The South By Southwest Premieres We’re Most Anticipating

For those of you heading down to sunny Austin, Texas this Friday, you’re in for a real treat. The South by Southwest Film Festival begins on the 8th and will boast a week of non-stop events from film debuts, to 150 different workshops, and panels. This year, Steve Carrell and Jim Carey’s new comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will open kick off the fun, but the festival will also see premieres from all over the world. So in anticipation for the upcoming festivities we’ve compiled the features we’re most looking forward to seeing—from Joe Swanberg’s latest comedy Drinking Buddies to Richard Linklater’s highly anticipated Before Midnight, and all the cinematic gems in between. Enjoy.

Short Term 12 

Director/Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton

The film follows Grace, a young supervisor at a foster-care facility, as she looks after the teens in her charge and reckons with her own troubled past. An unsparingly authentic film, full of both heart and surprising humor.

Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Rami Malek, Keith Stanfield

(World Premiere)

Evil Dead 

Director/Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Rodo Sayagues

Five friends, holed up in a remote cabin, discover a Book of the Dead that unwittingly summons up dormant demons which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.

Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

(World Premiere)

Drinking Buddies 

Director/Screenwriter: Joe Swanberg

Weekend trips, office parties, late night conversations, drinking on the job, marriage pressure, biological clocks, holding eye contact a second too long… you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer.

Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston

(World Premiere)

Loves Her Gun 

Director/Screenwriter: Geoff Marslett, Screenwriter: Lauren Modery

This romantic tragedy follows a young woman’s transition from flight to fight after she is the victim of street violence, but will the weapons that make her feel safe again create problems worse than the ones she is escaping?

Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn, Francisco Barreiro, Ashley Rae Spillers, Melissa Hideko Bisagni, John Merriman

(World Premiere)

Much Ado About Nothing 

Director: Joss Whedon

Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon’s film.

Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese

(U.S. Premiere)

Some Girl(s)

Director: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer, Screenwriter: Neil LaBute

On the eve of his wedding, a successful writer travels around the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for his wrongdoings.

Cast: Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan, Mía Maestro, Jennifer Morrison, Emily Watson

(World Premiere)

I Am Divine 

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz

The story of Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, and how he became John Waters’s cinematic muse and an international drag icon.

(World Premiere)

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

Director: Sophie Huber

An iconic actor and passionate musician in his intimate moments, with film clips from some of his 250 films and his own heart-breaking renditions of American folk songs.

(U.S. Premiere)

Lunarcy!

Director: Simon Ennis

Director Simon Ennis introduces us to an unforgettable group of characters who all share one thing in common: an obsession with the Moon.

(U.S. Premiere)

Maladies 

Director/Screenwriter: Carter

A comedic look at the life of a former actor turned writer struggling to cope with reality, his work and interpersonal relationships. 

Cast: James Franco, Catherine Keener, Fallon Goodson, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming

(North American Premiere)

The Wait 

Director/Screenwriter: M. Blash

An enigmatic phone call from a psychic, catapults a family into a state of suspended belief while waiting for their recently deceased mother to be resurrected.

Cast: Jena Malone, Chloë Sevigny, Luke Grimes, Josh Hamilton, Devon Gearhart

(World Premiere)

Before Midnight 

Director/Screenwriter: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke

We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior

Pit Stop

Director/Screenwriter: Yen Tan, Screenwriter: David Lowery

Two men. A small town. A love that isn’t quite out of reach.

Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, John Merriman, Richard C. Jones

‘In Our Nature’ Filmmaker Talks The Silver Fox, Dwyane Wade & Rent-a-Bears

Last week, Cinema Village waved goodbye to one indie flick from a first time filmmaker—Alexander Poe’s rom-com Ex-Girlfriends—and welcomed another.A comedic drama written and directed by Brian Savelson, In Our Nature opened Friday and is slated to screen at the East 12th Street theater through Thursday. The movie, which features a cast of four—Zach Gilford, Jena Malone, John Slattery, and Gabrielle Union—orbits around a single location, a lake house upstate, and a simple, yet increasingly complicated, core conflict: an estranged father and son each drive with their respective girlfriends from New York City for a weekend in the wilderness, only to discover their romantic getaway has morphed into an awkward 48-hour double date. Talk about deflating. Add to this the apparent age disparity between Vicky (Union) and Gil (Slattery), and the latter’s intention to sell the property, and you’re left with the opposite of a Kodak moment.

