Magazine article Screen International

Trudie Styler Talks Directing 'Freak Show' Ahead of Berlin Premiere

Magazine article Screen International

Trudie Styler Talks Directing 'Freak Show' Ahead of Berlin Premiere

Article excerpt

Talking to Screen ahead of tonight's world premiere of her debut feature as a solo director, Freak Show in Generation 14plus, Trudie Styler, a veteran of stage and screen, wasn't feeling the pressure.

"I'm not nervous about it," Styler said. "I hope I don't get horrible reviews but it's not like when I act on the stage - in the days before, I'm a gibbering wreck."

The sub-$5m Freak Show was adapted from James St. James's bestseller and shot for 22 days in New York in late 2015. Former ScreenStar of Tomorrow Alex Lawther stars as Billy Bloom, a teenage cross-dresser at a conservative high school who defies the bullies and runs for homecoming queen.

The subject matter resonated with Styler, who produced with her Maven Pictures partner Celine Rattray alongside Flower Films, Bryan Rabin and Jeffrey Coulter and jumped into the hot seat when the previous director moved on.

"America is becoming more homophobic as we speak," she says. "We don't want our youngsters to feel bullying can be condoned in a school environment.

"I felt it from a young age. I had an accident when I was two after a truck ran over me and scarred my face. I had ADHD and dyslexia so I was dealing with a few challenges and I was the brunt of jokes and meanness."

Styler bonded with Lawther after a trawl through more than 100 candidates. …

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