Now out on DVD, Housewife is the latest film from Baskin filmmaker Can Evrenol. His work is definitely acquired taste, but if love surrealistic, boundary pushing narratives, his movies may be up your alley.
In Housewife, Clementine Poidatz (Mars) is Holly, a woman who’s haunted by a past tragedy. Also stuck in a passionless marriage, Holly’s encounter with a cult leader (an engaged David Sakurai) leads to a life altering experience.
I chatted with Clementine Poidatz, and our conversation centered on her love for Baskin (it’s a movie I also dig) and playing her complex Housewife character. As part of my ongoing “Movie Love” exploration, Poidatz also discusses the films American Hustle (dir. David O’ Russell) , Lost Highway (dir. David Lynch), and Elia Kazan’s last film The Visitors.
Had you already seen Baskin before landing the role in Housewife?
First of all, I knew nothing about Jan’s movies. Nothing it all. For many reasons, I don’t know – because I’m French so we’re more into auteur films. I don’t know why. It’s really stupid. I felt I would be too scared to watch it. Anyway, sometimes you have preconceived ideas about what you love, what you don’t love. You’re just too lazy to open a DVD and watch a movie. So when I watched Baskin, I was traumatized! (laughs) The ending was traumatizing. I loved it so much. I really loved a very simple story turns into a nightmare.
I first watched it on my TV and then on my laptop, and (finally) on my iPad because I was too scared. But I had to watch that movie because I was supposed to meet Jan in person the next day. I watched it and enjoyed it – I don’t know if that makes myself someone crazy or not, but I enjoyed it even if I was too scared. I wanted to vomit sometimes, but the cinematography was stunning! I loved everything about it, but it was weird for me to say I loved it.
And then I read Housewife and I knew that I wanted to do it. When I met with Jan – I don’t know if you met him or talked to him – this guy is gold. He’s awesome. He’s really so generous, kind, nice, clever and funny. He loves films. He’s a big movie fan.
What attracted me to Housewife was that it was completely unknown for me. That meant going out of my comfort zone and doing something that I had never experienced before. There were some things in the script that I could not understand, but we decided it was okay that I did not understand everything.
With Jan, he loved the idea that I was lost sometimes. Because I was scared, that is what attracted me (to Housewife). I think it was the voice in my head, saying ‘No, think about your Dad watching that movie, you can’t do that!’ Sometimes you think about your parents when you’re doing a movie. There was that voice saying ‘You’re too scared and your Dad won’t watch it and if he watches it, that’s his problem. You’re grown up. You have a sexuality. You’ve got a body. Hey, just do it.’ So I decided to do it.
But I had many friends who had read the script and even my agent at the time said ‘Oh my God what are you doing?’ I said ‘I don’t know what I’m doing but I want to do it so badly.’
Holly must have been a challenging role for you to play, as there’s a ton of stuff that’s brewing under the surface.
She’s a very complicated character. She had a trauma when she was a kid. At the same time, she wants to get away from that but (she also) nourishes it. She has a very strong sexuality. She’s bored in her marriage and she’s about to become bigger than she ever thought of. It’s very rare when you’re an actress to read something so powerful. She’s weak sometimes but there is something bigger than her that is controlling her in a way. I really love the fact that she was very sexual and Jan doesn’t shy away from the that.
In the script at first it was way more sexual but he decided to remove some stuff – but yeah it’s part of who she is. And it was very important to show that.
What are some of your all time favorite films, and what makes them a unique viewing experience?
I love Lost HIghway. I’m crazy about that movie. I don’t understand it even if I watched it 25 times. And I love the fact that maybe there is nothing to understand. I love how David Lynch plays with that. There are a few movies that I watch many times or before I start a movie. Sometimes it’s just for the music. Sometimes it’s just for a quick moment. I also really love a movie that nobody loves – and it’s American Hustle. (From director) David O’Russell.
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That’s a great film.
Everybody hates it. Normally I’m hiding the fact that I love that movie. I love that movie so much. I love Amy Adams in it. She’s fantastic. She is just amazing. They are all amazing. I love movies where actors are free and where they are bigger than who they are in real life. Movies where they don’t give a s**t about what they look like.
I’m also a huge fan of Elia Kazan. I love all his movies. By the way he made an amazing movie, I think it was his last one, I can’t remember the name of it (note: it’s The Visitors), but it’s about a woman who gets raped. It’s a genre film. It’s very terrifying. I love Elia Kazan. And Rosemary’s Baby was a big inspiration.
I really love Housewife and thank you for your time!
Thank you so much – thank you!
****Housewife is now available on DVD, Digital, and VOD.