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Sisi filmmakers on the importance of having “actual acting” on screen

Sisi filmmakers on the importance of having “actual acting” on screen

Earlier this year, the brilliant horror/comedy movie Sisi It captivated the United States when it celebrated its world premiere at South By Southwest.

It was then quickly picked up for distribution by horror streaming platform Shudder, and after enjoying the rounds at both the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals, it’s now finally in cinemas across the country.

Sisi It follows Cecilia (Aisha Dee), an influencer (or “mental health advocate”) who meets her best friend Emma (Hannah Barlow, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with Ken Sinise) at the drugstore one day. The two vowed to grow old together, until Alex (Emily de Margaret) arrived on the scene.

After a brief and awkward interaction, the pair quickly reconnected and Emma invited Cecilia ( no Cece called her to join her next chicken weekend. catch? Alex is there, and seems committed to not letting Cecilia forget her past.

Related: Hannah Barlow and Ken Sinise on How Bill Gibson Influenced Australian Horror Flick “Sissy”

Related: “Every day was like a dream”: Maria Bakalova on the set of the movie “Body of Bodies”:

The film has a refreshingly diverse cast, something that Barlow and Sens were intentional about during filming.

“We shot the movie based on the people we wanted to work with and they were just talented,” Barlow told The Latch Over Zoom. “But there was an intention to have actual representation of young Australians on screen.”

“Sydney is the most multicultural city in the Southern Hemisphere, so having people who look like me as a whole bunch of friends seems really old,” she added.

a lot of Sisi Commenting on Aisha Dee’s volatile, sympathetic, and confusing portrayal of Cecilia, she has received rave reviews for her performance. It may come as a surprise, then, that when the script was originally sent to Dee, Barlow and Senes had in mind to play Fran, Emma’s fiancée. After reading the script, Dee fought for the role of Cecilia.

“Aisha read the script and came back to us and said, ‘Hey, I actually get along more with Cecilia. Are you going to talk to me about this?’” Barlow recalls, “and so we had a Zoom meeting with her, and she just shared her whole upbringing and what she went through. And it was even wilder than The bullying I experienced as a kid, but we really bonded with it.

And she was like, ‘I’m Cecilia.’ And she kept insisting, ‘I’m Cecilia.’ And we were like, ‘Okay! Barlow said. “But she was also the only person who read the script and said that. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m Cecilia too.'”

Talking to concrete playgroundDee praised “The Heavy Feminine Look” and its versatility.

“In addition to just Cecilia’s character, you had a very small staff consisting of an interracial gay couple, a gay man with disabilities and an Asian woman,” she said, “and the only man I’ve really seen was an eccentric man.”

Once Dee got the role, Barlow said, “She brought all this intelligence into this role [they] I didn’t even think as a writer.”

The role of Jimmy, who was played by to throb The star Daniel Monks came up organically – he’s a good friend of Barlow’s and they wrote the role for him, helping Monks craft his character.

Describing the Monks as “the warmest, most generous, tender, and kind person on the planet,” Barlow said that when it came to Jimmy, Monks’ biggest wish was for his character to be awful.

“When he was developing Jimmy with us, he was like, ‘I’m sick of playing the victim, or the nice guy,'” Barlow recalls. “He’s like, ‘I want Jimmy to be the most hated character in that group.'”

“Daniel would say to us, ‘Just because I’m a disabled actor, people think they have to handle me with baby gloves,'” Sinnis added.

“And Aisha said the same,” Barlow said. It’s like, ‘I just want to play the villain. No one will let me play the villain.”

“It was really cool to think in our little slasher movie that we could somehow take one step in the right direction toward changing that,” Sinnis said.

Yerin Ha, who plays Tracy in the movie but is best known for her role as Kwan Ha Hellofollowing the recommendation of the Monks, after the duo starred in a stage production of Lord of the Flies together.

“He was like, ‘She’s the most talented and hardworking person I know,’” Barlow recalls. “And she said yes, between two seasons. HelloAnd we were very lucky to have her – now I want to work with her on everything if she has our team.”

Just a day before production started, they signed Lucy Barrett Charm Turn on to play Fran after chatting on Zoom. In fact, with only two weeks of pre-production, the couple found themselves “still preparing for the movie [they] They were shooting at him.”

“It was all so quick and just talking to someone very instinctively, feeling them out, and saying, ‘Okay, I guess you’re right,'” Sinise said.

The end result, as Di . said concrete playgroundis a film that reflects off-screen the “colorful, diverse and beautiful Australia”.

“It didn’t feel like any other Australian movie I’d seen,” she said. “I think, unfortunately, that until recently, Australian film and television didn’t really reflect the same melting pot of color that as we all know is already here – so that was another big reason why I wanted to be a part of it.”

Sisi In cinemas now.

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