She actually brought a lot of her own clothes. She has some great Christian Siriano kind of structured black dresses, and we had talked about that. It made the wardrobe look like it cost more money than it did. But she was literally able to sort of sew herself kind of into that skin and had a lot of fun playing her. I was delighted and surprised watching her do that. She’s such a professional. In the sense that she knew what to do with all the props consistently, she knew exactly where her light was. She’s really curious, and it was fun to watch her with young actors, who were all in awe of Cher Horowitz.
When “Perpetrator” premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this past February, just the Sunday prior, her Super Bowl ad aired, where she reclaims that “Clueless” role. And the Hollywood Reporter had done a profile on her that was like, between her Super Bowl ad and “Perpetrator,” Alicia Silverstone is having a second coming or something like that. But, I mean, anybody who’s following her career knows that she works very consistently, you know? She never went away.
She asked great questions. She would ask me about some of the more slippery logic of the story, and just as I was getting ready to answer, she was like, oh, nevermind, we’re making art. I kind of love that she, and Chris Lowell, who plays Principal Burke, did the same thing. He was like let’s just get weird. Let’s make art. I like being able to work with people like that, where the trust is there. I find that actors, in general, want to make art rather than want to make commercials, literally and otherwise. Let’s make some weird moves. Let me flex.
An early germ of the story came from wanting to do a coming-of-age spin on “Cat People,” correct?
Both “Cat People” movies don’t necessarily have sound logic. They’re both playing with myths and mysticism.
Right. That’s what I really like. After I premiered “Knives and Skin,” I was like, alright, I’m ready to go on to the next one, and I had just rewatched the ’80s iteration of “Cat People,” and thought it was way weirder than I remembered it being. I mean, in the sense of its logic, this kind of inherited shape-shifting, the nuance of it, the weirdness of the sub-story of her being a virgin. I remember when I was a much younger person, I was really obsessed with Nastassja Kinski. I was sort of wondering where she had gone, and then I thought about how I wanted to do a shapeshifter story. But I want to do it in a way that feels unexpected, in that “Cat People” way.