Interview With Katherine Brooks

 
 

AE: What is the relationship
between Madison and Dr. Barnes? Is it a purely professional relationship?
KB:
It’s purely professional, but they have a very deep connection. Dr. Barnes
[played by Elisabeth Shue] is sort of the light at the end of the tunnel for Madison. She understands her in a way no one else really can.

Directing Elisabeth Shue

AE: What? No lesbian relationship
drama?
KB:
No, I think I did enough lesbian drama with Annabelle. Madison is not a lesbian movie, but it’s not a straight movie,
either. It’s more of an exploration of human emotion and the effects of past abuse
on our lives. But Madison does have a three-way, so there is some lesbian stuff
for you. [laughs]

AE: Erin Kelly, your Loving Annabelle star, is also in the film.
I read she was originally going to play a character named Alexis, but you switched
her to the role of Grace, a sex addict.
KB:
Erin’s very good at playing a very present, focused, promiscuous seducer.
And Imogen [Poots] — she’s a great actress, she could probably do anything — but
I felt that Imogen would be a better Alexis. And Erin is able to take [Grace's]
fragility and turn it and spin it and be very seductive.

AE: So, Erin’s good at
playing slutty?
KB:
Yeah, something like that.

AE: Does the Grace character
have any sex scenes?
KB:
There are no sex scenes with Grace.

AE: Katherine, what the
hell?
KB:
[laughs] She wears a hot slip in it. That’s good enough.

AE: There are readers
out there who are going to disagree with you.
KB:
I know. This one is a tease.

AE: Was the casting process
easier than it was on Loving Annabelle?
You didn’t find Diane Gaidry for the role of Simone until three days before the
start of that production.
KB:
Yeah, I hope to never experience that again. No, it was not as much of a
nightmare as Annabelle was. [laughs] We
started casting pretty early, and Elisabeth Shue and Sarah Roemer both came on about
a month before we started shooting. We were very lucky that the actors really connected
to the story.

AE: Speaking of Loving Annabelle — original ending or the
DVD’s alternate ending: Which would you choose today?
KB:
If I were going to pick a new ending for Annabelle, I’d rewrite it
and do [the] ending I originally wanted to do.

AE: What would that look
like?
KB:
I intended Annabelle to be 15
minutes longer than it is. We basically ran out of time and we ran out of money.
So if I could’ve had my way, I would have used Annabelle’s story with her mother,
the senator, from the beginning and [in the end] have Annabelle go to her mother
and have reconciliation or strike a deal.

Annabelle would say, "I’ll be this and this, as long as
you can help [Simone]." You know, Annabelle would get Simone out of trouble.
It would have been more of a bittersweet ending and maybe ended with Annabelle driving
towards the beach. It would have had a lot more closure.

AE: The alternate ending
on the DVD shows Annabelle going down to the beach, implying Simone is there, waiting
for her.
KB:
Yeah, but to me, it wrapped up a little too neatly with her going to the
beach and all. Of course, I want it to have a happy ending. Most lesbian movies
have such depressing endings where the lesbian either jumps off a building or runs
into the arms of a man.

It really was in my heart to have Loving Annabelle end with Simone, the teacher, and Annabelle, the student,
riding off in the sunset together, but that wasn’t realistic to the story I was
trying to tell. I think as storytellers it’s important to try to convey truth, and
when you have an affair with someone underage, "the truth" is that you’re
punished. I didn’t make the law.

Erin Kelly and Diane Gaidry in Loving Annabelle

AE: Do you think you’ll
ever do a sequel?
KB:
No. I won’t ever do a sequel, but I’m open to possibly in the future doing
a series. But it wouldn’t be focused around Annabelle and Simone. It would be like
My So-Called Life for lesbians: Annabelle
as an empowered senior in high school who’s gay and has a senator for a mother.
The end of the first season, I would have Annabelle and Simone reconnect and bring
that element into it again. But yeah, I am not going to do a sequel.

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