It can be challenging to enjoy the simple aspects of life-like watching a movie. With a newborn and two big girls, I long for going out to the movies but exhaustion and nursing are keeping me closer to the home. However, I recently enjoyed a fun night in with a break by watching the thrilling new movie Murder of a Cat. Starring Fran Kranz, Nikki Reed, J.K. Simmons, Greg Kinnear, and Blythe Danner, the film was directed by Gillian Greene who also happens to be married to powerhouse Hollywood producer, Sam Raimi and a mom of five children! Check out our interview with Gillian as we learned more about this new comedy/film noir as well as how she balances it all.
Momtrends: What attracted you to work on Murder of a Cat?
Gillian Greene: The script is what attracted me to MURDER OF A CAT It had witty dialogue, moving characters, and was laugh-out-loud funny. We found the script on the Blacklist, a yearly roundup of the best unproduced screenplays still floating around Hollywood. Just yesterday, a veteran agent who I hadn't seen in a long time told me that she loved the script when she read it two years ago.
Momtrends: What aspects of the film noir/comedy element did you like?
Gillian Greene: Well, without giving away too much, one of the early comedic surprises in the movie occurs when Clinton discovers that Greta (Nikki Reed's character) also has a vested interest in solving the murder. I loved that twist, which was both funny and unexpected. But most of the comedy in this movie comes from the characters; it is not a collection of broad, goofy jokes; the humor comes from the characters, some of whom are quite quirky, colliding with each other and having to deal with one another.
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Momtrends: What is your process when working with actors?
>Gillian Greene: In working with actors, I think that, first of all, it's all about casting. It is vitally important to select not only a great actor, but the right actor for the role. And then, in rehearsals and read-throughs, it becomes about finding the truth for that character in each and every scene, and getting to that truth by discussing it together with the actor.
Momtrends: What are some challenges that you feel you experience through your roles as mom/director?
Gillian Greene: There is definitely overlap between being a mom and being a film director. Kids and actors can be kind of similar; you need to be supportive and positive of both, and also be very clear about what you want or need. Both jobs also require a laser-like focus amidst total chaos. I'm the mom to five kids (four boys and a girl), and I'm no stranger to having to get important things done while they're running, jumping, and wrestling with each other. It definitely trained me for working on set!
Momtrends: From growing up on sets to directing yourself, do you feel that Hollywood is accepting of more women behind taking roles scenes?
Gillian Greene: Yes, I do feel that Hollywood is increasingly accepting of women taking on important roles behind the scenes. Not only did I, a woman, direct MURDER OF A CAT, but two of out of the four Producers on our movie are women, and several Hollywood agents -- who are also women -- were hugely instrumental in helping us obtain the financing for the film. In addition, several of the department heads on our movie were women: the Composer, the Production Designer, and the Costume Designer. Yet, what makes me happiest about that fact is that, for all of those positions, I simply chose the best candidate for the job...and they just happened to be women!
The film is out now on iTunes.