Women and Hollywood got the chance to interview Aselton (via email) about Black Rock which is in theaters and on VOD now.
Women and Hollywood: In the press notes you said you wanted to do a different take on a thriller, one that starred women. Why did that interest you?
Katie Aselton: I approached the idea initially as an actor… The role of 'action heroine' was one I have always secretly lusted for and, until I created it for myself, had never been offered the opportunity to play. Then the idea of actually making this movie - directing it, telling it with a female voice - felt very original and also challenging in an exciting, creative way.
WaH: Why do you think there a fewer thrillers with women in the lead made?
KA: I think there are certain tenets set in place for all different types on genres. For thrillers, women usually die first. I can't say exactly why and it's kind of a bummer... But I also can't explain why the wallflower girl in the romantic comedy always gets the guy in the end. That's just the way those movies go.
WaH: Did Mark write the script for you to direct? Did you both come up with the idea or did he just come up with the whole thing on the flight delay?
KA: We conceived the movie always with the idea that I would star in it... The more we talked about different directors though, we really got excited about the idea of this being made by a woman. I also really fell in love with the characters and the story and by the time we had a finished script, I didn't want anyone else to tell this story.
WaH: The whole film shifts in an instant when a woman says no and a guy doesn't want hear it. It really is every woman's worst fear that escalates into every woman's worst nightmare. Can you just take us into the political implications of the film?
KA: Beyond any political implications, the scenario between my character, Abby and Henry (played by Will Bouvier) felt like a very realistic situation that could escalate easily to a point of danger and panic.
WaH: Women being hunted feels also like a cliche yet you put a whole new spin on it. It's all about girl power and survival. Was that the message you were going for?
KA: I loved exploring the power of someone's will to survive, the ferocity of loyalty, how far you would go to protect the ones you love... I believe women have more power than we give ourselves credit for... We have been known to lift cars off of babies! That's incredible.
WaH: You had a lot of women working on this film. Is that common for you and what do you think that having women all around you brought to the production.
KA: We did have a lot of women working on this film - my DP was a woman, my producer, my co-producer - it was exciting and truly inspiring to look around and see these incredibly capable women kicking ass and excelling at their jobs. And my leading ladies were incredible… we forged a bond unlike I have ever experienced before and I look forward to working with them again many, many times over. They are wonderful. Most of the year I'm surrounded by guys (albeit incredibly sensitive, wonderful, talented guys) shooting The League, so it was really refreshing to get a good, healthy dose of estrogen on Black Rock.
WaH: What were the biggest lessons you learned in making this film?
KA: Shooting in the Atlantic Ocean is a horrible idea. It's very cold.
WaH: What advice do you have for female filmmakers?
KA: Make your movie. Don't wait for permission. Make your movie.
WaH: What's next for you?
KA: Season 5 of The League... And I'm developing a couple of projects to direct with people I'm really excited to work with on both sides of the camera.