Exclusive Interview and New Clip: The Woman Speaks! Dread Central Chats with Actress Pollyanna McIntosh
After first bringing the titular character to life in Andrew van den Houten's 2009 flick Offspring, Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh is back in co-writer/director Lucky McKee's hugely controversial sequel The Woman, which features the actress returning to square off against a demented family who capture her animalistic character in an effort to domesticate her.
As you can imagine, this does not go well, and soon The Woman must rise up against her captors and find freedom once again outside of their twisted little world.
Dread Central recently spoke with McIntosh, who discussed the controversy surrounding McKee's sequel as well as her initial concerns with some of the physical demands of the script and the director's clever treatment of the shocking material within the film's story.
We asked McIntosh her thoughts on returning to the role of The Woman in a sequel catered specifically for her brilliant performance three years prior now. "It's pretty wild, actually! It's hard to turn down a movie written specifically for you, that's for certain. Back when I did Offspring, I read Jack Ketchum's novel and was floored by his insight into the character and the detail about her thought process and her doctrine for living; he created such an amazing character, and to see where he and Lucky were able to take her in this movie was a remarkable gift to be given as an actress.
"Lucky has a great way of managing darkly comedic elements in horror films, and his work on The Woman really took his skills to an entirely new level," added McIntosh. "To me, it's his way of relieving the audience of the heightened tension he continuously builds throughout his story or even letting them in on 'the gag' so they get pulled deeper into his story. The Woman is the kind of character and story that is so ultimately ridiculous when you think about it that, if handled by the wrong storyteller, could be complete crap. Thankfully, Lucky knew exactly what he was doing."
Despite her enthusiasm for The Woman, McIntosh did admit she experienced some reservations of her own at first about McKee and Ketchum's disturbing portrait of the ideal 'American Family.'
The actress explained her initial apprehension, "You know, I did have some major concerns about the role the first time I read the script, but mainly that was over the fact that 90 percent of the movie involves me being tied up. In fact, every time you see me shackled up in The Woman, I'm really locked up, which can be a bit terrifying if you aren't mentally prepared for it. But the first time I chatted with Lucky about everything, we just connected so well that I soon got over those concerns, and I always had two guys next to me ready with the keys so if I needed to get out of the cuffs quickly, I could."
"I also know a lot of people had issues with the rape scene in particular, which is completely understandable- I didn't want to do a rape scene just for the sake of shocking viewers either. Rape is a terrible thing, and I think the way Lucky handled it, without being exploitative, was brilliant. In fact, I've had a lot of women come up to me during our festival run and share with me their own personal stories of abuse and how they appreciated the way we treated it in The Woman, which I think speaks volumes far more than those complaining about our 'shocking' movie that goes too far."
"I think there are a lot of people out there who believe that just because you make a movie that explores really dark and disturbing issues like we do in The Woman, that you are that kind of person or it's an extension of the director's personality, which is just ludicrous. Lucky celebrates women with his movies; he doesn't exploit them, and anyone who missed that while watching this film really didn't understand the story at all," added McIntosh.
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