Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Wash Westmoreland creatively connects to 'Colette'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-09-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Independent film director Wash Westmoreland continues to take on new endeavors that push the mainstream idea of cinema, such as The Fluffer and the doc Gay Republicans.

He paid his dues as a camera assistant on the movie Hustler White, then worked his way up to co-writing and co-directing Quinceanera with his husband Richard Glatzer, making it a hit at Sundance in 2006.

With Still Alice he broke into mainstream thanks to Julianne Moore winning an Oscar for Best Actress. Glatzer was fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the hospital at the time of the win, then later died in 2015.

Westmoreland's latest project, Colette, is based on the life of Gabrielle Sidonie Colette, and stars Keira Knightley. The film tells the story of a husband-and-wife writing team, wherein the wife, Colette, is determined to break free of her husband Willy's hold, at any cost.

Windy City Times: How was working with Keira Knightley for Colette?

Wash Westmoreland: I really enjoyed working with her, and she's an incredible actress. She's also a lovely person. We got along very well straight away.

I heard she was interested in the film. I was at the Shanghai International Film Festival. We were Facetiming and I only had two percent left on my battery. I told her, "No one else can do this role but you." She said, "Let's do it then," and my phone died! I was just left looking at my phone.

Keira has a lot of things in common with Colette. She has a spark, intelligence, sensuality and a wry sense of humor. She has it all. She really invested in researching the character, reading a lot of books and immersing herself in the world of Colette.

WCT: I had heard she was a diva. Were there moments like this?

WW: No. She was completely down to earth and really nice. She has an assistant who was lovely. She had a child with her and is a working mom. She balances being an actress during the day and taking care of her daughter very well. She's very committed to both.

WCT: What attracted you to Colette in the first place?

WW: The initial attraction was the character of Colette herself. She has a very dynamic personality and a brilliant writer.

My co-writer, co-director and late husband Richard Glatzer was an avid reader and started reading a lot about Colette. He felt there was a movie there and that being the ideal marriage to show in a feature film. It's the story of a heterosexual marriage with an unexpected queer explosion in it.

WCT: That reminded me of another movie called Professor Marston and the Wonder Women about a polyamorous relationship also.

WW: Colette and Willy had an open relationship too, so it is interesting to see from that perspective. He laid down the rules of it. He felt Colette could have affairs as long as they were women, feeling that was not threatening.

This was a time when the feminist underground was rising with some radical thinking lesbians that altered her world view. They were very instrumental to the path for her liberation.

WCT: How was casting the movie to make sure everyone had the right chemistry with Keira?

WW: The most crucial role, of course, was the role of Willy. I thought Dominic West had the right approach to it, because he takes characters that behave badly and uses charm to get away with it. He and Keira knew of each other's work, but had never met. The first time they read together, it was like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together. It was magical!

They had a rapport and it was a filmmaker's dream come true. We had a long shot where they were just talking to each other and it was fascinating because it was like playing tennis with their minds.

The other people were either incredible actors or discoveries that we auditioned for the roles. We put together a very inclusive and diverse cast, including trans actors that were playing cisgender roles, lesbians that were playing straight roles and straight people that were playing lesbian roles. Actors of color who were playing characters in history who were white. It was about letting actors explore different lives, but including everybody within the casting process.

WCT: Isn't that something you have done throughout your career, by showing things not usually depicted on screen?

WW: Yes. Richard and I always approached films by seeing the genre rules and breaking them. We want to see something new so in all of our films we have tried to do that.

With Colette, we tried to do something that wasn't a typical period piece. In many period pieces you wait two hours for a couple to be engaged. In Colette, she's in the barn with Willy within the first five minutes having sex. There's no consequence for a woman being sexual, which is something else revolutionary in this genre.

WCT: I noticed you dedicated Colette to Richard at the end.

WW: It was really his baby and his idea. He wrote the first draft in 2001. He passed away about three and a half years ago, but before that, he said he wanted Colette to be our next film. It was part of the grieving process to make this creatively connected to him.

