When I was asked to interview Patrizia Hernandez, lead actress in Love Simple, I of course said yes. I was surprised to learn there was a movie that would focus on Lupus and relationships, as many others may be as well. I think my surprise may be for different reasons though. My surprise came from often feeling as if Lupus is ignored by the world. I was extremely happy to learn someone had decided to really focus on Lupus and relationships. And not only does it raise awareness, but starting today until June 21, 2010, 30% of sales will be donated to the SLE Lupus Foundation. After June 21, 2010, 10% of sales will go to the SLE Lupus Foundation (read more about this here).
When people found out I was doing the interview after I blogged about it, I was asked many times if I would be reviewing the movie as well. My first reaction was to say, “No.” The reason for my no was because I like my reviews to be impartial and unbiased, even if I know the person behind the product. There is no way I can be unbiased about this movie as I live it. But then I thought, who is more qualified to review a movie about Lupus than someone who lives the life this movie is suppose to portray? And so, I changed my mind and decided to write a review to go along with the interview.
A lot of my thoughts about this movie are in the interview. There are a couple of things though, that I would like to emphasis or say that I am not quite sure got through in the interview. So please take the time to both listen to the interview below and read the review here.
My interview with Patrizia contains quite a bit of information. Among other things, we discussed technical things such as her acting background, the making of the movie and how she approached the role. And of course we discussed Lupus and the heart of the movie. The interview touches on a lot of personal areas in both of our lives. This has been my most difficult interview to date. It was very emotional and a lot of fun for the both us. I hope you enjoy it.
A few show notes:
This interview was recorded on Friday, June 11, 2010.
There are two Johns mentioned in the interview. Except for the one time where we talk about the actor, John Harlacher, the other John referred to is John Casey. He is the press and public relations contact at Magic Star Enterprises and has been a huge help throughout this process.
We did this interview via Skype with webcam. The reason why I mention this is because there will parts of the interview that may not make a lot of sense as they were said due to visual clues from the other person.
Remember, kids. Always turn off or unplug your phone before recording an interview. I forgot to do this and unfortunately, you get to hear a phone ringing in the background for part of the interview. I do apologize.
- I decided to add a song to the end of the interview because the soundtrack for Love Simple reminded me of it. The song is written and performed by Graham Porter aka Emperor Gum. He wrote the song for the World Lupus Day Virtual Art Gallery. You can find the lyrics and download it for free here. Other songs are also available free for download if you are interested.
A question that could not get answered during the interview was, “Why did Mark decide to do this movie?” Here is part of his answer given to me in an email.
As far as the reason for giving the character of Seta Lupus, one of my first jobs out of school was working in the Nursing Administration of a local Brooklyn hospital near where I live. It was mostly clerical work, but I used to overhear the unit managers giving shift reports. One evening, a nurse manager reported that a patient had died earlier in the day from Lupus. This really surprised me because I didn’t think Lupus was that serious, much less something that you could die from – and I actually had a friend who had Lupus, it had never really seemed a big part of her life. Her case was indeed mild but I had assumed that was Lupus – just an ‘autoimmune disease (whatever that is).’ The more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t really know a whole lot about the illness – the severity or even much less the symptoms…
When I started working on the script for LOVE SIMPLE, I knew that I wanted it to be a romantic comedy, but also something that really tackled the somber, most complicated element of relationships: sickness & health. I also knew that I wanted the film to be activist in some respect – filmmakers I like and admire strive to make important films. Based on my own experience with Lupus, I thought Seta’s character would be a great vehicle to create awareness for the symptoms of the illness, and educate people on a disease that so many people – including myself at one point – really only know by name, if that.”
The interview (including music) is 1 hr 13 min 50 sec and is 67.6 MB in size. Format is mp3 at 128 kbps, 44.1 kHz, stereo. You can listen to it by streaming it below or download it here (right click, save as).
Remember to purchase and watch Love Simple, now available on iTunes here. And very importantly, pass along this information and tell a friend. Together, we can find a cure for Lupus.