What’s the worst thing a woman can do to another woman in a grocery store? Nope. You can’t guess, but our film opens with it.
RID OF ME is the simple story of a mousy newlywed, Meris (played by, um, me), as she moves to her husband’s hometown only to be excluded by his uptight, Stepford-y friends.
When Mitch dumps Meris for his juicy ex, Meris spins into a world with no labels, trying to figure out who she is now that she doesn’t have a man to please.
But thanks to a new group of punk friends, a job at a candy shop, Cambodian Rock music, and bloody revenge, she finds out what she is made of. Wrapped in a comedy of embarrassment and nervous drama, it’s hard to know what this movie is at first glance. Especially considering the first 2 minutes of the film capture something that has NEVER been seen before. To my knowledge.
We soon realize that Meris has to find a way to love herself, and that is just life. The power to be who we are is so fierce it can choke us and it’s that same force that drove me to produce this film.
After reading James Westby’s script, I knew instantly that I wanted to help bring this odd little story to life. I knew I was screaming inside, just like Meris. I had never produced before, let alone while playing the lead part– but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t know how to do it. Bravery wasn’t born from bliss and authentic voices don’t always arrive in a studio package. So I set out to scrape, shout and sweat this film to finish. And boy did that piss some people off! Who is this little NW girl?
I heard it all, just like Meris: you have to fit in, do things the way they have always been done, make nice!! But what I learned about producing is that there is no way to fit in, there is only one way to live, love what you have in front of you and bleed until it gets done. Then (also like Meris) it will be whatever it is and if you love it, you love it to its core.
The response from audiences has been overwhelming. What we didn’t expect were the men to openly cry or relate and to thank us for portraying the other side of the coin. This was the biggest surprise to me, and a lovely one. We also didn’t expect all ages (especially senior citizens) to relate, but they do! So, it would appear that Hollywood has room for all of us.
It is my hope that Meris brings people together. Everyone wants to fit in and just be themselves, and if they’re lucky, they find out who that is. I found myself to be a producer, and in time– I hope a bloody good one.
Rid of Me opens in New York Nov. 18th at Cinema Village and then across the country. Writer-director James Westby and Producer/actress Katie O’Grady will be in attendance for a Q&A at the Fri 8pm, Sat 4:40 & 8:25 showings.