Arts & Entertainment

'Prevenge': How to make a movie while pregnant

British filmmaker Alice Lowe has broken new ground by gestating her daughter at the same time she wrote, directed and starred in Prevenge.
British filmmaker Alice Lowe has broken new ground by gestating her daughter at the same time she wrote, directed and starred in Prevenge.

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British filmmaker Alice Lowe appears to have broken new ground by carrying her daughter to term while writing, directing and starring in a movie.

Lowe's film, "Prevenge," is a horror comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child speaks to her, goading her into a killing spree to exact revenge over the death of her boyfriend, the baby's father.

A recent study from USC found that only 4 percent of all directors across the 1,000 top-grossing films during the past decade were women. The study didn’t look at the percentage of pregnant female directors, but it’s safe to say that number was much smaller — if there were any at all.

When director Alice Lowe stopped by KPCC, Morning Edition host Alex Cohen asked about female filmmakers in the United Kingdom. Here are some excerpts from their conversation.

Are statistics about women in film as grim across the pond?

In the last couple of years, I’ve worked with more female directors than I have in my entire career. So something is changing. There’s women coming through in independent film and I think it’s a sign of what is to come. I haven’t seen the leap into commercial big budget films.  It’s something that hasn’t quite happened. It’s getting there.

I’m positive about it because I think that one of the advantages that women have is that there are stories that haven’t been told. So I feel like people are responding to Prevenge. They’re feeling like this is really fresh and new.

What went through your head, as an actress, when you found out you were pregnant?

I had some actress friends who said to me, “Don’t tell anyone.” Literally. It’s not just that they’ll think you’re too fat or you’re going to be absent for six months because you’re looking after your newborn child. It’s like they think you’ve literally died.

I’ve witnessed that reaction with producers. “But hasn’t she had a baby?” But you’re making a massive presumption that she doesn’t want to go back to work. I think pregnant women should go out and make films. I actually had a lovely time doing it.

How did you come up with the idea for a story for a pregnant serial killer?

A director came to me with this package, no strings attached. I was pregnant and I thought it has to be completely unexpected, something kind of antithetical to what you imagine. So, well, pregnancy is all about positivity and the future and birth. So I thought, what if this one is obsessed with the past and with death?

The film can be seen playing through the end of March at the Cinefamily in Los Angeles.