These are our last two episodes! Bonnie & Maude is ceasing as a podcast for now, but keep up with our future endeavors at

In Part 2, we interview Gillian Robespierre, director of 2014’s Obvious Child

United States


00:00:00what size Cross by two hot wires has the right to make an ass out of himself she kind of the would judge you too much
00:00:19this is Bonnie and Maude the film podcast with Sonia Rocha and Eleanor Kagan
00:00:28hey you're listening to Bonnie and bought this is Eleanor Kagan and this is exciting you rush this is part 2 of the I suppose finale of Bonnie and Maude the film podcast. The finale of Bonnie mod as a conceptual creative Endeavor bike is any part 2 and part 1 there's a little bit more explanation about this so it's this is the first episode you're listening to you can head back to part one which is our interview with Cigna Baumann and hear a little bit more about what's new with us and I'll also note that the archives for Bonnie and Maude will remain active so if you want to go back and listen to your previous episodes there is plenty of content for you to go through and enjoy and definitely feel free to reach out to us at Bonnie and Mada Gmail we'd love to hear you even when the podcast is no longer up so I do like I've loved you
00:01:28best podcast with you but those thing that has like very much exhilarated me with any time we did a live show Absolutely and so this interview that were playing in this episode is from the last live show that we did back in June of 2015 called pregnant pause it was a co-production we did with the Doula project which is an amazing Reproductive Rights activist organization based in New York and the show was a variety show that explored representations of pregnancy Choice an abortion in pop culture and entertainment you can find out more about that events at do a project. Org or by visiting Bonnie and mod and going to the events tab it was incredibly fun cuz you are 8 months pregnant during the show yes and so is Dillion
00:02:28like such a thrill for me both of us I mean all of us really she's the director and co-writer of the film Obvious Child I would start Jenny Slate's and it was kind of like falsely pandas like the abortion rom-com
00:02:48Jenny Slate's character Donna choosing to have an abortion is really just one tiny part of the movie and that's kind of like what made that movie feel like kind of revolutionary to me it didn't send her around a woman just like toiling over this Choice what you going to do it was just like she made this Choice and then the rest of the phone place out and really focus is on her relationships with the other people in the movie absolutely and what I particularly enjoyed it at the show which is something obviously you won't necessarily get from the audio version is that there were a number of pregnant women in the audience there were some mothers with their children and I think it's just always really important to remember that choice is not just for one set of women it's all of us and pregnancy and choice are all very much intertwined and we should do our best to support and love each other
00:03:50you know I appreciate the decisions that we make in our life without judgement what hundred percent agree what kind of like a presentation in the show where we kind of went through some of the tropes of pregnancy and abortion and choice often seen in film and and something that you brought to that that I still think about is how pregnancy is a reproductive choice that is visual but you cannot know a woman's reproductive choices and experiences by looking at her those who do show signs of pregnancy those who don't you can never know what a woman's history with reproductive experiences and choices are so that's also something to bear in mind always when reserving your judgement live
00:04:50people there A lot of visuals so maybe we'll do it as like a like a slideshow or something like that on the website will keep posting things as they come to us promote other people's films interesting articles that we found like you keep hearing from us even though there won't be any more podcast episodes like we'd love to continue the conversation with you absolutely I'm so from that let's take a listen to our conversation with Gillian Robespierre what you recorded on June 3rd at the Bell House in Brooklyn please welcome Gillian Robespierre
00:05:36what are so happy you're here thank you so much I love this movie so much thank you I haven't seen in awhile is very exciting to watch it again another project but she wears a lot more makeup in the new one who's played by Jenny slate she's a sort of up-and-coming sort of struggling stand-up comic she gets dumped on nightstand she gets pregnant and she's having abortion so in RI watching this movie I was reminded that her choosing to have an abortion is just like a thing that happens in the movie made so much relationship building and character development and so when you have people saying yeah this is the abortion rom-com was that like that make you feel like how did you do with how you were going for
00:06:37no I went to film school now I actually do you know at first Mike libraries in myself for a little turned off by it we felt that it did reduce the film I was so much more than just a rom-com and it took away from a couple of moments we really wanted to highlight which is the other parts of your life to go that happened when you are going through the decision-making process of having abortion and having an abortion and life does go on but ultimately we kind of not fell in love with the title but we embrace it and what it did it was a lot of Publications that normally don't use the word abortion ever and it's not just the feminist lens it was like you know he's like variety and entertain
