Actress Lisa Brenner takes on the Welsh Islands in this fun indie romance.
Directed by Jay Stern and written by Deborah Frances White, Say My Name is a story about two complete strangers who accidentally end up in a room together and things get interesting. The movie is set to release this Friday, June 14th, 2019.
The Knockturnal: What made you want to take on the role of Mary?
Lisa Brenner: The director Jay Stern and I decided we wanted to work together a few years ago. We knew each other from college and I was in the first play he ever directed in New York, The Merchant of Venice. I was at a point in my career where I needed to take matters into my own hands. He wanted to find a project for me that was completely unlike anything I’ve ever done before. He then brought me the script by his friend, comedian Deborah Frances-White. I read the script once and knew that I had to, not only play Mary but I had to produce it as well.
The Knockturnal: How is Mary your character, different from all the characters you’ve played throughout your career?
Lisa Brenner: Mary is unlike any character I’ve played. Firstly, I’m barely ever given the chance to do comedy. So that’s a huge change for me. Also, it’s so rare to find a strong female lead who uses her sharp wit to get her out of dangerous situations, as opposed to karate chopping. It’s not realistic, not to say a woman can’t do that, it’s just refreshing to see something new, original and much more commonplace. I get to play a woman who’s strong and sexually liberated, yet vulnerable at the same time. Mary is so multi-faceted that I was just hoping to do her justice.
The Knockturnal: How was it working with Jay Stern and Deborah Frances-white?
Lisa Brenner: Jay and I have been friends for a long time and I adore him. He is one of the most kind, calm, yet strong, directors I’ve ever worked with. He loves actors and gets amazing performances out of them. It’s never easy working with a friend, but I’m pleased to say, we are as close today as we were before the project. And we just may work together again, if I’m lucky. Deborah is just plain awesome and inspiring. She really walks the walk with her feminism and is constantly trying to change the narrative, whether it’s in her podcast, the Guilty Feminist, or doing her stand up. She makes feminism easy, fun and accessible.
The Knockturnal: Was this movie a new experience working with a British cast?
Lisa Brenner: Absolutely! Originally we were supposed to shoot in Greece! But thankfully I have such an affinity for British television and films, that I felt like I was right in my element. I also have a strange affinity for British reality TV, but that’s another discussion!
The Knockturnal: Where was the movie filmed?
Lisa Brenner: We shot all around South Wales.
The Knockturnal: What was your favorite scene?
Lisa Brenner: My favorite scene from the original script, from filming and ultimately in the movie has stayed the same. Without giving too much away, it is “the van” scene with the drug dealers. The three of us had so much fun filming, we finished the scene in 2 takes, no coverage, and when we were done, we stayed in the van. The crew was taking down the lights and everyone was moving on to another location. We asked the director, “Can we do it one more time? Please??”
The Knockturnal: Do you have any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
Lisa Brenner: Yes! I’m producing my second feature now in Serbia called The Deal. It’s a beautiful mother/daughter story that takes place in a dystopian future. We’re all very excited about it!
Check out the movie trailer in the link below!