WCT: Talk about the androgyny of the costuming.

WW: When you see old sepia tone photos, people are buttoned down. Colette is the opposite. You can't believe how far she goes by using clothes to express herself. Rather than going frilly and over adorned, she goes for simple lines. It is very striking and [utilizes] looks that would work now. When Keira wears them they look really astonishing.

Our costume designer, Andrea Flesch, had a theory that everyone in the background should have multicolors, feathers and beads. Colette should have a simplicity and be the modern one. As Colette progresses, she should move away from feminine clothes to more masculine signaling.

WCT: I almost didn't recognize Keira at the beginning of Colette.

WW: She is amazingly convincing as a teenager at the beginning of the film. She goes from 19 to 34. We worked on her body language being freer as a young person. Her voice was higher and less confident. You see as she progresses, all of these things change.

WCT: What does Colette say to women in current times?

WW: One thing that caught me by surprise was the extraordinary relevance to this film to the discussions that are happening around the #MeToo movement, Time's Up and LGBT issues.

The story is essentially about a man who takes credit for a woman's work. That is happening a thousand times a day all over the world. I think the Colette story finds resonance with a lot of women who are kept down by male power structures in the workplace.

As far as LGBT issues [go], it shows that queer characters are part of history. There were a lot of secret histories of queer people in the past, but Colette was actually public about it. I think it is astonishing that she kissed her girlfriend at the Moulin Rouge, causing a riot. She went with what felt natural above and beyond what society allowed. I feel she is inspiring for anyone facing barriers in their lives. They should just charge through them like Colette did!

Colette challenges the norm at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St. on Friday, Sept. 28, with showtimes at LandmarkTheatres.com/Chicago .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Black LGBTQ/SGL Group Urges Courageous Conversations During Holidays 2018-12-12 - WASHINGTON — This past weekend, Twitter and traditional media blew up after comedian D.L. Hughley called Trans actress Indya Moore a 'pussy' and ...


Gay News

SAG nominees include 'A Star Is Born,' 'Maisel' 2018-12-12 - Awkwafina and Laverne Cox announced the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild ( SAG ) Awards nominees Dec. 12—and A Star Is Born and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Rent,' Ariana Grande, Lena Waithe, Elton John 2018-12-11 - Fox has announced the full cast for the upcoming live musical event Rent, which will air Sunday, Jan. 27, a press release noted. ...


Gay News

Windy City Times previews winter movies 2018-12-11 - Escape the cold weather by hitting the warm movie theater, where sunny comedies, strong superheroes and unbelievably true stories can all be seen ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Actor John Barrowman part of team that spins a Celtic tale 2018-12-10 - Legendary Comics and Webtoon are running a new comic series called Acursian rooted in Celtic lore. Fresh from the minds of storytellers ...


Gay News

Dance Film Better Off Dead Premieres at Links Hall 2018-12-07 - Motion/Pictures Dance Project is a Chicago-based film production collective created by Talia Koylass. On Oct. 8, 2018, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke ...


Gay News

Hart steps down as Oscars host after anti-gay comments draw response 2018-12-07 - Only two days after being announced as the host of the 2019 Oscars, actor/comedian Kevin Hart has stepped down over a situation involving ...


Gay News

'Versace,' 'Rhapsody,' 'Pose' receive Golden Globe nods 2018-12-06 - The nominations for the 76th annual Golden Globes were announced Dec. 6 at the Beverly Hilton, with 25 categories spanning films and TV ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Handmaid,' Kristen Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis 2018-12-04 - Margaret Atwood is currently writing a sequel to her best-selling dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, TheWrap.com noted. Due out in September 2019 from ...


Gay News

WINDY CITY TIMES 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2018-11-28 - Rebel yell As many know, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is next year, and this cool "Rebel" T-shirt—which out Oscar-winning screenwriter ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.