Known for films including Boys and Drop Back Ten, writer/director Stacy Cochran is at SXSW with her latest drama, Write When You Get Work. Starring Legion’s Rachel Keller, Finn Wittrock and Emily Mortimer, the film tells the story of Ruth (Keller), an assistant at a pricey school for girls in New York who is barely getting by; Johnny (Wittrock), Ruth’s ex, a shady thief living on the edge; and Nan Noble (Mortimer), a mother of two young daughters whose life is slowly falling apart.
“It’s kind of a talkative love story. I live in New York, it’s set in New York, it feels like a New York movie probably. Some of it, because it’s fiction, just floated in at me,” Cochran told Deadline today, sitting down with Mortimer to discuss the inspirations behind the film. “There’s pieces of it, little memory things pop up, but who knows where a story comes from?”
For her part, Mortimer was hooked from early on, finding herself totally captivated by a character who was “completely tweaked,” “demented” and doing the best she could. “There’s really serious sh*t going down in her life, but all she’s focusing on is trying to get her youngest daughter into this very posh private girls’ school on the Upper East Side,” the actress explained.” I just loved her. She’s just an unusual person, and she’s completely off her rocker, but in the best way.”
In conversation with Deadline, Mortimer reflected on her collaboration with co-star Wittrock, with whom she shares most scenes and an unusual romantic dynamic. “Finn’s great. He’s got an ease and he understands rhythm,” she said. “I think that’s a really rare quality, when people you’re working with really understand the rhythm of how a scene works without any kind of conversation.”
For more of Deadline’s discussion with the Write When You Get Work collaborators—as Cochran discusses musician Damon Albarn’s contribution to the film’s sonic palette—take a look above.