In 1999, Jane Clark played a recurring nurse on Chicago Hope. This lead to a role on Ally McBeal. Her part- a nurse. Then came Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice where, yes, she played… the nurse. Obviously not a woman to be pegged as the actress who plays a nurse on “that show”, she has spent a decade on the creative side of production which has turned into writing and directing with, to date, seven short films and two feature films. Meth Head premiered in 2013 and Crazy Bitches premiered in 2014. Jane Clark is as personally warm and beguiling, as she is highly creative and talented.
Recently, I asked Jane the following:
What was the catalyst for you to leap behind the camera?
It was a combination of things. I had really hoped my Chicago Hope role would lead to bigger and better things but as you pointed out, it just led to more nurse roles. At the same time I was throwing my heart into lead roles in independent films that I really believed had potential, which in the end turned out somewhat mediocre. Those two things made me realize I could work my ass off to get roles, but in the end—acting was just a small part of a very big engine. So no matter how good I was, it could still fail. If I wanted things to change I’d need to take some control. I originally thought I’d produce films with roles I had written for myself. But one thing led to another and I ended up producing and directing instead and found myself really loving it. I hope that at some point I’ll know enough directors and producers that I may get thrown a role or two as time goes by, I’m pretty good at acting too and I’d hate to never have that experience again. But my passion has landed squarely into the filmmaking category
Crazy Bitches has thrust you into the lesbian film limelight. It has been widely and wildly embraced all over the world. I highly recommend that people watch it because it is deliciously indescribable. Where did the inspiration come from for Crazy Bitches?
The inspiration came originally from something a friend said to me. It was meant to make her feel better about herself, but in the process what she said hit a nerve of insecurity in me. I didn’t express that to her, as I could tell she was oblivious to my reaction. But it got me thinking about vanity and insecurity being driven by the same thing – how we feel about ourselves. And rather than consciously supporting each other, many times we ended up doing the reverse to make ourselves feel more confident. That was the springboard. Then I went to my friends and said “Hey, I’m writing this script, do you want me to write a role for you?” To which all of them replied, “ yes!” In the end not everyone was available when I was ready to shoot so I ended up with some interesting new casting choices. One new cast member was Guinevere Turner and she sort of sums up my continuing experience with the film. I met Guinevere at an Outfest party through my friend JD DiSalvatore and when JD told her the title of my film her response was, “If you are making a movie called Crazy Bitches, then I have to be in it.” Enough said.
Do you feel that the lesbian genre still needs to remain a unique niche or are LGBTQ films ready to be part of the general mainstream?
I think there is a place for more lesbian-centric work. There are fights still to be fought and political and social issues to overcome. But I think, thankfully, that the LGBTQ community itself is less and less a niche community, but is rapidly becoming a part of the whole. So films can and should reflect that. Much like my first film, Meth Head was not a gay film, but rather a film about a drug addict who happens to be gay; Crazy Bitches is not a lesbian film. It is horror/comedy that has a strong lesbian storyline wrapped up in the bigger journey. And that’s the direction I think film, and truthfully even more so, television, is going, because it is the direction our society is going. I look forward to the day that I can write stories and not have a label put on them.
If you could write a screenplay for a specific actor, who would that actor be and why?
Well, I am currently writing a script for Candis Cayne, because she is a fantastic actress, who has not yet been given the wings to fly. And because I think the time is ripe for her to play a woman as opposed to a transgendered woman and I want to be part of that journey with her.
I don’t have any “name” actress that I particularly am inspired to write for, but I think that is really just a reflection of how I write; I am tweaked by an idea first and from there a general story grows. When I have a clear view of the story then I start to think about who might be right for the part. And while from a business standpoint I should start thinking about star names, I can’t help but instead think about all the great actresses I know who are talented but still struggling to get to the next level. I can’t always hire my friends – as my budgets rise, the more difficult that will become. Unless of course we rise together. Which is my grand scheme in the end.
What’s next for Jane Clark and FilmMcQueen?
I’ve got the script for Candis that is about 1/3 written right now. I’m hoping to shoot that this summer. And I’m gearing up to put the package together and go raise money for CRAZIER BITCHES and CRAZIEST BITCHES, which I’d like to start next winter and shoot back to back. I also have a really fun serial killer detective script that is set in Paris. We’re fully cast, except for the two US leads, which do need to be name actors, in order to get the financing, so that is stalling us out a bit. I could go on really. I have two other scripts I’d like to make that are finished and another bio pic I’m dying to do, plus a book I want to get the rights to, and…you get the picture. For all of these projects it comes down to money. The first thing that gets financed is the first thing I’ll do.
Crazy Bitches website can be found here also Crazy Bitches Facebook and Twitter. You can rent or buy digitally at places like iTunes, Amazon, Playstation, Googleplay, YouTube and Vudu. On VOD at (among others) Time Warner, Comcast, AttUverse, Verizon, Cox. DVD and Blu Ray with extras will be available on April 1 though the website and Amazon. The film will be available on iTunes and other places internationally in May.
Meth Head is available here.
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