I was able to sit down with one of my favorite characters from season one of [Mr. Robot](tag:3603120), Frankie Shaw. I won't spoil the show for those of you who haven't seen it yet, but Frankie delivers an impressive performance on what has become TV's most critically acclaimed show.
So naturally I was thrilled to sit with Frankie and discuss a new short film she directed for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
I asked her, since this wasn't her first Sundance, how it compared to the rest.
"Well, it's sort of just starting. I'd say I'm most excited just to see how people respond to the film. It seems to be the most subversive thing I've been a part of here."
What about working with the talented and gorgeous Zoe Kravitz?
"Zoe is my fucking hero. I hope to work with Zoe forever. She was so committed and smart and just... she worked really hard which I appreciated."
I asked her how the project materialized and how she got Zoe on board.
"Getting Zoe... it was one of those fluke things where she was the first person I offered the part to, and I didn't know her and I sent her agent the script. And I knew her agent from years ago in New York and he's like 'okay, I'll read it this weekend'. And then he read it and he was like "I think she'll dig it. I think this will be really cool, Frankie. I'll send it to her.' Then I get an email, 'Zoe wants to talk to you on the phone.' And then we talked, and she asked questions and I tried to sort of preempt things. I was like 'I'm sure you're most concerned with how the tone will be conveyed, so it doesn't feel like a sketch. In the actual script there's a lot more jokes. And she was like 'I'm so appreciative of getting a role that's like not for a black girl. Just for like... a girl. I think she's had a lot of experiences where she's only cast as a black girl. And that's really frustrating for her."
'Too Legit' finished shooting in October, so a quick turnaround for the Frankie passion project.
And of course, I couldn't resist but ask if there would be a reprisal of Frankie's role in Mr. Robot.
"I can't say anything on the record. I really can't. And really, they don't tell me much. Yeah. So, Sam [Esmail] is awesome and I love him and he's probably my favorite person I've ever worked for."
Shucks. Didn't get that crucial info!
"Sam was very generous in giving me advice on how to run a show. He would include me in looking at the monitor, and wondering 'why are you shooting inside the door from outside the door. You know how that show is shot... and it was cool to see someone stand so strong in his vision."
Frankie has huge ambitions for 'Too Legit' and is hoping to leave audiences with a profound impact.
"So, basically, and I don't know if I'll be able to speak this as eloquently as I feel it, but the way I see rape culture and sexism, the sexualization and the de-humanizing of women in this culture in general is such a systemic problem and it starts so young. It starts, you know, with images shown to kids my son's age and younger. And all of that in my opinion leads to this epidemic of violence towards women. And it's just existing and we're all sort of going along with it. All the advertisements, and the naked women everywhere, we are numb to it. I think it has this tragic effect. There was a study at the University of North Dakota... they said 'if you could force a girl to have sex with you, would you?' and like 30 or 40% said yes. But then they asked 'would you rape a girl' and they all said 'no'."
Refreshing to see an exciting young talent with a moral and social compass. Frankie and 'Too Legit' are definitely ones to keep your eye on.