00:07:37weekly all those fancy places where abortion abortion abortion abortion and not smash margin or whatever else going on from ISM took the stigma of the word so while we embraced it and it's even on our poster
00:07:55that's awesome. Yeah I don't I don't think I've ever seen the word abortion on a movie poster before so that's great and you mentioned that you know your reason for writing to be making this movie was to combat a lot of the troops around pregnancy and abortion seen yourself represented as far as I remember hearing are there like specific movies that like you or like certain characters that you thought skewed Choice the wrong way it wasn't just one movie was it the lack of movies in general I hate shit talking other films and I did enjoy knocked up and I did enjoyed you know obviously love Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dirty Dancing which I just watched like 2 days ago on Netflix
00:08:52but that's five movies you know and that's not a lot and no my you know I didn't believe it it showed all the stories that can be told and when is having a safe abortion regrets free abortion movie with an actual funny leading lady in it those are all things we sort of thought about putting on the screen and we're kind of waiting for a really long time to see but we we were waiting waiting waiting didn't happen so I'm in 2009 I made a short with my friend Suzanne Devine and Karen Main and also to stem from a thesis paper she had been writing at the new school about the lack of representation of unplanned pregnancy in the media but also and mostly movies and it was a sort of like she's like let's go out and do this I'm on board I haven't made a movie in a while it's just
00:09:52film school and we shot the short and 4 days or less and it kind of felt like people were waiting to see this movie and so we turned it into a future yours yours. You can see the short on the DVD you like one of the many perks of actually getting a DVD of the movie not just getting it on the future became but they're like a little changes that were made were there it was always going to be about a woman who gets dumped pregnant just in time for Valentine's Day but you know we had to turn those 20 minutes into
00:10:4589s 89 and so you know what my car riders Karen made in Elizabeth home and I just trying to figure out how to do that how to expand this story that we already made in 2009 one idea we had was to make Jenny Slate's character a stand-up comedian make her somebody who was you know unable to sort of communicate her feelings in real life and yet on stage she felt free and honest and was able to share with strangers your deepest darkest secrets and then that enables her to step off stage and tell the closest people in her life what's going on so that was the big Catalyst to the change of from Over the short and short she was
00:11:38a freelancer cuz we were we were lazy writers
00:11:46her being a comedian is Sookie to the way that she addresses her own choice and her abortion her experience in this because like you said she gets up on stage like has his experience or she can just talk to people and say truth and like even in the scene which will actually watch in a couple moment in a couple minutes you can see kind of the faces of the people in the audience who you are hearing her say these words are a lot of women in that audience and I almost wonder if they're thinking oh yeah I have a story like that I really want to share with her after her sense yeah yeah actually that I should have his own The Cutting Room floor or two people who are watching her stand-up come after a nap afterwards and say you know that was amazing
00:12:32we don't want to share their story with her too but we had to cut it out unfortunately the feature we all decided like it would be funny if every extra female extra in the film has had an abortion how do you cast the how do you have to like bring the proof like yes the receipts from Planned Parenthood know it was just like a running joke where are you know like the waitress everybody in the film has had an abortion but we were hoping that that scene when when people watched it and watch the extras react to Jenny stand up that they would go home and tell their significant others are their mothers are there best friend you know
00:13:28much like the film would do hopefully start that conversation with in our lives personally and and publicly but it's I don't think you know going on stage is the only way you can deal with how you doing haven't gone through an abortion I think that's probably the last thing most normal people would ever think that we tell this story it's just one woman story is not the norm I think to the urge to like publicly share but also the idea of what it means to share out loud to say those words out loud to somebody else and not only does it take the stigma off of the word publicly but it also believes your own fears absolutely I haven't said the word abortion so much in one night in front of so many people ever and it's great it's great to talk about
