It’s good to know she’s going to keep supplying us with strong women lead films.
A lot of the time, the screen writer doesn’t get the glory, but sometimes they really deserve it. Julia Hart is one of those screenwriters. We’ve only begun to see her work, and her future looks bright. If you haven’t checked out her latest film ‘The Keeping Room‘, it’s worth a watch. It’s not often you find a strong female driven film such as this and it’s great. We got a chance to chat with her and learn more about her. She reveals the interesting experience she had that inspired the film as well as some of the work she has coming up. She seems to enjoy telling stories few other writers are telling and engaging the audience with these interesting twists. She’s a great writer and you should take a moment to get to know her. Check out the interview below:
What inspired the story?
Julia Hart: I went on a road trip with my husband down to Georgia to visit friends of ours who are from there and we went to their family’s farm, which was actually a pre-civil war working farm. They told us when we were down there that the myth that came with the house when the family bought was there were two unmarked graves in the goat field out back and that there were two union soldiers buried there. I couldn’t get that idea out of my head even after I had gone home because I couldn’t stop thinking about how did they get there, who would’ve put them there? The fact that they would have been put there during the war, I started to work backwards from there, the people who would’ve put them there would’ve been the woman who have been left alone in the house at the time and what kind of women would be capable of that. The three main characters of the film, Augusta, Louise and Mad kind of popped into my head and I kind of worked backwards from there about who they would’ve been and what their lives would’ve been like and how that would’ve been the end of the film.
Speak about the characters and what inspired them.
Julia: The fact that they would’ve been able to dominate their attackers from the onset for me. It was weird because the three of them kind of popped into my head altogether. It wasn’t like one kind of begat another and I went from there. The three women as a union were wholly formed from the impetus and that kind of dictated for me how I developed each of them individually and they’re unique in their own way, but really, what was important to me more than anything else was their relationship and focusing on developing the different ways in which relationship shifts over the course of the film.
What was one of your favorite scenes?
Julia: My favorite scene to write was the scene between Mad and Augusta when they get drunk. I had so much fun writing that scene. We’ve never seen a slave and her master drink together and just be two women emotionally naked and open to each other, talking about sex and see what they’re afraid of and all of that. That scene was originally like pages longer, when we shot the whole thing and they ended up cutting it down a bit and I loved the way they cut it down. It made sense. I think it goes to show how much fun I had writing that sequence, just like, it went on for a really long time. Their two performances in that scene are so amazing to me and I think they had a really good time. Shooting it too in a film that is so intense and brutal to have this moment where they both just get to let go I think was really great for them as well.
Is female driven films going to be a theme for your future work?
Julia: Yes, I think I feel very strongly that there are so few of us telling them, both men and women telling stories about women that I feel like it’s my duty to keep telling stories about women. I think there are so many more stories to tell about women than there are to tell about men because so many of the stories to tell about men have been told and I know the people who keep telling them, I may tell a few myself, who knows. I just think that there’s such a rich pool to draw from in terms of the untold stories about women so why not just keep telling them.
Can you tell me about any projects you have coming up?
Julia: Yea! I just directed my first movie, which is another female driven project, a script that my husband and I actually wrote about a woman. So that was a really incredible experience, it’s called ‘Miss Stevens’, and Lily Rabe is the lead in that. Then I am also writing a miniseries for HBO that Anna Kaplan and Jack Black are producing in and starring in.