by Rich Moreland, January 2016
The success of the short film Gone is sparking industry accolades. In the final part of our interview, Madeline Blue talks about her working rapport with director Angie Rowntree.
My thanks to Sssh.com for the photos included below. Incidentally, my review of Gone can be found here.
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“We knew it was important before we filmed it . . this felt like a great opportunity to do something special.”
Madeline Blue talks about her role as Rebecca in Gone, Angie Rowntree’s masterpiece of love, loss, and acceptance. But, Madeline reminds us, the film has “many different themes from personal, intimate and emotional to national and patriotic.”
The budding porn actress was captivated by the innovative director’s vision.
“Angie was making a crossover indie/porn film and then took it further by having the porn and the story depict a loving BDSM relationship. It all seemed radical and forward thinking.”
Of course, a vision does not a movie make. Performers and their skill turn ideas on paper into art. Such was to be Madeline Blue’s journey and Angie Rowntree recognized the potential the emerging performer presented.
“I tried to be whatever the scene needed,” Madeline says.
Conceding she is not a trained actress, the native Bostonian does have a background in performance art, particularly dance and music, avenues of expression she has traveled since a young age. The downside of that, however, is a lack of speaking roles. So Madeline had to learn on the fly what a script entailed and that meant getting intimate with the character she created.
“I tried to empathize with what Rebecca was going through. I related similar personal experience or emotional times in myself to the tone of the scene. I tried the personalize Rebecca to myself as much as I could.”
On a set she describes as a “multi-tasking/multi-personal” experience, Madeline was given the space to expand herself and her character.
“Angie is very gentle and kind when directing. I never felt rushed,” Madeline recalls. Gone is “a sensitive movie,” and Angie “made it feel warm and cozy so I could feel safe going to the intense emotional places she wanted me to convey.”
Who is Rebecca?
Madeline explains the film’s premise regarding fetish sex. “Gone shows two willing people who want to play [the bondage scene] together. She [Rebecca] wants it and likes it, and they feel connected and bonded through their role-playing and dungeon activities.”
Angie Rowntree insisted that Rebecca be portrayed as “a real girl.” But what does that mean? In porn language, it’s putting aside any over sexualized image inflated with makeup and behavior that borders on trashy. In other words, Rebecca’s appeal had to be “relatable” to the audience. Her “vulnerability and strength,” woven within an equal relationship with her lover, needed to be defined through her emotions. No walk in the park obviously, but Madeline was more than receptive . . . and most capable.
“I felt like that was a gift to me, that she [Angie] would trust me to try to pull that off. I often see a lot of female characters that are just one or the other, strong or weak, and I was excited to have the chance to play a real complex woman.”
Like super talented directors in adult–Jacky St. James comes immediately to mind–Angie Rowntree believes in sticking to the script, but designs the scenes to accommodate the performer.
Communication is the key.
Madeline and Angie discussed the development of Rebecca through the years covered in the film from meeting Todd (Gee Richards) and their BDSM play to the final denouement of loss and rebirth of a self-confident, courageous female character.
“I felt she really let me fit the lines to how I could best say them. She was very open to my suggestions, what I thought the script meant. . . so I could find the way to play Rebecca that felt right.”
Being guided through the shooting process from start to finish and into post-production, Madeline remembers that to be on an Angie Rowntree set “was empowering.”
“She has a really true vision and then includes you on all the details and nuances to make it come to life. You get the impression she is making magic.”
Magic? Perhaps, but nothing comes without hard work and Madeline lays the credit on Angie’s doorstep.
Kind and gentle with “capable hands” are words Madeline uses to describe Angie’s directing. Yet, there’s much more. “She is a planner and lays everything out for you” which includes script alterations. But like good directors, Angie demarcates her boundaries.
“She didn’t give us too much freedom with the script. There were some scenes that I had questions about, some lines we changed together when finally on set . . . But we really did keep to script as written and when we did make a change, we discussed it in-depth.”
Madeline then cuts to chase and relates what I’ve heard about outstanding directors and the films they make.
“We all became very invested in the project once it really got going. It felt personal to everyone involved, including the crew. I felt honored to be a part of it.”
And we, the viewers, feel likewise appreciative of a mature actress who is discovering her artistic soul in a new way. Madeline Blue is a name to remember and a pleasure to watch. There is, I’m guessing, much more to come (pun intended) in her film career.
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Take a look at Gone by visiting Sssh.com.