her co-star.
AfterEllen.com: How did you first get involved with Bloomington?
Sarah Stouffer: I had an agent and got sent on the audition, and it was a whirlwind from there.
AE: Did you know you were going up for a gay role when you headed out?
SS: Yes, I did. It was in the breakdown that she falls in love with her female teacher.
AE: Did you approach the role any differently because of the lesbian story line?
SS: Absolutely not. I don’t feel that for Jackie, being a lesbian is what defines her. It was more about being this person in these specific situations, as opposed to approaching it differently because she’s in love with a woman or because she’s having a relationship with a woman.
AE: How was working with Fernanda Cardoso? Did you lean on her for any of the film’s lesbian content?
SS: It was awesome working with Fernanda. She’s so laid back and cool as a director. We were talking about this the other day: It worked out so well because we hit it off and now we’re great friends. The way that she would direct, if I had an idea, she’d be like, "OK, let’s try it your way and let’s try it my way and we’ll use what ever looks better." She gave us a lot of freedom to play with our own feelings and thoughts on things.
Maybe this is totally not the right thing to say, but I don’t feel like the lesbian content was any different [from] day-to-day not lesbian content. It was just more of portraying this character who was in a relationship. I didn’t really have any insider questions that I made her answer.
AE: Was this your first time playing gay?
SS: Yes! This was my first film, first anything!