By Indiewire | Indiewire November 4, 2010 at 2:53AM
Casper Andreas' fifth feature, the comedy "Violet Tendencies," has played at a slew of festivals since opening the Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival back in May. Notable festival bows that followed include a 'GAYLA' Screening at the Seattle International Film Festival, and a slot as NewFest's Closing Night Film this year. In anticipation of the film's New York opening at the Quad Cinema this Friday, November 5, Andreas told indieWIRE about the genesis of "Violet," and how he cast the lead role.
She's Manhattan's most fabulous fruit fly! At nearly 40, Violet (Mindy Cohn) is the racy, fun-loving belle of the ball. She spends her nights as royalty, but when the party ends she always heads home alone. While her co-worker Riley (Sam Whitten) struggles with his baby-crazy boyfriend Markus (Casper Andreas), and her roommate Luke (Jesse Archer) tackles monoga-mania, Violets romantic life is one big bellyflop. Realizing shes at a certain age and still single, Violet is at a crossroads. In the fast-paced world of high fashion PR where she works, Riley tells her she need only seek out a straight male version of herself -- the mythical "Fag Stag". But the glamorous guru Salome (Kim Allen) gives her conflicting advice. To nab a man, she insists, Violet must abandon her gay boys once and for all. When Violet arrives home from yet another disastrous date to find Luke has organized a gay sex party in her bedroom, she decides Salome may be right. In order to get a prized man of her own, Violet strikes out on a hilarious quest to change the woman she is. Chasing love at all costs, she may find it in the most unlikely of places. [Synopsis courtesy of the film's website]
Director Casper Andreas on his day job and why he landed into directing...
"Violet Tendencies" is the fifth feature film I’ve produced and directed since 2004. People ask me how I can be so productive but the truth is all my films are very low budget and I can’t afford to spend years on each of them. I basically keep making new films to avoid having to get a day job!
My only day job is acting. I moved to New York from Sweden when I was twenty to go to acting school and I pursued that for many years before I wrote my first screenplay. Writing lead to a desire to direct and so I got into that. I didn’t go to film school. Instead I feel I learn how to become a better director on each film I make. I’m producing my own films by default. I realized that was the only way to get them made. I also distribute my own films as I realized that is the only way to recoup my budgets and be able to keep making films.
Andreas on how "Violet Tendencies" came about, and on how the shoot went down...
For my first film "Slutty Summer," I hired Jesse Archer to play a supporting role. We then wrote a screenplay together centered around that same character which turned into my second film "A Four Letter Word." Jesse then came up with an idea to make a film about “the last of the fag hags” – that last straight woman who still hangs out with the gays at the bars as we get older. Jesse wrote the script by himself this time but brought back some of the characters from the first two films including his own and also Markus, the character I played in "Slutty Summer." I thought the script was fantastic! The story about Violet going on a quest to find a straight man is hysterically funny, yet wonderfully endearing with a sweet message about not changing the person you are to get what you want.
My first step was to demand that Jesse also come on as a producer for the first time. I think that was my smartest move. Since this was his script he worked extremely hard for it not to be compromised and together we found fantastic people to work on the film, or to help us out in various ways by getting us free locations or lending us clothes, or props, etc. We bugged all our Facebook friends to come and be extras. The whole thing was shot in eighteen days so it was all very fast and furious. And lots of fun!
Andreas on casting Violet...
We knew we had a really great part in Violet for the right actress, so we worked hard on getting a recognizable name actress to take on the role. Violet is pretty raunchy and the pay was low so we needed someone who wasn’t afraid to take some major risks without the financial incentive. Mindy was suggested to us late in the game but as soon as she read it she was on board. We feel we really lucked out. Mindy is fantastic as Violet and everyone who grew up watching her as Natalie on “The Facts of Life” loves seeing her in this role.
Andreas on the crowd pleasing nature of his film, and on his future projects...
I think audiences will have a really good time! The film is a scream, Mindy is a scream, and all my other actors are fantastic as well! The film also explores the meaning of family, as it celebrates the straight women – and men – who have been there for us through it all. Jesse says he wouldn’t have survived high school if it weren’t for his faghags – so this film is in honor of them.
I’m in the process of finishing up post-production on "Going Down in LA-LA Land," a film that I wrote based on the novel with the same name. It’s a dramedy about struggling actors in Los Angeles. I also just got attached to direct a romantic fantasy story called "Over the Rainbow." I very much look forward to focusing just on the directing of that one. I don’t want to produce anymore if I can help it. So I’m actively looking to get hired to direct more projects. Anyone?