With an emphasis on dialogue, gestures, and expressions, which the 32-year-old discusses in greater detail below, the film trots along at an enjoyable pace and, to my relief, never treads too close to cliché. Several recurring themes (like veganism) and standout moments (as when Gil and Andie (Malone) bond over a joint) are explored, though it’s the subtleties and nuances within and between the bigger things that propel the story forward. From the very first scene, which is bound to elicit laughs, I was a fan. My advice? See it before it’s too late. New Yorkers, you have four days.

Known for his music video production, his theater experience and an award-winning animated short, Savelson is brand new to the box office, though Nature’s been navigating the festival circuit for nearly a year. He and I linked up last week and got lost in a conversation littered with tangents, but we covered more than enough Nature-related territory. Read on for more, including how he and Mad Men’s Silver Fox became besties, the D-Wade effect, and how to hire a black bear. Oh my.

Where did the concept for In Our Nature initiate?
It started with the idea of a place. It started with an image of a house, which ultimately is the most stable character in [the film]. The house play[s] a role. There’s plot around it, in it.

A lot of people, myself included, have remarked on the film’s play-like quality.
What interested me most about this was taking it out of the theatrical place and putting it on screen. To take this talky thing and explore the details of it. Things you can only see in a close-up. The most important things to me are between the lines— awkward silences, expressions, flashes of anger or of embarrassment—things you would never catch on stage.

How long did it take you to write the script?
The script was quick. It probably took less than a month to write the first draft. But then you continue working on it for, like, a year. It’s just four characters in one location over two days. Morning-afternoon-night, morning-afternoon-night.

True, but still. And dialogue, does that come easily to you also?
It’s generally easy. I think I’m able to write dialogue to a fault. Too much talking. Dialogue’s easy if you know who the people are.

Don’t tout that too loud. Other writers might be envious. How did you tackle the logistics of pulling everything together?
This movie’s all about actors and performances, so I needed to make sure I got the right actors, which I think I did, in the right place at the right time. Then [we needed] someone to give [us] money to make it. 

How does one go about doing that?
Beg, borrow, steal? It’s actually the same thing with actors, or getting anybody involved. It has to be the right material and the right person. You can give the same thing to 100 people…

I get it. Filmmaking sounds like dating. So, how did you secure Slattery?
John is the man. John came on just a month before we shot. We’d been talking about him for a while and we thought he was perfect for the role. At that point, we had some other people cast, including Jena, and there was an article, I forget where it was, about the Mad Men hiatus. The title of the article was, like, “Roger Sterling Needs a Job” [sic] or something, and John Slattery was quoted saying, “Hire me.” We looked at the article and were like, “We don’t need much more of a sign than this, do we? It says ‘hire me’ in the paper today. “

Then what?
I reached out and got [the script] to him. We met up for the first time for, like, a six-hour lunch and afterwards [he] asked me to his house to read through the script. We spent all day reading through the script and talking about it at his house. Then we were buds. It worked out really well. He’s amazing, as you know.

Indeed, I do. So what was shooting like? Retreating upstate…
The cast stayed in this nice hotel around the corner and the rest of us, all the crew, took over this motel for a month. Which was kind of fun.

I bet.
The sell to the actors was it would be a couple weeks of shooting at this lake house and when you’re not shooting you can be walking around the lake or reading or whatever. Of course, when you get there, it’s a low budget, strenuous shoot where you’re waking people up at four in the morning and walking them through poison ivy and ticks. We shot something like 108 pages in 18 days, which is unheard of. But, they all bought the pitch that it was going to be easygoing.

I imagine it wasn’t the first time they’d encountered surprises of this kind. Any funny stories from on set?
The problem with all those stories is that they’re restricted.

Explain.
I can’t publicly say, like, “This happened to this famous actor.” Because then there’s a whole pile of stuff to deal with.

