Thursday, 24 May 2012
In a landscape increasingly filled with gritty independent films, here’s one that’s been hotly awaited. K-11 is a drama is set in a special lockup for gay and transgender prisoners in the Los Angeles County prison system. The “K-11″ unit is one place where the proverbial soap drop might take you one step further.
K-11 is the auspicious directorial debut for Jules Stewart, a veteran script supervisor, shooting from her own script. The cast is chock full of recognizable faces, including Goran Visnjic (Beginners, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Kate del Castillo (La Reina del Sur), Portia Doubleday (Youth in Revolt), D.B. Sweeney (Hard Ball), Jason Mewes (Clerks), Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister (The Dark Knight), Tara Buck (True Blood, Justified), and Jules’ son Cameron Stewart. Daughter Kristen has a cameo, as well.
K-11 Producer Tom Wright shows the view from the top of the stairs at the Palais from when he and Jules Stewart attended the 'On the Road' premiere at Cannes in support of Kristen.
Your mom directed K-11 with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo (Note from Vale: Kate is one of Mexico’s most famous and loved actresses, with a very long and impressive career) did you get to meet her?
Yeah, she’s great, very open and cool. Mom was very lucky to work with an actress like her. She looks great in her motorcycle.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Kate gives life to a transgender prisoner in her next movie. But far
from worrying about critiques, the Mexican actress, who has played as
an exotic dancer and even a drug trafficker in other films, said that
her new role has helped her grow professionally.
"It was one of those opportunities that you get once in a life time."
said the star of Television and Cinema to The Associated Press. It was
a big challenge, it was a risk but i like it that it a character that
is going to cause a reaction." "If not what is the point?"
Del Castillo gives life to Julio "Mousey" Ruiz in "K-11", Section in a
Los Angeles prison that houses homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals and
transgender. Mousey is the killer in the special unit in which record
producer, Raymond Saxx Jr. (Goran Visnjic) gets thrown into. He will
have to learn to endure the power of K-11 to survive.
With scarce clothing, long painted eyebrows, her hair disheveled and
tattoos on the chest, forearms and navel, the actress has a
threatening and androgynous look in the film.
"She's basically the queen of K-11, she's a woman, a transsexual that
hasn't gotten all the operations and that has a special bond with the
lead. She is a woman filled with psychological traumas but with an
incredible security, she's a drug addict and violent but you learn to
love her," explained Del Castillo about her character.
The film also includes scenes with violence, drugs and rapes, "all the
normal things," that happen in jail cells according to the film
director, Jules Stewart.
"I didn't have to try to make the film controversial but it has all
those elements," explained the film maker (mother of Twilight actress,
Therefore the actress who defied the boundaries of censorship in the
series "La Reina del Sur- The Queen of the South" by kissing another
actress in a scene, dismissed the criticism ahead of time that "K-11"
may cause, to emphasize that her role was only a big challenge, a job
that any actress would like be able to interpret.
"I really appreciate this role because not many actresses have had
this opportunity." said the star of 'Bajo la misma Luna' and 'Tarde,'
"What people say is just criticism spurred from so much ignorance, who
just want to see the negative when one is trying to pursue a career."
To give life to Mousey, the actress had to start from scratch, not
knowing much about transgender people in prison.
"Before the film I was not connected with the transsexual. I got a
consultant, Felicity Huffman from " Transamerica, " who introduced me
to that world. I read every book I could and watched all the movies I
could, and looked for information online to see that which is like a
faraway world to us, on which there is much ignorance, "she said.
Her performance left the director happy and satisfied who said she was
"Kate was the first actress I hired. I saw her on TV and saw that she
is an incredible actress and versatile," said Stewart, who directed
her first film. "In 'K-11' "She not only dominates the unit but also the film."
The film was completed last year and is in process of distribution.
Portia Doubleday and Tara Buck also play as transgendered inmates.
Granny: I’m the oldest inmate in the K-11 facility. In 1956 I was a just young and naive negro kid who hitched a ride with two acquaintances. They stopped at a rural California gas station where they robbed and killed the owner while I sat in the car clueless. They were sentenced to life and although they eventually admitted that I had nothing to do with the crime, my life was changed forever. For over 50 years now, I’ve been in and out of the penal system, mostly petty, victim-less crimes. It wasn’t easy in those days, especially being a gay black man with an 8th grade education and no special skills, but once I was classified K-11 by the LA County Sheriff’s, I have at least found a home of sorts. I like being the custodian and parent figure to the other K-11 inmates. Unfortunately, just like me, they always seem to come back, but we do look out for each other because for most of us, we’re the only family we have.
