“Black Rock” hits theaters this week, starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and director Katie Aselton. The latter two sat down to talk to us regarding the making of the thriller, set on a deserted island where three friends have to fight for their survival. Bell and Aselton forged a quick friendship, with Bell taking on a character far different from the one she plays on Cartoon Network’s “Children’s Hospital,” while actor/director Aselton faced off against the elements and sometimes husband/screenwriter Mark Duplass in her creation of a true labor of love.
BULLZ-EYE: Katie, could you tell me the genesis of the story?
KATIE ASELTON: It’s the story of three childhood friends who have grown apart, and in an effort to reconnect, revisit an island that they used to frequent as kids. The movie really starts off as a chick flick/romantic dramedy and takes a severe turn when they learn that they are not the only ones on the island. There are three men out there hunting. After a series of unfortunate events, they find themselves in a fight for survival in an effort to get off the island alive. My first film, “The Freebie,” was a very quiet, intimate, emotional, talky-talky movie that was all inside a very small, Spanish bungalow. I felt the need after that to get outside, move my body and maybe kill someone. It’s just something I had to do. I don’t know why.
LAKE BELL: You had to express yourself.
KATIE ASELTON: Honestly, I’m new at this whole filmmaking thing and I’m trying some different things out and experimenting with different genres and seeing what I like. This type of thriller, this approach to a thriller that is very reality based, very truthful and simple in story and concept is something that excited me. It’s the kind of movie that I love to watch. I love “Deliverance.” I love “Misery,” even “The River Wild.” I used those as my points of reference. I also loved the idea of working with women. The TV show that I am on, I am the only girl with five guys. So, it was really exciting to get the chance to sit with two girls and kick some guys’ asses. That was fun, too.
LAKE BELL: Including the crew.
KATIE ASELTON: Including the crew. I kicked their asses too. And I had female crew members as well. It was a movie about strong women made by strong women and female producers. I had a female DP. I, myself, am female.
LAKE BELL: She is female.
KATIE ASELTON: And I had Lake and Kate [Bosworth], who are super rad ladies. It was a really, really fun experience and something that I had never done before and something that I’m very glad I did.
BE: With this being your second feature, what advice did Mark give you?
KATIE ASELTON: Well, we came up together. We made all of the movies together. He is wonderful about letting me have my own independent voice that is not his movie. What’s special about our collaboration professionally is that he really lets me do my thing and tell the story I want to tell the way I want to tell it. He got to write a script that’s very different than what he’s ever written before. He’s just really supportive. I will definitely run things past him. There were certain things he was very supportive of and certain things he was very critical of and I will take it or leave it. (laughs)