Anyone who watches (and there are millions of you) CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” know actress Melissa Rauch as series regular Bernadette Rostenkowsi. Sundance audiences got to see a very different side of Rauch on the opening night of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, when she premiered her passion project, “The Bronze,” in which she stars and also co-wrote with her husband Winston Rauch.
In “The Bronze,” directed by Bryan Buckley (who has over 50 Super Bowl commercials to his name), Rauch plays Hope Annabelle Greggory, an extremely foul-mouthed Olympic bronze medalist gymnast who can’t let go of her former glory. When she’s forced into training a promising gymnast (Haley Lu Richardson) after the passing of her former coach, Hope does everything in her power to sabotage the girl’s chances at making it to the Olympics.
Rauch delivers a wholly committed performance that’s by turns hilarious, scary and oddly endearing. She’s one to watch. Indiewire caught up with the triple threat shortly following “The Bronze’s” world premiere.
When we found out we got in to Sundance we were literally screaming, and then when we found out we were the opening night film our minds were blown. It was a very out of body experience on Thursday night.
I think we’ve all gone through parts of our lives where you can be stuck, and this character is so stuck in this moment of triumph that she had when she was 17, and she refuses to reset or re-engage in life, which in return has made her a miserable person. I feel that some people are better at hiding that struggle that we go through in life, and obviously she wears this tough exterior on her in every aspect of her life.
Our hope is that people will see that it’s not her being gruff for the sake of being gruff, or vulgarity for the sake of shock value, but that this character is so sad and so angry that she doesn’t know how to get out of herself and doesn’t know how to move on, and that’s where the anger and the sadness and the profanity comes from.
I’m from New Jersey, and I’ve always been attracted to characters who are unapologetically brash and who don’t censor the things they say. I’ve always been a fan of older Bette Davis movies like “All About Eve.” In that movie there is no emphasis on the character being likable. She’s struggling with being edged out, and much like Hope there’s a new young thing coming into town and she’s fading.
There are a lot of male anti-heroes, and that’s not always the case with women. People still aren’t okay with women talking this way. Some people just aren’t likable, men and women. Some people just aren’t the best to be around!
I believe in life, when you need someone who is brash or saying fucked up things, if you know their story you can kind of forgive their behavior.
I hope we can keep on making films where women don’t have to apologize for who they are.
My husband says that when my friends and I get into a room we say things that are more messed up than anything he has ever said, so him being my writing partner and him being so on board for that is great. He doesn’t bow down to gender stereotypes. He actually took my last name!