Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Lost Girls

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Lost Girls

Article excerpt

Straight actress Piper Perabo and lesbian director Lea Pool talk about coming of age, shooting love scenes, and the passionate boarding school romance of Lost and Delirious

With the rush of freshly brewed hormones pumping through our veins and the first potent feelings of love and desire oozing from every pore, we come of age. With such a universal experience, it is no wonder that stories of gay girls in boarding school have become such a time-honored tradition. Lost and Delirious is one such tale.

"I was a little afraid that it was a subject that was already too much explored," admits director Lea Pool in a charming French accent via telephone from Canada. Why, then, would the accomplished Swiss-born writer-director of Set Me Free choose Lost and Delirious for her English-language directorial debut? "For me, adolescence is a period of life when everything is so intense, where we are so vulnerable and courageous at the same time," she says. "I thought if I could find good actresses, this really can be something very authentic and very powerful."

Fortunately, she found an ace in the hole. Captivating newcomer Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) embraced the opportunity to portray a strong female character with heroic undertones. "I had wanted to play Joan of Arc for so long, and they made two Joan of Arc films," says the passionate performer. "And I thought, Fuck, I'll never play Joan of Arc. And Paulie came along. And I thought, All right, here we go."

Perabo's magnetic portrayal sets off sparks as she fully embodies the gallantry of the indomitable Paulie. "I try and prepare characters physically if I can," Perabo says. "Paulie is so great in that she's a fencer, which, for me, makes it an obvious place to start with how to build her, how she squares off her shoulders when she walks. So the way I started was to study fencing."

Based on the novel The Wives of Bath, which was inspired by the boarding school experiences of author Susan Swan, Lost and Delirious centers on the beautiful and popular Tory (Jessica Pare) and the spirited and brainy Paulie. Their new roommate, Mouse (Mischa Barton), soon becomes aware that Tory and Paulie's pillow fights are a kind of innocent foreplay. The erotic kisses and beautifully sensual love scenes between Pare and Perabo expose the pure and idealistic love shared by the two schoolgirls--until they get caught in the act. Tory cannot handle the stigma of being branded a lesbian, and she begins to date a student from the nearby boys' school. …

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