Lou Beatty, Jr.: I am a character actor and love playing anything that goes against type. For over 30 years I have done a lot of Stage, Television, Film and now Video game roles. Currently, I am a series regular on Betty White’s ” Off Their Rockers ” on NBC and I am rehearsing a 2 person play called “No Body Walks Like My daddy” for the D.C. Black Theatre Festival in June. Recently, I shot 2 commercials and a pilot “County “. It is great to be working, especially with the likes of Jules Stewart the director of “K-11″ who inspires her cast and crew to do great things because we feel that we are a part of the process.
Lou Beatty, Jr. has had guest star roles on NCIS, CSI MIAMI, Cold Case, Without A Trace, E.R., Las Vegas, Boston Legal, and others. Films include Fast & Furious, Van Wilder and Hard to Kill. Lou has also done a lot of television commercials and many stage roles as well.
Kate del Castillo's talent has gained her a new fan. And one that already has her fan base (millions of them).
After going to visit the set of her mom's film. Kristen Stewart had the opportunity to meet and see the work of the Mexican actress and completely fell in love. In a recent interview while promoting her upcoming film (Snow White and The Huntsman), in Mexico, the star of Twilight had nothing but compliments to say about the actress.
"The whole cast is excellent, I can't choose one as my favorite but, I must say that Kate shines. She's like no other actor or actress. She has a light that's very special. You'll see her performance in the film because, even though her character is not an easy one to play and it requires a alot to develop, she does it in a way that is so impressive."
Kate will play a transsexual who is the principal voice of the inmates in a prison in Los Angeles and the director is Kristen's mother, Jules Stewart. "The truth is that my mom is very lucky for having had her in this project, no one else could have been able to do it."
"She's very opened. She has a very cool way of thinking and if there was an oportunity of working with her on a project that would be great. I think we'd get along very well inside and outside the set."
Without doubt, the love and admiration from Stewart is great support towards Kate now that she is closer and closer in becoming a recognized figure in Hollywood.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Happy Cannes week, Stewart family!
While Kristen Stewart's film On the Road doesn't premiere at the French film festival until Wednesday (ahh, so excited!), her mama, Jules Stewart, screened her own directorial debut, K-11, last night during the Marche du Film in Cannes.
So, where was K.Stew for the big night? She does have a cameo in the movie, after all…
Kristen was on her Snow White and the Huntsman grind, of course!
If you recall, Kristen was originally supposed to have a starring role in her mother's movie, but had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. And it looks like her insane calendar (the chick has two movies coming out in the next week), kept her away from the premiere.
K.Stew's reps confirm to us that the Twilight actress was unable to attend the screening because she was across the globe in Mexico continuing her promotional tour for SWATH (sadly, no additional Fifty Shades of Grey monologues came out of her trip south of the border).
Either way, the ladies certainly did each other proud:
Jules tweeted from the French Riviera about her Cannes style, writing, "Wore a dress last night for the first time I can remember, a little black number, but ditched the designer heels for black Converse Chucks."
Like mother, like daughter, right?! Kristen just opted for sneakers under her designer threads at last week's Snow White premiere!
And though she was all the way across the Atlantic, Kristen did seem to have her mom on her mind:
"The whole cast is excellent. I cannot pick one favorite, but Kate [del Castillo] is brilliant," Kristen gushed to reporters in Mexico about the K-11 actress. "I went one day to visit the set and she is great—super relaxed, very talented, very pretty, but mostly true."
Aww! Well at least the Stewart women will be reunited for the On the Road premiere Wednesday—can't wait to see them hit the red carpet with Robert Pattinson!
|Photo: Dan Cutrona/Sabrina Inc|
K-11 fan, Noemie Sornet, was very lucky enough to see K-11 at the Cannes Film Festival & interview director, Jules Stewart, exclusively for the K-11 Movie Fan Site.
2 p.m on the afternoon. I just saw the brilliant K-11 movie and I am about to interview its director, Jules Stewart. We meet each other at the Intandem suite on The Croisette. Wearing Converse and Raybans, she gave me a huge smile and began to answer my questions in a passionate way.
How did it all begin ? K-11 as it's a very specific subject, where did you get the idea ?
Well, I was actually working on a movie and a young guy, Jared Kurt, approached me. He wanted to write a story about K-11 but he didn't know how to write the scprit. I'm a script supervisor, so I read 2 scenes and I found they were great. I then decided to help him write the script. We did a lot of research and we came up with the routine of the dorms. Because K-11 is a real place. So we started with the structure, of how the dorms actually work and then we turned to character and put them in that situation. It was a great fun writing that script. The movie then got founded three different times. And three different times it fall away. Finally, two french guys in Los Angeles loved the script and gave us 3 million dollars. We started preproduction on May 18th, 2011.
It's the first time you directed a movie. Was it a goal in your career ?
No, it wasn't. My goal for my career was to be a writer. But I interviewed a lot of people to direct this movie but nobody got it, nobody understood it, so I said : ''I can do it myself''. Because if you can't understand the movie, maybe I'm just the best person to do it on my own. Which I did.
What was the most difficult part of the process for you ?