00:14:27bull come up to you and want to share their stories as well do you suddenly did you send me to come the keeper of like so many people's life story aliens abortion was actually great we took a tour with the film before it opened in theaters we had a lot of states and after every screening and every Q&A people did come up to us and share their stories and it was amazing and we were really honored and grateful and for those moments and it was kind of fun you know we just didn't think I was going to happen it was really exciting and then when it's obviously you know hit the theaters and people were writing on their Facebook walls about their own abortions in linking it's obvious child it was really fucking cool
00:15:20when I watch the movie I was really struck by how like usually in film in Austin in real life like there's an aloneness to abortion and like her friends in the Bellman actually I think in real life gave and Gaby Hoffmann play this really important role where they provide support and they like offer insight into what an abortion might be and distract her which I think perfectly ties in with a doula project because they fulfill that role at least in part so I just I wanted you to talk a little about Gabby and gives your earrings and very attractive thank you I'm going to put that on my
00:16:13did you make them but a compliment from you guys have a great day and a great jumpsuit
00:16:25and you guys are all beautiful
00:16:29I was alone all day today and this is my first time speaking to 300 people
00:16:35yes Gaby and gave and the mother to tell different stories yes to come the nerves of Donna Jenny's character but also to share different experiences Gaby Hoffman's character had hers done when she was in high school in Florida
00:17:03what why was that cut it just didn't work but she was in high school and she was unable to tell her mom and then you know the Donna's mother Polly Draper had hers pre Roe v Wade so but again she had a supportive parent who drove her in the family station wagon so we wanted to highlight different generations going through an abortion but we also wanted to highlight that what happens when you actually do share your story and tell her it's not always dramatic is not always go up go lock you in the basement or send you know I like a
00:17:49off for 6 months to a Catholic nun I don't know I just make it realistic and also funny I love that there is actually a scene where Jenny slate gets into a cab and you think that she is going to see her love interest but the twist is that she's actually going to see her mother and it's such an emotional exchange because you know she was embarrassed you tell her but finding out that her own mother had an abortion that's just like beautiful because again that's women
00:18:29aren't just mothers and women who have abortions is often the same the same individuals yeah and it definitely you know change their relationship that was going through a rough patch and I think made it stronger and hopefully you know if anyone if Donna's character does have a child she would also tell her it's on her daughter you know sort of just keeping it the stories going
00:18:58one thing I was wondering what kind of the idea of you know the movies that are playing in the clinic waiting room amazing Gone With the Wind does the movie that Donna watches as she post abortion to the last scene in the movie she's had her abortion she's home she's kind of cozy Max's there and they turn on Gone With the Wind yeah tell us about that choice well it does play on Valentine's Day and we didn't want to reference like a 80s movie I mean it could be sort of romantic and something that Donna was insecure about asking like you really want to watch gone with the fucking when it's 3 hours
00:19:58brakes it's like 6 hours don't you have separation and you have with a new bow but he was a mensch and he was a great guy and he said that I will be here through the commercial breaks with you and that was all right version of a happy ending of our white picket fence you know if you stay through the commercial breaks TNT TBS movie we actually got a question for the audience that sort of tie then why did you make him so nice
00:20:32she said two nice though right I mean is the normal nice easy I think there's so many depictions of of dudes in movies and what would makes it at the conflict conflict is that you know he's a big baby and what he changes because the women changes him or you know he can't handle certain things and he's an idiot but those aren't the men that we wanted to write about those aren't the men who are in our lives we wanted a complex gentleman who is smart and Vinny's his jockey exterior that that had a you know of a grown-up sweetheart
00:21:18I did sort of appreciate that as kind of like the first meet him he's kind of a typical jock character he's kind of like he's like come to Williamsburg cuz she out where all the cool kids hang out and I like that this like typical white male. Character was the Pariah for a lot of the movie you sort of outcast in this world that he had walked into it was refreshing where he's at Vons without socks like in February
00:21:45I would kill for slip-ons right now though actually the questions I saw your thoughts on Crocs they're the best
00:21:59I'm the proud owner of those orange Crocs I have not taken them off of my feet except to leave the house sometimes I leave the house with the rare very rarely I am have you tried them on your 7th month try them I got I got the moccasins does have been working out okay I just can't I'm sorry
00:22:26don't knock it's the truth bro
00:22:30no I'm not too proud for my husband to help me into my shoes and where next
