About the Film

SYNOPSIS

Alyssa Rampart-Pillage is a washed up TV queen whose career has been reduced to starring in commercials for her husband Bernie’s appliance empire.  When their tree-hugging daughter Topanga dies in a tragic golf ball incident, Bernie goes off the spiritual deep end and tries to give away their fortune…with disastrous results.  But what starts off as tragedy quickly turns into career re-invention for Alyssa. And as the body count rises, so does her star.  Bad Actress is a guilty pleasure of a film that gleefully mocks the world of Hollywood and Fame, reminding us that Justice has nothing on Celebrity.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

O.J. Simpson.  Robert Blake.  Lindsay Lohan.  Alyssa Rampart-Pillage.  Something is rotten in Hollywood.   Celebrities aren’t just behaving badly – they’re getting away with it! Bad Actress is a story about today.  It’s a darkly comic tale about beautiful people doing terrible things.  And though clearly a comedy, Bad Actress is also steeped in the grand tradition of indie films, with flawed characters who stop at nothing to achieve their goals, regardless of society, morality or the MPAA.

I spent my formative years at the movies.  While other kids were playing video games and skateboarding, I was watching Bette Davis raise hell in All About Eve, Gene Tierney wreak havoc in Leave Her to Heaven or Rita Hayworth burn up the screen in Gilda.  So when I first read this script, a dark comedy about celebrity justice, with a part perfect for Bette Davis, I knew Bad Actress had to be my next film.

At the center of the movie is Alyssa Rampart-Pillage.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  She is desperate in a way that only a has-been TV star can be.  Show business and then life itself are unkind to Alyssa.  But she doesn’t let that stop her.  In fact, setbacks only seem to feed her insatiable hunger for control, power, and ultimately, a return to stardom.

For this complex character, I insisted that we go with an unknown.  And we got really lucky.  Beth Broderick, a phenomenal and always-working character actress, truly became Alyssa.  She turned in nothing less than a tour-de-force movie star performance – and she is hysterical.  She perfectly balances Alyssa’s infinite ego, with humiliation, heartbreak, and pathos.  Beth has that rarest of talents: She lets us root for a character with less than upstanding goals.  And she makes it fun.  My last film, Charles Busch’s Psycho Beach Party, launched the careers of Lauren Ambrose and Amy Adams.  And it wouldn’t surprise me if, after Alyssa, Beth Broderick’s career takes a similar path.

All films are collaborations.  And I was fortunate to have an amazing team of people on this movie.  First-time screenwriter David Michael Barrett wrote a rollercoaster of a script.  Cinematographer Andrew Huebscher made our little movie look like a million bucks.  And composer Frederik Wiedmann personally created a score to rival a full studio orchestra.  But I was most lucky to have Lisa Schahet as my producer.  A veteran indie film producer, Lisa has been a tireless champion of the movie.  She brought her vast production experience, great taste and professional savvy to our film.  I truly couldn’t have made the movie without her – and to her I will forever be indebted.

People say of all genres to attempt dark comedy is the hardest.  I would have to agree.  To put it mildly, bringing Bad Actress to the screen was a colossal endeavor.   But only in this often-untapped genre can you delve into the absurdity of it all:  Family, Fame, Murder, Vengeance and Celebrity Justice.  Ambitious for a small, indie film?  Perhaps, but as I said, this is a story of our time.  One that needs to be told.

And I am very proud of this crazy little movie.

Bob King, Director, Bad Actress