Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mama's Gun Film interview (behind the scenes in radio land)

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes during a radio interview? The other day I had the pleasure of a really fun one (and trust me not all interviews are that!! Though  I  usually tend to be very lucky in that department)

Sometimes I get wined and dined. Sometimes  my hair even gets towel dried for me when I arrive rain soaked ( ala James Brown (R.I.P) & his bodyguards  ) or sometimes it is a nightmare of a grotty dive or  of arriving early and being kept waiting for ages (translation: hours ) by someone who does not think I may have a schedule as well! 

I have been extra extra  busy recording various music/tv/film/theatre features at present so after a few busy stressful days when I found myself at the chilled , laidback incense scented home of  photographer/writer/producer/director Leanne Hanley sipping chamomile tea and chatting about  this and that until actress Carla Bonner arrived (along with trusty nutribullet smoothie in hand   )  I was by then relaxed and ready  to talk movie!

Carla Bonner

Now Carla  is probably best known for her  role in Neighbours as  'Steph Scully , albeit she has of course had other roles as well and later this month they are about to start filming a short film noir called  MAMA's GUN  in which she will take on the gritty challenging lead role of Mary Wylie.  Which of course I was there to find out more about.

Mama's Gun  is set in Melbourne in 1942. It is the dark  twisted tale of a 'diabolical mother, 2 sons & an opium business set to go up in smoke.'  It will be made by all female crew.  (hurrah)

So why is Mary so scary? I am sure being sold into prostitution as a young girl can  make you hard and twisted .  Mary is obviously scarred and complex , complicated - deep down  yearning for love, yet unable to give it apart from via the S word (you know!)  


                                                                  Leanne Hanley

Excerpt below transcribed from  part of radio interview*:

Marilyn Michaels: Steph Scully ( Carla's role in Neighbours) started off as a really cool 'biker chick' , looked like a rock chick too I thought, and then somewhere along the lines became 'psychotic' (Carla laughs) Poor poor Steph, my heart was breaking for her, though some great scenes came out of it. Do you think it might have given you a bit of a grounding  for this twisted twisted role that you are going to play as Mary in Mama's Gun? 

Carla Bonner:  Oh, well, I like to think that Steph wasn't evil like Mary Wiley , (chuckles)
Steph was just a bit, you know, she was on medication and she went off her meds,  so you know it wasn't something that was with her her entire life, unlike Mary.
Umm Mary has a history of abuse  and  just a really really tough life, she had no love. There are  many, many differences between  Mary and Steph. But poor Steph!  (laughs) She was cool, she is stll cool  she's just in a facility right now.  (laughs)

MM: Nobody could blame Steph for having had a breakdown, because she had an accident with her best friend on a motorbike, went off with her best friend's man,  what else did she get up to, oh yeah her sister, her sister Felicity aka  Flick ( played by Holly Valance) stole Marc! I don't know it all off the top of my head, oh I do to a point, (but)  no wonder she ended up having a breakdown, and didn't she run over 'Ringo' ?

CB: Yeah but she was drunk! No, no, no ! Ok technically she had alcohol in her system.  I don't advocate drink-driving at all, absolutely not,  Steph was going through Post Natal Depression at the time, regardless of the fact that she did indeed have a baby to her best friend's ex husband
 and then got her  other best friend to step in and say that he was the babys father and then they even went to the lengths of getting married again you know and
okay  so she made a few little  woopsies but you know she's paid for it, she has ,and  like i say, she's recuperating. she' ll get there

MM:   We love Steph in the UK and hope she is better soon, ok that's our Neighbours bit out of the way, I want  to know how the idea for Mama's Gun came up, what was the  background to it ?

