I was provided an all-expenses trip to L.A. via Focus Features to screen The Beguiled and interview cast members. Opinions are my own.
When I saw the trailer for The Beguiled, I was intrigued. A bunch of women taking things into their own hands after they’ve been wronged — right up my alley! Then I was invited to fly out to L.A. to interview director Sofia Coppola, and actresses Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. Talk about exciting!
Before I tell you all about what they had to say. Check out this trailer to see exactly what you have to look forward to watching when The Beguiled opens in theaters!
About The Beguiled
Opens June 23, 2017 (NY/LA); June 30, 2017 (expansion)
Story: World-premiering at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival.
“The Beguiled” is an atmospheric thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events.
Director: Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation,” “Somewhere”)
Writer: Sofia Coppola, based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan and the screenplay by Albert Maltz and Grimes Grice
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard
The Beguiled Interviews
On Sofia’s Best Director Win!
Panel: Congratulations on your best Director win at Cannes!
Kirsten: It was so funny. She was at Coney Island with her kids. I was watching in Florence, and I pulled it up on the computer to watch. I was like toasting with champagne, and she’s in Coney Island. That’s Sofia.
Sofia: She sent me a picture of her watching it too, with champagne. I’m like, “I’m at Coney Island having hot dogs.”
But then when I got home, I had champagne with Sarah, our editor, and Stacey, our costume designer, and we had so many great women working on this, and so we celebrated.
On Deciding To Take On The Beguiled.
Panel: Can you talk a little bit about the process that you go through to find a new project? Do you purposely look for something that’s different for you or is every new project a challenge?
Sofia: After I finish a project I have to see kind of what mood or reaction [there is] to the one right before, and after I did “Bling Ring” I really wanted to do something beautiful. I was so sick of that kind of pop culture that it, you know, it just wasn’t aesthetic. I wanted to do something beautiful, but that’s all I knew.
And then my friend told me about “The Beguiled” and said, “I think you need to see that and remake it. And I thought I would never remake someone else’s film. But then when I saw it I knew what she was talking about, that it was, you know, right for reinterpretation and that it was, you know, a story about a group of women told from a ‘70s man point of view of the soldier finding them and I thought oh, I just kept thinking about it.
I watched “Lord of the Flies” as a reference for this movie. ~Sofia Coppola
It [The Beguiled] reminded me of “Virgin Suicides”. There was something about it that I could connect to that aesthetic of these, you know, women trapped in this house.
I was curious too. I got the book, it was out of print, and it’s told from the female character’s point of view and I starting thinking about what it was like for them and to set up this world, this isolated world of these women living together and then this enemy soldier comes in. The story has so much about the power between men and women shifting back and forth and [it’s] so heightened in this southern atmosphere.
On Making The Beguiled Stand Out.
Panel: You touched on it a little bit about it being a remake. I wanted to know how you wanted to stand out from the original or even the characters, how you wanted them to stand out from the original, even the book?
Sofia: I really tried to forget the other film and just approach it in a new way and I knew that they would bring so much. You know, we try to think about where those characters are coming from and make them human and then, you know, I looked at Kirsten and Elle for their characters to bring their take on it.
Kirsten: I only watched the movie once a long time ago when Sofia was first thinking about remaking it and then I never watched it again. I read the book, well most of Edwina’s parts in the book and I don’t know, I did my own thing. But the woman that played the part in the previous film was really good I thought.
On Why There Is Minimal Music.
Panel: I noticed that there was no underscoring for most of the film except for the children singing acapella and the parlor singing, and I was wondering what your choice was for that.
Sofia: I wanted to really have as much tension as we could and the sexual tension and what’s going to happen.
So with the sound, I thought to keep the music really minimal, and there’s just kind of these ominous tones underneath. Letting the sound of the cannons and the nature that usually when you have music it kind of breaks the tension, and so to really try to keep that tension suspended the whole film as much as we could.
On Letting Loose On Set.
Panel: I’m wondering if at the end of the day if there’s anything you have to do to kind of unwind because you’re, you know. The movie’s pretty serious.
Sofia: The story, I mean I hope when you’re watching it, it’s tense. But when we were filming we were having fun and we were enjoying being in New Orleans and it wasn’t tense the whole time on set.
Kirsten: No, we had so much fun. We did a little Girls Gone Wild – Civil War.
Elle: War edition.
Kirsten: Because the craft service table they have, you know, plastic cups and a lot of them red Solo cups, which makes it look like…
Elle: A kegger.
Kirsten: …these children are drinking beer or something. But we, Elle and I, were like running around flashing our ankle. It was all fun.
Elle: We had like a sexy calendar.
On Filming At the “Lemonade” House.
Panel: So at the end of the movie, something that stood out is when you guys are sitting on the porch and you’re looking really bad ass and this moment is happening. I know that the house was from Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” video. I wanted to know if that were the intention.
Sofia: There are a few plantation houses that were real plantations that they allow filming and we didn’t know that Beyoncé had shot there until these guys… they saw the chair.
Elle: The little girls, they saw the chair and then looked it up and then it was the exact same chair. And then we asked the owners I was like mad that they didn’t tell us. I was like, “You didn’t tell us that they shot ‘Lemonade’ here?” And they were like, “Oh yeah, yeah, Beyoncé was here.” Like this is a way bigger deal than that, you mention it.
Sofia: But we all had to take turns taking photos of being Beyoncé, then switching and being Serena Williams.
Find out more about The Beguiled
Read my full review here ==> The Beguiled Review