I know you’ve got something for me.
I have a good one! Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle are together. We were shooting the movie during the NBA finals and Gabrielle between takes was rushing to her iPad for updates. Unfortunately, the Miami Heat lost the finals and, about 36 hours later, D-Wade was on the set. He came up to hang with Gabrielle.

Aww, that’s so cute.
It is so cute. So, the crew has worked with all sorts of famous people, but when D-Wade showed up, they were unable to contain themselves. Everybody was taking pictures. He’s, like, twice as tall as everyone. I couldn’t get anyone to do any work. Gabrielle had to keep sending him on errands so we could keep focused, because everyone was so enamored with him. “Go pick up some bagels and spend time in town now…”

That is super amusing. Speaking of Gabrielle, was Vicky in the script written as African-American?
I didn’t originally envision the part specifically for a black actress, no. I just thought Gabrielle would be great in the role, and the idea of her opposite John was kind of thrilling. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, but never saw her do a role like this. And, as a side note, I’m tired of seeing cosmopolitan indie films with all white casts.

I can appreciate that. Something else we don’t see a whole lot of, indie or otherwise, is veganism. Why did you make it a prominent theme within this film?
There’s a Manhattan-Brooklyn divide. They’re stereotypes. In a lot of ways, it’s taking archetypes and, instead of entirely subverting them, it’s exploring them, in a hopefully realistic way. So, the vegan thing creates more of a divide between these two generations, in a sense. Gil’s so removed in his own world that he doesn’t even care if there’s a difference [between vegan and vegetarian] or not. There’s, surprisingly, a lot of people like that. It’s about lifestyle choices and defining yourself.

And so much more! Refreshing, though, to see it addressed, however peripherally. So, does the cast actually eat the food that’s in the film? The vegan meal looked good…
Good question. It takes hours and hours and hours to shoot a scene, so they basically had to keep eating. The food for the vegan [meal] was really good, really well catered. They were all psyched. But we were going to be shooting for, like, eight hours, so [I said], “Pace yourselves. When the camera’s not on you, don’t eat. And when the camera’s on you, don’t shovel it in.” The first take, they’re scarfing it down.

[Laughs] I don’t blame them. On the topic of scarfing, a bear pays a visit to the lake house and begins stuffing his face, too. Can you tell me more?
I learned a lot about bears that I didn’t know before. This is how it works with a bear. First of all, these bears have credits. Do you want the bear that rides a tricycle or do you want the one who was on Law & Order? There were only two or three choices in the Northeast. They’re film bears. You want to make a commercial with a bear? You get these guys. You want to make a TV show with a bear? You get these guys. How many bears are on TV? Not many. So, these were the ones. [Ours] was a female bear named Adrienne, who did a great job. Normally what they’ll do is bring two bears that look the same. In this case, it was Adrienne and her daughter. When one gets tired, you just exchange her for the other and no one knows the difference, because she looks like a bear. But, we were a production of limited means, so we couldn’t afford two bears. It’s very expensive. But, they basically starve the bear.

Tricycles was troublesome enough. Now I really don’t like where this is going. Hoping there were no Hobbit-type tragedies…
You don’t starve her all day. You starve her a little bit, because the bear listens when you offer her food. Bears are one of the few animals that are “undomesticatable.” Not only that, but the wranglers wrestle the bear, to get her to do things. It’s really rough. You know tug-of-war with a dog? It’s like that, only it’s about domination. It’s this weird domination game.

Not helping.
You know what black bears want more than anything? Sugar. They’ll start out with fruits to get her to do stuff. Then they’ll give her Captain Crunch and Lucky Charms. Then Skittles or whatever else. Then, top of the sugar chain, soda. It’s got more sugar than anything. Soda is liquid sugar, basically. She’ll do whatever you want.

Hmm…
People shouldn’t even know there’s a bear in the movie. I’m spoiling the whole thing.

It’s Time For Your “Catching Fire” Cast Update

The sequel to the explosive film adaptation of The Hunger Games now has a director (I Am Legend‘s Francis Lawrence) and key principals including Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and, of course, Lenny Kravitz as Capitol stylist Cinna. But as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark prepare for the Quarter Quell, a more intense version of the games featuring winners from previous years, fans are already anxious over who will join them in this dangerous competition.

