I'M YOUR WOMAN director Julia Hart who co-wrote and co-produced with husband Jordan Horowitz talks about the 1981 James Caan movie "The Thief" which was the inspiration to their film
by Oliver Carnay
I'M YOUR WOMAN served as the Opening Night film of this year's AFI FEST presented by Audi. Set in the 1970s, the film is a crime drama which is the story of a woman forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey. Starring Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison, and Bill Heck, directed by Julia Hart and co-wrote with husband/producer Jordan Horowitz. Rachel Broshahan is also a co-producer of the film.
Director JULIA HART and husband JORDAN HOROWITZ worked on the idea for the movie for a while and revealed the inspiration behind the film they decided to produce. Rachel started, “We’re both fans of 70’s crime-dramas and it’s one of my favorite genre but as much as I love them they never totally told my story as a woman and as a mother and I love the idea of taking those incredible characters that are fringes from those films that have male protagonist and telling the woman’s story inside of that."
“Early on when we first saw “THIEF” (1981) for the first time, which is now one of our favorite movies. There’s a moment in the movie where Tuesday Weld goes on her own journey and the movie stays with JAMES CAAN, and it’s awesome, but I really want to see what happen to her. So we just decided to make that movie. One thing we do, when we are developing a movie is instead of focusing on the male protagonist is let’s shift our perspective to what the female role, and tell that story. There’s a line in the movie in “Thief” that TUESDAY WELD tells to James Caan, “I’m Your Woman,You’re My Man,” .. so we took the first part (both laughed).”
RACHEL BROSNAHANl recalls what convinced her to play the role, “I was alone in a hotel and I read the script. I was so moved by Jean’s story. It’s a portrayal of a woman I have never seen on screen before, especially in this genre. I felt like I didn’t understand her at all, and that’s one of the most fascinating experience reading the script. And the opportunity of sitting down with Julia and talk about the project. It was really after talking to Julia, hearing about the inspirations of the film, the kind of story she wanted to tell and why she wanted to tell it. I was immediately in, and asked, “When can we start?” And it was actually a fast process from that point. I was already a fan of Julia’s work and having seen Steven’s, I just wanted to bring this woman come to life."
"I have been an L.A. resident for 13 years now and it has been my adapted home. I love it here so much, both of my babies has been born here. I became a writer and a director here. It’s a very special place to me. AFI Fest has been a staple in the Los Angeles film community. I’ve been going to it for so many years and this is my first time having a movie and be a part of it and the fact that I have a movie as the Opening Night of the festival it’s a dream."
"The film is a throwback in the 90’s and it’s such an amazing portrayal of how boss women are all the time. It feels very contemporary, “this is huge for me,” Rachel Brosnahan said, “I’m in New York for the last 13 years and it’s like I’ve looked through the looking glass of the films that premiered and filmmakers that have come out from this film festival I’m pitching myself (to have my film had here at the festival), Very weird but very, very special! .. and I’ve got the chance to work with these wonderful, wonderful actors and incredible team .. and to have this movie here. We’re all excited!” Rachel continued.
“I am not a human child-mom, the moms in my life (like Julia and Marsha) are some of the most powerful and empathetic, and complete, emotionally intelligent people that I know. We should all learn the moms in our lives. This is the kind of story about motherhood that I have never seen before and is a woman who doesn’t have yet children but has a lot of questions. The expectations placed on women by the society around us. I haven’t had a tiny glimpse of playing a fictional kind of mother on television. I’ve never seen a story about a mother asking questions about motherhood and how it affected and shaped her identity in this way and it feels important. There’s a piece in this film that quite didn’t make it in, and that’s the conversation between Teri and Jean where they talk about the quiet women and that you know that moment of connection. And this film I think is for all the quiet women who hasn’t seen or represented their stories this way. I find this story is really inspiring and important.”
MARSHA STEPHANIE BLAKE who plays Cal’s husband (Arinze Kene) in the film first found out about the film through Rachel, “I remember, Rachel was the one who told me about this film, she said -- ‘I pitched you for something!” And then, when I read the script, I said, Oh my God! .. this is what you hope for, a female actress who I’ve played a lot, a mom who was dealing with something heavy and this is the opportunity to be the one who takes all the trauma, and like, make sense of it for herself, and then someone else to navigate it. It is super empowering, and I loved that both Jean and Teri (the name of her role) had decided what to do with them. Now, we’re going to figure out how to surmount it and how we’re going to help our families. I loved that these women are actively trying and taking control of their own lives. And I haven’t played that kind of role in my life and just the fact that Rachel associated me with that kind of woman. And then I met Julia and everyone. I want to work with people who I respect in the business. I got the chance to do that. I met Julia and I loved her. This was like a dream job for me!”
She continued, “Just the idea that we never get to see these women go through. And if they have a child, how that informs the decisions they make. Honestly when I met Julia, a big part of me loving her was that she was a mom herself. I’m a mom, too, and we were just like, we spent a lot of time talking about some uncertainty, and every single day how you question every decision you make so can you imagine if you had to make decisions. My questions are like, do I have to give my child a snack or an oreo, but this -- you are making a decision if you are leaving the father of your son because he is not right for your child, that’s mind-blowing!”
ARINZE KENE, who plays Cal, talked about having a beautiful journey starting from getting the script, reading it, finding it, each turning the page .. “It was written beautifully. I’ve never read anything like this before, I don’t know why. I’m familiar with that 70’s crime world, but I wasn’t sure why I haven’t read such something like that, until Judy mentioned to me about these characters .. you followed them and now it kind of make sense to me everything fell into its place. It was beautiful how you get the thrill. We filmed like a family, and yeah, it was a lot of fun! .. it was really cold (all laughed)!”
Talked about the favorite parts they experienced shooting the movie, Rachel said, “It was a tie between the cars and the fashion! .. sitting in all the cars, pushing all the buttons, the club scene was fun, the amazing outfits, we’ve timed travel! I love period pieces because you get to completely transform. It’s such a thrill to be able to look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself and let you dive deeper and deeper into a world that’s unfamiliar.
“I think what I love about being in the 70‘s was the cars because I was conflicted I feel I was going to kill someone. The cars were beautiful, but wow, so hard to drive because I had never driven on the left side before, “ Arinze related as they laughed.
I'M YOUR WOMAN had its World Premiere at AFI FEST on October 15, 2020 and due to an overwhelming demand from festival goers the movie had a virtual encore presentation on October 22, 2020. It opens in selected theatre December 4 , 2020 before launching globally on Amazon Prime Video on December 11, 2020.