We sat down to lunch with Alexis Bledel during a rare break in filming of the Netflix reboot of The Gilmore Girls to discuss playing gay on the indie lesbian wedding drama Jenny’s Wedding due to be released in the UK in May.
Planet Nation (PN): We are so excited to support Jenny’s Wedding which will shortly be released in the UK. We love
it. How did you get involved with the project?
Alexis Bledel (AB): It would be great if it makes a big splash in the UK… My agent brought me the role and said he really liked the film, I ready the script and loved it and a week later I was on set!
PN: What di you like about the character?
AB: Her (Kitty’s) dynamic with Jenny seemed settled in, they’d been in a relationship for a while, it wasn’t a sweeping romance. I hadn’t played a lesbian character previously, but I’ve played a lot of romantic scenes and it’s easy to stop buying the authenticity in that… falling in love again. It was really appealing to me that they were this comfy, settled in couple, waiting to get to the next step and make it official. Everything’s out there, the relating is strong, that person is becoming your family.
PN: Yes, we enjoyed that it wasn’t another gooey eyed romance, they are settled, Kitty accepts Jenny for who she is and is so patient that she is not out to her family. That’s how strong they are.
AB: Yes, Kitty’s challenge is to push Jenny a little to take the necessary steps of coming out to family so they can move forward, she has to show some tough love, patience and maturity – and she’s cut and dry about it which I liked about her.
PN: What do you draw on to give such a strong, authentic voice to the character?
AB: Thank you. I always try and look for the truthful moments in the scenes and the dialogue. I love Mary Ages’ writing, she was specific about the couple and how they should interact!
PN: It’s nice to see a film with lots of focus on the female characters. How important is that for you?
AB: Well I might be a bit spolied having grown up playing in around strong women; I’ve been lucky with the roles I’ve had. It’s always great to have a bunch of meaty female roles to lead a story, as women are so complex and it leaves a lot of possibilities.
PN: Does playing a gay role have the potential to impact on a career?
AB: I hope it will be positive! I would have loved to have the chance to do more in the film. More and more films are presenting us with intersting and compelling stories for LGBT characters. There are a few now with a lesbian relationship at the centre, it’s amazing.
PN: What was enjoyable about working on this production?
AB: Everyone really wanted to be there. It’s a low budget indie production, so it’s a great spirit to be surrounded by – there were cast dinners every night, amazing actors doing their thing.
PN: Why do you think indie films are important to the industry?
AB: They give the opportunity to see something other than super hero films, and to give content to niche audiences. A lot of people crave these intimate stories – on a more true to life scale.
PN: It’s also good to see authentic characters in a non mainstream context and in their own settings. So… why should UK audiences go and see Jenny’s Wedding?
AB: It’s got a British cast member for one! It’s a compelling, family story; about Jenny and how she relates to her family members at an important time of her life when she’s trying to go through a transition. There’s grace and honesty in her and her wanting her family to support her. Each relationship goes through its own journey. It’s emotional – I don’t cry at films but one scene really made me cry. It’s powerful.
PN: And there’s a happy ending – no one gets killed off (not really a spoiler alert) which is rare but it still deals with some challenging themes, like not everyone will accept it.
AB: Yes. I think it has uplifting take away at the end. We enjoyed filming the wedding scenes and we felt the energy and that final dance scene sums up why everyone wanted to be there. All of a sudden Tom put his arm around someone, and then we all did like a football huddle, this rowdy moment, feeling like a family together. I’m getting chills just thinking about it. It’s like pure positivity – something that should absolultely feel that way.
PN: And on to the fun stuff…What cookie flavour best describes your personality?
AB: Peanut butter – because it could be chunky or smooth!
PN: What would be your ideal character to play?
AB: I’ve been in a bit of a purest mood lately. I want to do a play that can be really stripped back and raw, austere – a really spare production of Our Town maybe.