Two notable names have been added to the cast within the past week: Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, Saved!) as Johanna Mason, a previous winner from District 7 who gets by with her wit and sarcasm and forms an allegiance with the star-crossed lovers of District 12. And today, as IMDb confirms, Philip Seymour Hoffman will join the cast as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of the Quarter Quell and successor to the deposed, weird-bearded Seneca Crane. Let the speculation over Hoffman’s Capitol-appropriate facial hair begin. 

Perhaps the biggest casting-related speculation has been related to who will play the role of Finnick Odair, the buff, trident-wielding previous champion from District 4 who forms an alliance with Katniss, Peeta and co. during the brutal Quarter Quell. Names that have buzzed about include Robert Pattinson, Taylor Kitsch, Trevor Donovan and Hunter Parrish, but no one has been confirmed for the role.

This has been your Catching Fire cast update. Back to you, Sofía. 

Jena Malone is Wild At Heart

imageJena Malone’s precociousness was present from the start. Her chilling big screen debut as the young Ruth Anne “Bone” Boatwright—who suffers tremendous abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, in 1996’s Bastard Out of Carolina—garnered her a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She was eleven.

Watching her easy grace and commanding presence on screen over the intervening years—even in small but pivotal roles like the knowing narrator-sister to Emile Hirsch in last year’s Into The Wild—it’s easy to see why she’s often been compared to Jodie Foster (she even played a young version of Foster in 1997’s Contact). Hearing her rhapsodize about her “craft” makes the case even clearer that Malone, now 23, is something special, several notches above the current generation of young actresses wobbling through Hollywood.

Of her Broadway debut last year in the Tony Award-winning Doubt, she says, “You’re not given a lot of time to breathe on screen—it’s a lot of fast moments, a lot of easy solutions—but onstage, you’re given two hours to work, to find, to bleed, and to live. It’s just so immense.”

Her art is clearly serious business to her, but she doesn’t take herself that seriously. When she’s not acting, she immerses herself in her other passion, music, making demos at her home studio in Lake Tahoe, under the name Jena Malone and Her Bloodstains. Or she records on-the-fly in taxicabs in New York. Her music’s got an unstudied freak-folky art-rock vibe to it, and her personal style matches it well. “Now that I’ve cut my hair short, I’m really into dressing more like a man—ties with dresses and blazers,” she says. “But I also really want to dress like a trapeze artist from the ’30s in Paris. I keep having all these dreams of outfits.” On the day we meet, she is wearing a slightly tattered lace-trimmed frock that she’s put on backwards. She wore said dress to her mother’s wedding two years ago, only it was “front-wards” that day, “just to, you know, give my mom a little normalcy. Like, Okay, I can do this—for you.”

Things weren’t always so peachy between them. Malone emancipated herself from her mother’s care when she was all of 14, and set up shop on her own in Los Angeles.

But these days the two are good pals; the fingerless gloves that proudly display her dark, chipped nail polish come from a recent shopping spree with mom at Target. “I basically live out of thrift stores and raiding people’s closets, but I was amazed at the amount of things that I was drawn to at Target.” Over a gargantuan Cobb salad at Craft in New York City (“Yowzer!” she cheered when it arrived), Malone sat down with BlackBook to talk about her latest challenge while filming Carter Smith’s frightening feature length debut, The Ruins: the near-starvation she voluntarily put herself though for the role, and living in a state of emotional terror so human, so tangible, that she’s still rattled by it.

BLACKBOOK: The story of four young tourists fighting for their lives at an ancient archeological site, The Ruins is a very different kind of movie than anything you’ve been in so far. A horror movie isn’t exactly what viewers would expect to see you in. JENA MALONE: I recently saw 50 minutes of it and it’s really intense and kind of hard to watch. And I understand why, because it’s sort of a psychological thriller that has moments of gore. There are no real moments of like, “jump!” There’s not that sort of on-the-edge-of-your-seat feeling. It’s more of a survival story.

BB: So it’s a more real fear? JM: Yeah! There is no tangible bad guy; there’s just “human nature,” which is the worst one of all. [Laughs.]