00:22:37can you talk a little bit about what you're working on next yeah I just wrapped up a pilot that I co-created with Elizabeth home who is corrosive movie with me yeah it was weird color correcting and sound designing right now and you know fingers and toes crossed that they pick it up. To start Jenny slate Ari Graynor is in it and I gave leaving has a little Cameo it's it's was really fun and now we're writing a movie to get Liz and I are riding a movie together right now it's called Untitled divorce comedy
00:23:15divorces are just as funny as abortions oh yeah
00:23:21and then I'm going to have a baby congratulations
00:23:30to both of you guys yea also in the labor room
00:23:37can I watch Gone With the Wind together Bring it on Bring It On do you think that Reproductive Rights and abortion is something that you'll revisit in your work again in the future is it something you kind of want to dig more into I mean I don't think I'm going to make Obvious Child to anytime or something for that big big check
00:24:04no I think Reproductive Rights and Justice you know I will always fight for and with and I don't know how it'll come out in future projects
00:24:14but I think the idea of always having strong women characters is going to be a part of my work forever and ever so we'll see what happens in the future awesome
00:24:31we're going to play one more clip it's the stand up scene where Jenny slate actually talks about scheduling the abortion anything you would like to say about that
00:24:48nothing is it now is it was fun seeing the shoot we shot it at trash bar in Williamsburg which is either closed or closing down we shot it that all the comedy scenes of course of 3 days starting at like 5 a.m. so Jenny was doing all of that common
00:25:07super early in the in Seaford sjoberg playing drunk in this see and I think it's really hard to play Drunk feeling if you're like really sleepy I exactly that euphoric weird feeling and yeah we're really proud that we didn't I'll die trying to pair a trash bar cuz trash bar is the most disgusting bathroom
00:25:36we're all glad we didn't catch a disease from their toilet
00:25:41and on that note please thank you so much
00:25:46so delighted that she's here Obvious Child wonderful
00:25:53thank you I came here tonight on a very different Mission and that is to say to you that
00:26:08which is to say to you that I am pregnant
00:26:17okay hurry testing the waters a drop that one down the second thing that I would like to say right now out loud and I'm going to say it out loud right now out loud right now I'm fine everything's fine just rolling along with this out loud right now is that I am going to have any portion okay okay keep breathing tomorrow which is Valentine's Day so we'll start from there I'm sure you're wondering how this happened
00:26:57little thing that I like to call a getting banged out in the middle of the night the Heat of the Night by a very nice person that I don't know very well at all I don't know he was a stranger but a nice one probably the best of all the strangers that are out there
00:27:20and of course you guys are strangers anymore because now you're part of my life in a big way
00:27:27so I don't know if you've cleaned up maybe I'm not ready to be a mom you're like no shit you are not ready to be a mom and so I decided to get the abortion but I really do love pregnant ladies and there's lots of things about being a mom that seems fun but for me it's just like I can't tell anyone to shut off the TV when I can't shut off the TV
00:27:55I decided to tell my mom and I thought she was going to like you don't be super upset and like set me on fire and be like you can never come back to the synagogue which is also kind of fantasy that I never have to go back to the synagogue so boring everyone's breath is horrible there but instead she was like she was very relieved and she actually ended up telling me that she herself had gotten an abortion in the sixties which is pretty amazing because of the the bushes were so big then
00:28:33you know they must have really you know really had to go to hunt for it
00:28:45and I can say that because you know once once your you get an abortion you can reveal who else has had them so excited to be on the list of of the very many women that have done this tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I can honestly say it's not going to be the worst Valentine's Day I've ever had
00:29:13it's going to be okay because I know that I'm not I'm not alone I'm totally totally hear you guys are here you're all going to come with me tomorrow
00:29:27but it's going to be
00:29:37I think it's going to be okay and afterwards I'll just I'll be in my future and you know we'll go from there right I guess so that's really it you guys have been very generous to me tonight and I really enjoyed myself so thank you and happy bday hope you get all the candy that you want and deserve thank you
00:30:08what's the next grade Gillian so much it was there I felt like you and you and her really had this like moment of connection cuz you were like oh we're both pregnant and ksenia had on the amazing earrings with little babies dangling from them plastic babies hey thank you guys so much for listening and hang out with us and offering us your feedback and talking about movies and being total nurse with us over the past three years we have appreciated it so so much we love you bye guys we love you and I yeah Bunny and matcha live on in some form in the future so stay tuned

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