Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Friedlander Talks Steven Soderbergh’s THE BITTER PILL

Actress Debbie Friedlander will be co-starring opposite Jude Law, Rooney Mara. Channing Tatum and
Catherine Zeta-Jones in Steven Soderbergh’s highly anticipated psychological thriller, THE BITTER PILL, due to hit theaters in early 2013, February 8th to be exact.

This talented actress has built a solid resume working in both her native New York City and Boston. On-screen, she has appeared in numerous indie films, including the award-winning “Absent Father”; and on-stage she originated and was instrumental in developing the lead role of Cora Turner in the “Scotch Kiss.” Additionally, she performed the role of Liz Hastings in the New York premiere of “One In Eight.”

Check out my latest Versus with Debbie Friedlander. We talk about The Bitter Pill, working with an awesome director like Steven Soderbergh and even Craft Services.

Alien Bee –  First off, tell me about The Bitter Pill, the amazing cast you worked with and your character.

Debbie Friedlander –  Oooh, I have been sworn to secrecy.  Sooooooo…. I can’t say much, lest I give way too many details.  What I can say is it’s a psychological thriller like you’ve not seen before.  Just when you think you know what’s going on, forget it, you’re thrown for a loopdy do.  Emily Hawkins, played by the fantastic and edgy Rooney Mara, is a young married woman, prescribed medication for her growing fear and anxiety just as her abusive husband is about to be released from prison for a white collar crime.  I hope I haven’t said too much!!!! The ever versatile Jude Law and the lovely Catherine Zeta Jones both play psychiatrists.  I’m Mrs. Westerman, a psychiatric social worker at the Wards Island Hospital for the criminally insane.

Alien Bee – What can we expect from this psycho-thriller?  How crazy is it going to be?

Debbie Friedlander – What can I say?  Okay, like the best psycho thrillers, it’s all in the element of surprise and the unexpected, right?  Characters not exactly who you think they are, and situations not exactly as they seem.   I really am sorry, but I can’t say more.  Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.  Now as to crazy: Mmmmm….Depends upon your definition of crazy.  I mean there aren’t any aliens, or time travel.  It’s not a 3-D production.  There aren’t any mythic creatures or long lost maps to be followed. No supernatural phenomena either.    No, just your garden variety humans.  Humans who can devise such intricate games to play – games with rules so intricate and complex it’s difficult to tell truth from fiction.  You can get all turned around if you don’t pay close attention.  We can be very dangerous creatures, we humans.

Alien Bee –  How was it working with Steven Soderbergh?  Actors tend to flock to his movies when he does them!

Debbie Friedlander – He really knows how to tell a story.  All his films have strong, clear points of view.   As you know, he shoots his own films. He’s respectful of actors, meaning he trusts they know how to do their job. My experience was much the same: you come prepared and he lets you do your stuff.  The one surprise, even though I was told beforehand, was the speed with which he shoots. But you just go with it.

Alien Bee –  Does the film have a release date yet?

Debbie Friedlander – I believe it’s set to be released in February 2013.

Alien Bee –  Speaking of Steven Soderbergh, what’s your favorite Steven Soderbergh film?

Debbie Friedlander – No fair!!!!  There are too many to choose from.  But if I had to choose just one, I would say his first commercially successful film “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.”  I remember the first time I saw it, I was blown away.  I still feel it’s a seminal work.

Alien Bee –  I always try to slip in one off the wall question. So how was Craft
Services? What was the best thing served on set?

Debbie Friedlander – Damn, I’m definitely not the best person to ask.  I’m a salad and fruit girl.

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  1. JohnSamuel says:

    she has one line in the movie..and it’s semi-off camera…so it seems strange for you to feature her in an interview.

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