Casting for me was probably the scariest part of the process, because it's 99,9% of the movie. Kate Del Castillo who played Mousey was the first person I casted. She's from Mexico and she is just a genius. D.B Sweeney came to my office and wanted the role of Johnson. Things started to come together. And I am very happy. I was very careful to find people who are not afraid of this material. Because if you're afraid of the material, you hold back, and you won't give a great performance. And they did a great performance. I love my cast. It was great fun.
Did you let the cast improvise ?
Not so much. We didn't have time. We shot the movie in 22 days. In the morning, I would come in, and occasionally if someone said 'can I try something different', if we had time, I would absolutely allow them to do that. Couple of the scenes we did were unscripted. I like letting the actors bring to the table.
Talking about the cast, your son Cameron did his first onscreen performance. Does he have new projects going on ?
No because he is actually a grip. I wrote that character, Sledgehammer, with him in my mind and he agreed to actually do it. He is very shy and sweet and I'm really proud of him, he did a great job.
And your daughter Kristen also plays a micro-cameo in the movie...
Yes, she is the secretary on the telephone. She loves the film and wanted to be a part of it. She was going to be Butterfly at first. Kristen attached herself to that role years ago but the schedule didn't work. There was Snow White and the Huntsman and I have to push her up to do this big movie.
The character of Butterfly is indeed such a huge role. Could you say more about it?
It's sort of like the breaking of innocence. Butterfly is the youngest member of the dorm, she is only 18. She has psychological problem, and she's not been yet diagnosed. When she said ''I'm here because I took care of my daddy'', she's actually killed her father. It is very deep, intense. Portia Doubleday who plays Butterfly has the hardest role in the movie, it's intensely psychological. She shows some demons inside of her and we tried to photograph them.
As a script supervisor, what sort of subject do you like working on?
I have a couple of pieces I have done by myself and I love driven characters. I like smaller films that tell a story about people.
Any new project?
My new picture may be one that I wrote years ago. It's a story about the United States Government finding a body on Mars. The dilemma is whether to tell the people that they found this body or whether to deny it.
Let's talk about Cannes. How is the festival going for you?
We are having a wonderful time here, it couldn't be better. We already got offers for K-11, the movie has been very well received there.
How long are you staying?
Until May 26th. I'm here for the whole festival. My daughter Kristen is coming on the 22nd for her movie ON THE ROAD so I'll be here to support her. I'm really proud of her.
Red carpet time then?
I don't know yet, but I will definitely be on the background, applauding her.
Thank you to so much to @NoemieS7art for conducting this interview with Jules and sharing it with us.
Thank you to Jules for taking the time to to do this interview for us fans. We're are very appreciative and honored.
Sunday, 20 May 2012
Cannes 2012: 'Twilight' Star Kristen Stewart's Mother, Jules Stewart, Makes Directorial Debut With 'K-11'
After 30 years of working in Hollywood, the mother of the "On the Road" star finally makes her directorial debut, telling the tale of a secure unit of the L.A. County jail for transgender, homosexual and transexual inmates.
Filmmaker Jules Stewart is in Cannes to support the market debut of her directorial debut K-11. So far so normal except that Stewart's godfather Micky Moore was Cecil B Demille's first AD, she has spent more than 30 years in Hollywood as a script supervisor and editor with a resume boasting movies including Little Giants, The Phantom and The Flintstones: Viva Las Vegas, and her debut "introduces" her son Cameron as an actor. That, and her daughter also happens to be Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who is due in Cannes later this week to support Walter Salles' On The Road In Competition.
But after years of working on the movie and being immersed in the craft, Stewart aims to build a directing career.
"Doing that at 50 is not the easiest ting to do," Stewart candidly told THR. Along with partner Tom Wright, Stewart and casting director Pam Dixon assembled a cast including Goran Visnjic (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) to tell the tale of K-11, a secure unit of the Los Angeles County jail where transgender, homosexual and transexual inmates are placed to separate them from the danger they would face in the normal prison population.
The movie made its world debut during the Marche du Film in Cannes via London-based Intandem, which is selling the project worldwide.
It signals Stewart's stated ambition to aim to make movies about uniquely different subjects. "The whole point for me is to tell stories that are different and unique, hence K-11," Stewart said.
She co-wrote the script with Jared Kurt and shot the $3 million budgeted movie for 25 days in L.A. "It was a union movie. Because I have got access in L.A. and even though I couldn't pay top dollar I wanted to make sure everyone got the proper medical insurances, you know, I wanted everyone to be treated properly." She even put some of her money into the project because "I didn't want to be judged on someone else's merit."
While she found the process from idea to script to financing to shooting "a mystery that luckily I could leave to Tom [Wright] because that's the world he knows and occupies," the minute she was on set it felt like home.
"That's the world I've worked on. No one challenged me and frankly I didn't have time for that, so my cast and crew really jumped in and made it better for me," she said.