BB: What about this project appealed to you? JM: The script shocked me. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue. There was a lot of description and just painting a picture of the space that these characters enter. And that fascinated me. Here was something that was about young people that wasn’t about their antics and it wasn’t about their personalities and it wasn’t about where they are in society. It’s really basic and it’s really human, and I’d never done something like it before. And the director, Carter Smith, did this short film called Bugcrush that went to Sundance a few years ago, and I really liked it. It was the most creepy and disturbing thing I had seen in a long time.

BB: How so? JM: He is making films how David Lynch makes them, in the sense that he’s not making films anymore—he’s making these crawling, living organisms that get into your skin and you can smell them and you can taste them and they’re quite tangible. Those aren’t the films that I’m necessarily in love with as an audience member. Mostly those are the ones that I’ll take my little sister to and try to scare her and then treat her for ice cream afterwards. This was horror like Cronenberg or Lynch does horror, which is more psychological horror, “human nature” horror. I like that. I wanted to gamble with that, I wanted to see where it would take me.

image

Previous photo: Dress by Moschino Cheap & Chic, belt and bangles by Chanel, shoes by Sergio Rossi. This photo: Shirt by Moschino Cheap & Chic, dress by Moschino, shoes by D&G, cuff by Chanel.

BB: And where did it take you? JM: It was a really intense shoot. I think I had a breakdown on almost every level—physical, emotional. We were all on this deprivation diet and it was just about maintaining this really intense state for three and a half months. I mostly work in independent film, where you don’t have as much time and everything happens so fast. But with this it was like, wow, we had three days to shoot two pages. Man, that’s a lot of time to second-guess yourself, which can be a beautiful thing but can also be really scary.

BB: It can be crippling. How did you negotiate that? JM: Just learning how to keep your rhythm, keep yourself afloat, and trying to learn the art of patience and the art of sustaining yourself. I was eating basically steamed meat, and raw vegetables, and that was it for three and a half months. Usually, I eat, like, everything. And just to have that taste—small though it may be—of deprivation gave me this focus and awareness of what it means to not have and to want and to crave and to be withheld. I had never done that for a part. So I felt like it was almost cheating, because it was a really easy way to get into that space. I mean, all I was thinking about was food. I was hungry all the time and weak, and your emotions change.

BB: Was starving the actors intentional so that you’d look a certain way? Or so that you would get into the mindset of these people? JM: Mindset, yeah. Well, some people had to lose weight or bulk up, so certain actors were put on different diets. But I got there and wasn’t put on anything and I felt like, We’re all in this together. We can’t be going out as a cast, and I’m eating dessert and having coffee with foam.

BB: So you chose to be on it? JM: That’s why I’m saying that it felt like an easy way out as an actor. To be able to have this bond without having to build it metaphorically with your cast members.

BB: It’s also a way to go deeper with your character, to explore further. JM: Absolutely. People talk about Method acting. I worked with Daniel Day Lewis, and when you see him in a room in character on set, it makes so much sense. I don’t understand why anyone can’t do it that way, because all it takes is extreme focus, extreme concentration, and extreme dedication, which are naturally part of what it is to be an actor. I respect people like Emile Hirsch. On Into the Wild he went there one hundred percent. I think of him as an older brother now, and I’m so proud of him. Because I did The Ruins after Into the Wild, I talked to Emile and I said, I’m using you as a model, because he went there.

BB: What’s interesting is that it sounds like you didn’t have to go there for this role, but you chose to. What do think that says about you? JM: The thing is that I wanted it to be good. I didn’t want to do it half-assed. It actually took me a really long time to get out of that headspace after I finished working. I entered into some strange form of depression, which I think every actor, every artist does after some creative, emotional, intangible release. You live on a tight-wire for a bit, and you come back down to the ground, and you’re going to feel turned upside down. And that’s absolutely normal. But this one was a little bit harder to shake off.

BB: How long did it last? JM: I’m still trying to understand it.

