From writer/director Marianna Palka and Company X—the production banner of Elijah Wood, alongside Josh Waller, Daniel Noah, and Lisa Whalen—Bitch is a film shaking up Sundance’s Midnight audiences like none other. Marking Palka’s return to the festival following 2008’s Good Dick—featuring an earlier collaboration with Jason Ritter—Bitch follows a trapped housewife and mother (Palka)’s descent into insanity. Ignored by her philandering executive husband Bill (Ritter), Palka’s Jill finally breaks down, assuming a vicious canine persona and living down in the family’s basement, on all fours.
On Day 1 of Deadline’s Sundance studio—presented by Applegate—writer/director/star Palka, Ritter, and Jaime King stopped by to discuss their unique portrait of the crumbling nuclear family and the process of bringing it to life. “I love acting and directing at the same time. I find it really cohesive, and there’s something about it that’s easier because I don’t have to communicate with the actress who’s playing my character,” Palka says.
“But I don’t think I could have done it, and it wouldn’t have been as fun, if it was with different actors. The fact that it was Jason and Jaime, because we had such a family vibe on set, because we loved the kids who were in the movie, because Spectrevision was so incredible to work with, I think everybody made it really easy for me to jump from being in the basement with crap all over me, and then jumpinginto directing with a robe on.”
When it came to the idea of a family vibe on set of a film that could otherwise be challenging to make, King was very much on the same page. “We didn’t have trailers, we didn’t have this, we didn’t have that. We were all together all the time, and there was nothing more beautiful than that,” she said.
In Deadline’s video exclusive above, King breaks down her role as Beth—Jill’s sister—and the strengths of Palka’s craft as a director.
Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at www.applegate.com