Taking a 10-year hiatus from filmmaking after seeing her Sundance-premiering The Savages collect two Oscar nominations, writer/director Tamara Jenkins is back at the fest in a productive year, with not one, but two films that are drawing strong buzz in Park City. There’s Juliet, Naked—based on a Nick Hornby novel—which she scripted, and then there’s Private Life, a Netflix release which opened this year’s festival.
Private Life follows Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard (Paul Giamatti), who come up against no small share of challenges in trying to have a child at their respective ages. Undergoing multiple unsuccessful fertility treatments and exploring every option under the sun that would result in Rachel having a child of her own, the couple eventually turn to their “angel” of a step-nice, Sadie (Godless‘s Kayli Carter, in her breakout film role), who decides to offer up an egg, hoping to help her “artistic parents” realize their familial dreams.
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In the role of Sadie, Carter saw a depth of character that had previously been hard to find. “I was really discontented with what I was reading, with what was being sent to me as a young woman. I read Sadie and I was like, ‘Oh, this is actually a person that I know,'” the actress explained, sitting down at Deadline’s Sundance Studio yesterday alongside Jenkins and Hahn. “I think a lot of women my age feel that really stuck, aimless in-between-ness, and that’s something that she struggles with a lot, trying to become the woman that she wants to be.”
Looking forward, Carter hopes to “surround [herself] with women in creative spaces,” while Jenkins’ simple wish is to keep making movies. “When I was making this movie and I was working with these brilliant actors, there were so many times when I was standing on that set with this script that I had labored over, and then suddenly, it was coming to life,” Jenkins said. “I was so moved, and I really feel deeply lucky.”
To view Deadline’s conversation with Jenkins and her Private Life stars, click above.
The Deadline Studio is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.
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