John Winter\’s provocative film, Black & White & Sex, about Angie, the proud prostitute, delves into the often misunderstood profession. It\’s the story of Angie, the sex worker, being interviewed for a documentary, cleverly directed by John Winter and played by eight talented actresses. We caught up with the absolutely delightful ladies Saskia Burmeister and Katherine Hicks who both play Angie in this film.
Monique: The role of Angie is quite different and groundbreaking. What attracted you to the role?
Saskia: I\’m always looking for something that is really challenging. I read the script and knew I wanted to meet John. Not only was the script amazing but I needed to know that I was working with people that were really supportive.
Katherine: I had read bits and pieces and was very interested.
Monique: Did you audition for that particular role of Angie (there were 8) or did everyone read the same part and it was decided later?
Saskia: I read entire script and was asked which one was most attracted to and there was something about Angie 7 spoke to me. It seemed to be a moment in the script when the dynamics between the Interviewer and Angie really shift. On the page, she felt really fun and I wanted to be part of that!
Katherine: I read the part of Angie 1 and loved it! I particularly loved the Marilyn influence as I have been impersonating her since I was 8 years old.
Monique: How much input and scope were you given to explore the character of Angie?
Saskia: We were able to work with the costume designer to have something younger but still seductive but fun â€“ girlie like my interpretation of Angie. Not as mature and sophisticated as the others but I enjoyed the process.
Katherine : We stuck to the script in terms of the text and didn\’t change the dialogue but there was room to play inside of that. John was very open to collaboration.
Monique: Monique: How did you feel about some of the course language?
Saskia: I grew up with two older brothers so it wasn\’t unfamiliar but, I loved everything about it and how forward it was about sex in general. This script is certainly making me stand up and go gosh wow! I wanted people to walk away thinking about it.
Katherine : Well, actually I was very specific about what I wouldn\’t and would say. In the last section of the film the 8 intercuts with that and I didn\’t want to say â€˜Can you smell my wet?\’ I didn\’t feel comfy and there is a huge vulnerability to my character, especially being naked at the time. John was really responsive to that and I think it\’s important to acknowledge that.
Monique: What is the significance of the butterfly?
Saskia: For every Angie it was different but I felt it represented the freedom of her and was a metaphor for her and how she changes and we need to have things in our lives that help us shift our awareness about things â€“ basically her freedom and vitality.
Katherine : I was taken from a line in the script that says â€“ “it\’s hard to pin you down â€“ you\’re flitting all over the place.” I think it\’s a symbol of transformation and changeability under the disguises.
Monique: What was it like working with John Winter?
Saskia: Brilliant! Right from the beginning, he was amazing. From the way we approached the initial read through, to shooting, to voice over work, it was very different to any production I have been in before. He was very hands on but also very collaborative. At no point did any suggestion I had get shut down â€“ we got to try anything which was great. I think this is quite rare for a writer / director because they have lived with the project for years and years before shooting and they have clear ideas of what they want but there was a great sense of camaraderie on the set and collaboration with John which enabled us to fly.
Katherine : He was amazing a very good listener. A man is actually listening to women in the script, so that is apt. He is very intelligent and a beautiful writer, extremely collaborative.
Monique: Did you meet the other cast members or was it each scene filmed separately?
Saskia: Everyone met but didn\’t see anybody\’s work because it might have effected how we approached our characters. I didn\’t have anyone visiting or watching rushes. We had one table read in the beginning and that was it! It was the only time we got hear the script so it was lovely to hear what everyone else was saying. That evening we hung out to celebrate the beginning and then next time we saw each other was at the wrap party.
Katherine: Filmed separately and each one was filmed in around a 10 hour day. I worked with Maia together on the script as we have studied together in the past. She came to be a support when I was filming my section. After all the nudity, I did have that thought of â€˜What have done?\’ but I am happy with it. It was beautifully shot and we all got a sense of that beforehand which made it easier.
Monique: Are you ready for the Premiere?
Saskia: Oh yes, my husband hasn\’t seen it yet. It was a big family decision to take the role because we approach every job like that and he was saying with something as explicit as this you want to be sure.
Katherine : Yes, I will be there.
Monique: What else have you got coming up?
Saskia: I have a TropFest film and I am expecting my first baby. I have actually just come from a yoga prenatal class! I also appear as a guest on an episode on Tricky Business. Now I am just planning on becoming a mother and will still work when I can as I am so grateful to have these roles.
Katherine : I have just finished shooting a series called The Strange Calls â€“ as in phone calls which stars some other Aussie actors. The ABC has developed 6 episodes and it\’s a comedy. Innovative and fun. Totally different to Black and White and Sex.
In cinemas now on a very limited release at Hoyts Cinema Entertainment Quarter at 9pm, Friday 23rd & 30th March and April 6th.
Category: Film & TV