Georgia native, Carrie Preston, who plays the vampire weary waitress, Arlene, on the hit HBO series, True Blood, and has the reoccurring part of Attorney Elsbeth Tascioni on the CBS show The Good Wife, presented a film she directed at The Atlanta Film Festival last month. The film, That’s What She Said, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was also shown, recently, in her hometown at the Macon Film Festival. The comedic film, starring Alia Shawkat (Cedar Rapids, Whip It), Marcia DeBonis (Letters to Juliet) and Anne Heche (Men in Trees, Hung), is about three women who spend the day traveling throughout New York City, discussing love, life and the men with whom they get involved.
Preston has been working on getting this film into production ever since she starred in the play with co-star Marcia DeBonis. The film was just by picked up by a distributor and should be on the Art House circuit soon. I had the good fortune of interviewing Carrie Preston on the red carpet the night that her film debuted in Atlanta to a very receptive audience at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.
Mike: “How does it feel to be back in Georgia?”
Carrie: “I love being back in my home state. I feel a lot of support here, so it’s really fun to bring this film that I directed here.”
Mike: “What made you decide to direct this film, That’s What She Said?”
Carrie: “Well, my friend, Kellie Overbey, wrote the script and I first read it about 8 years ago. It just spoke to me because it is, you know, a film that’s dialogue-driven, about women talking about relationships, and at the time there weren’t a lot of films like that offered. Now, of course, there’s Bridesmaids and the like, so I feel lucky that audiences are primed and ready for this kind of a film.”
Mike: “So this is your third project that you have directed?”
Carrie: “Yes, this is the third, two features and a short.”
Mike: “Which do you enjoy more, directing or acting?”
Carrie: “I can’t really say I enjoy one or the other more. I think that both complement each other. Acting is my first love, but directing is very exciting that allows me to exercise all my creative muscles.”
Mike: “So have you picked anything out for a next project to direct?”
Carrie: “I do have a couple of things. There’s a project that I am attached to now called, Hope and Salvation, a southern story, and I am hoping that we are going to be able to get that off the ground. And, my producing partners are working on something else that we are in development on. And, then I have a web series that I have been writing and starring in that will hopefully premiere in the summer.”