Leanne Hanley:  I guess, you know,  it came quite organically   from conversations  between   my partner and  our writing and producing partner  Jonah Klein  who,  we all have interesting mothers let's say  - it just sort of developed from conversations over dinner and we started talking about an interesting female character  because we find that there's a lack of them and 'women of a certain age'   let's say. so I started thinking about Ma Barker actually, and did some research on her , then the idea for  Mary came from that research and we decided to do an Australian version of  this, kind of not quite 'Mafia Mother' but you know, a very strong  gritty mother

MM:  And she's a very dark Mom isn't she, when I read the synopsis  I thought gosh this is  the Mom Of Nightmares

LH :  True but I think in reality   people  maybe have even much more to deal with that , with their mothers, and i guess that Freudian  aspect of things  crept in unintentionally in a lot of ways  but when we read the script we looked back and went  ' wow  either  we're really screwed up,' (Carla laughs)  'or Mary is' , so I'm going to blame Mary!

MM:  What do you think Carla?

CB :  I think it's actually really sad , I think Mary unconsciously  just wants love , like everybody  just wants love , but she doesn't know  how to express that. She doesn't know how to give it because she's never had it , therefore she's a product of her upbringing and  it's really sad.
 She does yearn for a type of love that she is familiar  with but it's not the pure beautiful organic rich love  that we are all fortunate enough to feel so  yeah,  even though Mary is all  those things, I  still really love her,   I LOVE her !

LH:  Someone's got to

CB: No judgement

MM: Well someone's got to be in her corner, do you think she equates sex with love then?

CB : Yes most definitely, even if it is with...

LH: Don't spoil it Carla!

CB . (laughs) I'm not, i wasn't going to (laughs more) yes , dot dot dot! You'll have to wait and see!

MM : There's a teaser!  So without giving too much of the story away, what can you tell me about how it develops?

LH:  In a lot of ways it's  a traditional noir film  that opens with a murder  and actually we give you  almost all of the information in the very beginning so there's not much to spoil  but  basically it's about a family in 1942  Melbourne,  so it's war time .They are obviously in a type of struggle,  however Mary has a little more money than most at a time  when she shouldn't because what she's actually doing is running an opium den. she owns a haberdashery store , which is her 'front'  but  she, out the back, is running probably a lot of scams that we don't  even know about  so  it's just the tale of woe really of that family and how they are all  embroiled  in terrible goings on

MM: Opium den, I haven't visited one of those actually

CB (laughs)  Can't say i have either

That is just part of our interview.  It was a most enjoyable one with a lot of laughter, as well as it's serious moments.

But  wait, that is not all ! How would you like to be 'involved' in the 'film family' that is behind the production. Mama's Gun is being funded through crowd-funding  and there are some great perks to be had for contributing  some money!

 How about your name in the credits, or an executive producer credit? Oh and  chocolate, (a girls best friend, diamonds tend to crack the teeth) Carla will also be on a  limited edition Mama's Gun chocolate wrapper (she told me she had been  on the cover of a condom pack but I think chocolate is  uhhhh better to chew over ;-)    )

 Or she can even answer your phone for you as your voicemail message when you are busy chewing on whatever (chocolate??)  and cannot answer your phone.  If that has got you curious to know more, may I suggest you  swiftly head on over to  HERE and find out! I say swiftly because the  indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for this film ends today May 8th at 11.59 PST. so get your skates on! The clock is a-ticking!  There is a short video teaser on that  page also .

Having appeared in two indies myself and sick of multi-million $ CGI/FX  I have a love of indie film and was happy to contribute to this project earlier today, after all these films are where the  acting tells the story not expensive and fancy schmancy computer effects

My thanks to both Leanne and Carla for a very enjoyable interview which  then turned into a  modelling session of my No More Page 3 campaign T-shirt.  However that is a another story!

   Carla in my No More Page 3 campaign shirt, I don't usually tend to point at  other women's boobs but I guess there was always a first time!

                                              Carla gets in on the No More Page 3 Campaign

                    *The Mama's Gun interview  feature aired  a few times the last few days on Loose Ladies show on Radio Deeside (click here)  I will let you know when it can be heard again

              Mama's Gun Facebook  & Twitter
Carla Bonner on Twitter
Leanne Hanley on Twitter 
Find me on Facebook & Twitter
NoMorePage3 Facebook   & Twitter
PS -this post is not sponsored by Nutribullet however I am open to offers from them. Radio is thirsty work ;-)  
go on, make me a smoothie please!
(c) Marilyn Michaels

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