‘Kajillionaire’ from writer-director Miranda July premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year to rave reviews. ‘Kajillionaire’ is July’s first full-length feature film in nearly a decade. Her previous film ‘The Future’ also opened at Sundance.
Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins, and Debra Winger as Old Dolio, Melanie, Robert, and Theresa respectively, ‘Kajillionaire’ is a crime drama film centering on Old Dolio, who was born into a family of con artists — her parents, Robert and Theresa.
Old Dolio’s parents enlist her in their various schemes to scrape together rent money for an abandoned office.
While trying to come up with $1,500, they run into Melanie who is enchanted by Old Dolio’s family’s lives. Over the course of the movie, Old Dolio starts to question her upbringing and whether there might be more to life.
MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) recently caught up with Miranda July at the Sundance Film Festival to talk about her new movie, which has been called a “prickly little gem” by Hollywood Reporter.
July told MEAWW that she had been working on the story for a few years, saying “it did arise out of my unconscious as a lot of my work does. So it’s one of those things where you don’t know why you’re writing, you’re following mystery.”
She continued, “[In] the end, you kind of gasp to realize this is something I never would have touched consciously or known how to.” July said it was a “joy to write” a movie about “[the] sort of inherent betrayal in the parent-child relationship.”
July raved about the cast which includes seasoned actors like Wood, Jenkins, Winger, and Rodriguez. She said, “The cast is absolutely fantastic,” calling them her “dream cast.”
She said, “That’s obvious every day when you’re working with them and you have these expectations and they’re like meeting them and shooting right past them.” She added, “That can only happen when their soul is the right soul.”
When asked what she hopes young women would take from the film, July said that she hoped that the movie’s lead role of Old Dolio would touch someone.
She said, “The star of it, Old Dolio, is a young woman. She’s unconventional in a way that I don’t think we’ve seen. I don’t think we’ve seen that many stars that look like her. And I love women that look like her.”
MEAWW also caught up with one of the film’s stars, Richard Jenkins, at the festival. Jenkins told MEAWW that it was the writing and the script that drew him to the film.
When July sent him the script telling him that she wanted him to play Robert, Jenkins said he read the script and “bought [in] ten pages into it.”
Jenkins also said that he was a fan of all his female co-stars, saying the one he knew least about before going into filming was Gina Rodriguez.
However, he is all praise for the ‘Jane the Virgin’ actress, saying, “She is so good in this movie,” adding the same about her role on The CW show, ‘Jane the Virgin’ after having watched it.
He added that it was “amazing being the only guy,” and said that women “know best” in the industry. He said, “You’re in good hands. There should be a lot more doing it.”