Alia Shawkat in the LA Times

Alia and I rehearsing in the empty pool set.Tony Shawkat, Alia Shawkat‘s dad, just sent me a clip (see below) from the April 2 LA Times in which Alia is profiled for the release of her new film Bart Got a Room. Of course, I could have kept up on one of my favorite young actresses by finding the article myself, but it makes me feel all warm ‘n fuzzy inside to be sent the piece directly from her Pops.  Like I’m a distant aunt or something.  It’s partly “Production Syndrome”  — no matter how big or small a project is, making a film together bonds people.  Together you survive/love the crazy uphill battle/joy of making a film.**

In this case, Alia had the lead role in my AFI thesis film, Queen of Cactus Cove, which meant we spent a lot of time together. And by ‘we,’ I also mean our families.  Both of us have parents who, without being overbearing, insist on being supportive of us.  On Queen, this translated to both our parents bonding ‘rents-style on set.  

Alia and the Mustang... and a giant camera.Alia and I bonded through rehearsals, six days of production, reshoots, ADR, her being a teenage girl/me fairly recently being a teenage girl, AND driving lessons.  Let me explain.   She didn’t know how to drive (she turned 16 on set), but we needed her to drive for a few feet for one shot; suddenly Alia and I are sharing a moment that is usually between parent and kid but now it’s me in torn-up jeans and cowboy hat in director-mode teaching her as ‘Billie’ to drive a powder blue ’60s Mustang.  I cannot wait until the next opportunity to work with the witty, extremely talented and really-good-driver Alia Shawkat.

**It’s never downhill… no matter how smooth the production or how much it looks like it is — those are just the results of when it’s uphill but everyone’s doing their job and enjoying the process.

April 2, 2009 LA Times talks to Alia Shawkat for ‘Bart Got a Room.’

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