In the second part of our exclusive interview with Jules Stewart, Stewart discusses what it’s like moving away from script supervisor and into the director’s chair, reading tabloids, and her relationship with her daughter, Kristen.
What is a risk for you to step away from being a script supervisor and step into the directing chair?
JS: Anytime you do something that you have never done before, it’s a risk. I really didn’t have anything to lose. When the financiers said, “We want you to direct, or we are not going to give you the money” it was sort of a done deal. I had no choice.
You mentioned casting is so important. How do you find the right actors for the part?
JS: You can’t be afraid of making mistakes because then you will never move forward. So you can take that and put that aside. For me, when you are doing a project that requires people to step outside of their comfort zone you have to find people that are engaged, that want to do it — that are not afraid of the material. You need to find people that want to go that extra mile and make the character even more intense. They have to have the ability to not just act, they have to transform that character. They have to be that character, and that’s what makes the performances real.
How hands-on were you with the film?
JS. I was 100 percent involved. I did everything. The writing process was fun. It took us about a year to write this. You know you give it to people to read and they give you notes and this project was supposed to be funded three times. So when people are willing to give you money and they give you notes, you make the changes they want. So it went through a huge changing project, but ultimately, it came back to the original idea. It went full circle.
How do the notes affect your progress on the film?
JS: You take all the notes — this is my process. You take all the notes, you say okay, and then you don’t do anything — then you think about them. At first you are inclined to say no and keep everything the way it is. But then you have to realize that other people have good ideas. When you start to make some of the changes you realize “Wow, this really works” or it doesn’t work at all and you throw it away. I only took the notes that I thought were moving the project in a forward, positive notion. I didn’t take bad ideas ever.
Did you feel as a first-time director there was something to prove?
JS: No. I was just out to tell a good story and just make a film. I had a job just like everyone else on the set. It was my job to orchestrate the choreography, the camera work, and the attitude of the performances. That was just my job. We filmed it all in 22 days. It went by so fast; it was like nothing.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
JS: Oh, that’s a tough one. I love Gary Oldman and Sandra Bullock. There are so many great performers today that it’s hard to just pick one.
What’s it like reading about your personal life and/or daughter’s personal life in the tabloids?
JS: If you read that you are crazy. People write things that aren’t true all the time; they make things up to sell their papers. We don’t buy into it. We don’t care; they could write whatever they want. A couple of years ago, when I was in the grocery store I read that my daughter was having an alien baby. It’s like, really? [laughs] You deal with it. It’s rubbish and it’s a desperate attempt to get people to spend their money.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working?
JS: Well, I am a painter and I refurbish old cars. I like to rebuild old vintage automobiles. I paint them. I redo the interior. My friends work on the motors and stuff.
I read that you did a cook-off with Kristen on your Twitter. Is that true?
JS: Kristen loves a good challenge. We agreed to do a lasagna cook-off and we had all of our friends over and they were judges. Kristen won the cook-off and I was really proud of her.
Do you like using Twitter to connect with your fans?
JS: It’s completely awesome. It’s awesome to have people support you and make you feel like you are doing the right thing. It gives you that little something that helps you to keep going.
Where can people check out K-11?
JS: It’s on cable television. So if you have that, you can see it now On Demand. We are releasing it on DVD, which is probably what I would do, is buy the DVD. It has special features. It has director commentary, music videos, etc. But if you really want to see it, like now, you can find it On Demand.
Follow Jules Stewart on Twitter @RealJulesStew and read our part one of our interview here.