BB: What’s your understanding of it now? JM: That sometimes you give a lot to something and you forget about your reserves. I walked away from The Ruins and felt like I had depleted my inspiration. That’s something that doesn’t really happen to me. Like, eating this salad, I’ll want to do it in a way that will bring the life into it and out of it, in any moment, you know? And I’m coming around to it but I didn’t feel inspired. I didn’t feel creative. I started looking up the words that I was fighting with. What is depression, what is inspiration? If you talk about it in architectural terms, depression is sinking down from your own floor to get a better perspective. Or a different perspective. So maybe it’s actually an important thing; you have to go down to come back up.

BB: Having another art form to turn to must help refill the well, so to speak. What is the story with these “taxicab recordings” you make while you’re working in New York City? JM: I started becoming a freestyle singer when I was here in New York, doing the play Doubt. I would be so confined in the play, everything was a regimen. I had to drink water and not a lot of coffee and not a lot of milk before—it was more about cleansing and trying to be a really even and clean slate before I went on the stage. And sometimes it was really intense. I found that I needed release, to just scream or something. So I started walking home and freestyling to myself and it just turned into every time I got into a taxicab the recorder would go on and these ten-minute intervals would happen. Sometimes with the cabbie singing back with me, sometimes with them asking questions, me asking them what their favorite songs were. I probably have 50 hours of material. Eventually I’ll do something with it that’s more substantial than just leaving it on the hard drive. Because there’s some interesting stuff there.

BB: Was it about the potential of creating something, or was it just the experience itself? JM: I want to sing for people, I want to give it to people. And in this weird way I feed off this energy of having to sit with someone in a car, trapped there, they can’t go anywhere. Whether or not they are listening, I’m still wanting to give them something beautiful.

BB: Whose work has helped informed your approach as a musician? JM: I’m always listening to Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and PJ Harvey—her, I’m obsessed with. I love her album White Chalk. It’s so haunting I find it hard to listen to, like it’s almost too beautiful. I find it hard. You have to be in a space for it. But I saw her live when she when she was touring with that album. I’ve never cried before when I saw music. But she’s playing all of her instruments, recreating songs she did in ‘91. And instead of having a full band or getting that drum sound, she’s literally just banging on a thing, getting some keyboards, and singing. And that’s totally inspiring because that’s how I set up my studio. I don’t know how to play anything but I’m playing everything. It’s kind of the only way to do it. Just do it yourself.

BB: You became independent at fourteen, so learning to do things on your own came early for you. What’s your relationship with your family like now? JM: It’s beautiful. It’s nice to be close to my family. To be able to go home and be able to be a daughter and a sister.

imageDress by Lorick, sandals by Miu Miu.

BB: What did it take to get to the place of closeness with your mom and your family? JM: Just time. Time, and just getting to be in a room alone together and be like, Alright. Let’s have a bottle of wine. Let’s sit here and let’s talk. Let’s just be. I was young, stubborn, so it took me time to be like, “I want to get to know her.” But I respect her so much. I find her happiness and her joy in life so beautiful. She’s got an immense childlike joy that I don’t think will ever be taken from her. And it’s great to have her as someone I look up to. Because when you’re a teenager you sort of hate your parents, regardless of who they are. Like with any other family, you have the breaking away period and then the coming back and then you get to reach this really strange and beautiful place where you kind of see eye to eye with your parents. Wow, I’m an adult, you’re an adult, and look, we’re both childish and fucked up. Amazing! Right?

BB: You had a breaking away from them way earlier than most people. JM: Yeah. Well, 14, 16, 18—in this day and age, things are happening earlier and earlier. I just feel like, if a child is ready just let ’em go. Let ’em explore.

BB: What was that period like? JM: I learned a lot about myself. I feel like I am who I am because I was able to do that. With everything I did, there were obstacles. Just to be able to put the power in my name and turn it on, I had to fax four pieces of paper to this person and have the court call this person and go in and talk to them to make sure I was normal. I felt like, I just want to be responsible. Is that so weird? I just want to pay my bills, do my grocery shopping, and be normal, but it was so hard. Normalcy shouldn’t be something you’re given. I understand that it’s something you have to fight against and fight with to a certain extent. If it’s too easy, I think people would never leave it.

Photography by Shawn Mortensen Styling by Bryan Levandowski