Tori Spelling, Melanie Aitkenhead and Leila George expressed their excitement to be working on the project and the underlying belief that love conquers all.
Reboots, remakes, reimaginings, they are everywhere, but none quite like this. Such was the mood at the Red Carpet premiere of Lifetime’s 2016 adaptation of Mother May I, Sleep With Danger? The original 1996 TV movie gained a cult following and enraptured the minds of even those involved as Tori Spelling returned to star in and produce the remake. Melanie Aitkenhead directed the feature which stars Emily Meade and Leila George as the two leading ladies.
This modernization from the twisted mind of James Franco (executive producer) features teenage lesbian vampires. A gorgeous popular high school girl (George) falls for a girl who happens to be a ‘nightwalker’ (Meade). The love between and pressures surrounding them make for a shocking, sexy, and bizarre end result. The Knockturnal spoke to the director and stars about recreating the magic of the original and translating this type of story for a contemporary audience.
The subject matter of the film itself may prove controversial, but director Melanie Aitekenhead argued that was the point. “It proves how far we’ve come that we can see lesbians and vampires and it’s love,” she said when asked why 2016 was the right time to revisit Mother May I, Sleep With Danger?. “It’s not a matter of sexual orientation. It’s a matter of who you fall in love with. In this case it was a vampire and it happened to be a woman.”
Aitkenhead also addressed the pushback felt by the mother character (Spelling) in the film and how it reflected her real life experience. “I know close friends of mine and people who when coming out to their parents there is always this sense of disappointment,” she said. “20 years ago it was more of a snafu. Right now it’s more understandable and people need to be more open.”
Spelling’s choice to return to this project was multi-faceted. “I love the idea of reboots,” she said. “They should remake TV movies and if I ever did one it would have to be Mother May I, Sleep With Danger?“. And there was the factor of working with James Franco which Spelling insisted was the main reason she took the role she did. “Only for James Franco, Mother May I, Sleep With Danger and Lifetime would I ever play a mother with children of this age.”
Spelling astutely mentioned that this was her first time playing a mother and she is hoping it stays that way for a while. “As an actress, there’s that fine line when you feel you cross over to playing the mother,” she told us. “As of yet I have not played a mother.” Looks like we won’t be seeing another role of this nature from Spelling anytime soon.
Leila George made her feature debut in Mother May I, Sleep With Danger? and was excited to share why it was an important story to tell in a contemporary landscape. “My favorite thing about it was the relationship between Emily and I,” she said. This was a crucial point to her and the driving theme of the film.
“I really didn’t see gender,” George added on the nature of the homosexual relationship between her and Meade’s character. “I didn’t see it as this lesbian thing and making it about being lesbians and us being sexy girls as lesbians. It was really about love and that’s what I loved about it.”
Mother May I, Sleep With Danger? premieres on Lifetime on June 18.