Tag Archives: Megalyn Echikunwoke

‘Damsels in Distress’ roundup

A bunch of odds and ends to get us up-to-date.

Nate Freeman has a slightly rambling article which is ultimately a report from last week’s screening of Damsels in Distress at Film Society of Lincoln Center, with Stillman and some of the cast. It starts with an anecdote from when the crew were scouting for locations for the movie. Whit Stillman had gone missing.

[A production] assistant ventured into the museum-hosted gala and circulated among the men in suits, hoping to spot the director—the beloved scribe of Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The Last Days of Disco – who had finally come around to making a new movie. And then, between men bearing canapes and women in big dresses, there was Whit Stillman chatting up a guest. The assistant politely waited for the conversation to end before interrupting.

“I’m sorry, Whit,” he said. “But we have to get back to the scout.”

“How did you find me?” the director said, smiling.

“Whit,” the assistant said. “All of your films are about parties, so when I heard this one going on …”

Amusing enough, although saying Stillman had “finally come around to making a new movie” seems a little, er, ignorant.

Next, Forrest Wickman at Slate investigates the important question Were the Cathars Really Sodomists? prompted by a line in the movie.

Moving on, at Huffington Post there’s a video of the cast and Stillman (scroll to the bottom for the article and endure the pre-roll ad) chatting about the movie, parties, and their college experiences:

‘Damsels in Distress’ roundup

Three bits of Damsels in Distress news…

First, Indiana University Cinema has a Whit Stillman season on, including a lecture by the man himself tomorrow (2nd March) at 3pm. They have screenings of all his films, including several of Damsels, starting in a few hours time!

Second, Collider.com has an interview with Megalyn Echikunwoke in which she talks about various projects, including Damsels:

What drew you to the quirky comedy of Damsels in Distress?

Echikunwoke: I just remember reading the script for that and thinking it was so fresh and authentic. (Writer/director) Whit [Stillman] has such a unique voice and was so funny. I hadn’t read a script in awhile that just made me chuckle out loud, throughout the whole thing. I just get his humor, and it’s definitely not for everybody, but I felt excited and inspired by it. I had never done anything like that. The characters are subtle, but also broad, at the same time. I just wanted to challenge myself and see what I could do and how I could fit into this bizarre, beautiful world that he created.

And then, when I was in the audition, he told me a little bit about the inspiration for the character and asked me if I could do any accents. I just said, “Well, I have this funny English accent that I do. Let me try that.” And he ended up really liking it, so it just stuck. I’d never gotten to do an accent for anything that I’ve done, so that was really appealing because I love doing accents. Ever since I was a kid, I made it my business to try to mimic foreign accents, so it was really fun to be able to do that. I was really working on the accent to try to make it really good and, at one point, Whit said, “No, it’s too good. You have to muck it up a little bit.” He would try to get me to not do it so well, so that it would be funnier.

Was it fun to get to work with girls from such different backgrounds?

Echikunwoke: Yeah, I loved that we were all so different, and that’s a testament to Whit and his vision and his sensibility about people. I really liked working with everyone. Greta [Gerwig] is so interesting and smart, so it was really great to work with her and see her process, as well.

And finally, talking of Greta Gerwig, at the Dublin International Film Festival she won the Best Actress award for her role in Damsels, echoing the many positive remarks in reviews.