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Carrie Preston from Actress to Director with a film at Sundance

Earlier this week, we posted about Carrie Preston’s directorial debut with the film, “That’s What She Said” and that it has been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival. She has been very busy during her hiatus from True Blood in other ways too, and notably in the reprisal of her role in The Good Wife. She recently spoke to theinsider.com, where she was a bubbly ball of joy as she spoke to them.  Below are excerpts from that interview.

Insider.com: Congratulations on getting That’s What She Said into Sundance! What was your reaction?
Carrie Preston: I got the good news a week ago, while in New York, but wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. It feels like I’ve been riding around on a big shiny bike that I got for Christmas inside my house [laughs]. I finally get to go outside and ride it around today! But I had assumed the movie didn’t get in because there’s an industry myth that if you don’t hear from Sundance before Thanksgiving then you probably didn’t get in. So I had already cried my eyes out and let it go, then my producer called with the good news and I started screaming like I just won the Super Bowl. So many people turned their heads and looked at us while I was crying. I was jumping up and down and hugging Michael [Emerson, husband]. It was super fun.

Insider: You’ve been working on this project for some time, right?
Carrie: Yes, I’ve been trying to get this movie made for eight years now. My dear friend Kellie Overbey wrote it and we met doing a play at Longmark theater where we were both playing Mia Farrow’s daughters. She showed me this script and I just knew we had to do it. Marcia Debonis, a wonderful character actress, was in the play with us at the time and I just had to put her in it too. So we directed this as an off-off Broadway show in New York and it went so well, I said let’s turn this into a movie. So that’s when we started the process and then a year ago we were lucky enough to get Anne Heche to join and we were able to scrape the funding together, which is no small feat, and then we shot it in New York last October.

Insider: How do you describe the movie?
Carrie: I like to call it a chick flick that’s not for pussies. It’s a down and dirty comedic look at how friendship can survive rain, puke, grease stains, Chinatown, chronic sarcasm, bizarre stranger danger, an unexplained itch, and a dangerous dildo.

Insider: This won’t be your first trip to Sundance, right?
Carrie: I have only been once before, as an actress, in 1997 with a film called Guinevere. This was so long ago. I was just a little tiny person in the big wide world and it was very exciting. But to go there as a director was something that I never dreamt would happen. I mean it’s very difficult to get into Sundance as everybody knows, and I feel very humbled that we’re going because, as an actress, I’ve been in at least 10 really, really good independent films that have not gotten into Sundance. Transamerica, That Evening Sun, A Bag of Hammers — all these films were really extraordinary and went on to win awards at other festivals and get distribution and do well and they didn’t get in to Sundance. I’m in awe of all of those films, so I’m humbled and fortunate that this film was able to fit in to their programming.

Insider: You’re also coming back to The Good Wife — was that as a result of the overwhelming online push to get Elsbeth back on the show?
Carrie: It was quite extraordinary to see that — as you know, I had done two episodes before, but this particular one just clicked. It was lightning in a bottle. I’ve been acting for a long time and I’m a character actor and I’ve done a lot of work that I’m very proud of and I never know when one thing is gonna register. I continue to just do my thing, so it came as a wonderful and beautiful surprise that this one landed the way it did. It was so organic, which is the biggest compliment of all.

Insider: And as if you weren’t busy enough, you’ve just started production on the new season of True Blood. Any tidbits you care to share about what’s ahead for Arlene?
Carrie: Well, first of all, I’m so excited. We’ve just gotten the second episode to read. It’s very interesting. The writers always come up with surprising and interesting things. All I will tell you is that we haven’t seen the last of the character that Scott Foley played in the season finale. He’s of big concern to Terry and Arlene.
Carrie’s episode of The Good Wife is tentatively slated to air January 8 on CBS.

To read this interview in it’s entirety go to: theinsider.com

1 comments
Rowena
Rowena

Kudos to Carrie. To go into Sundance as a director is amazing. Add to this achievement her roles on The Good Wife and True Blood ... everything continues to come up roses for this very fine lady.