Interview / New Release

Interview: Alice Lowe on Prevenge

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A pitch-black comedy that’s as funny as it is vicious, Prevenge follows Ruth, a woman on a killing spree dictated from the womb by her misanthropic unborn baby. Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a true triple threat, writing, directing and starring in the film during her own real-life pregnancy. She tells us how it all came about.

The synopsis is intriguing! Where did the idea come from?

I was pregnant and someone asked me to do a film, and I thought, I can’t do it… unless we did this…
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How did you meet your producers?

I was acting in a film called Black Mountain Poets that was made in five days, which I hadn’t thought possible for a feature. The director (Jamie Adams) came up to me afterwards and asked if I’d like to do something else – he knew the company, they wanted to meet me, and they had money to make a film quite quickly. I pitched them a one-page version of Prevenge and they loved it. I was hoping that Jamie Adams would come on board to direct it but he said, “I can’t, I make romcoms, this is really violent – you should direct it!” I sort of knew he was right – it was still terrifying. This was when I was six months pregnant, so I had another week to work up the one-pager into a script, and then we started pre-production. Within a month and a half we were filming.

That’s incredible.

We didn’t have any choice, the baby was coming!

alice-lowe-in-prevenge

Were there any films that particularly inspired this project?

It was funny, I was watching Scanners the other day, the David Cronenberg film. It’s just telepaths staring at each other – but then they explode people’s heads! They didn’t hold anything back, they really went for it. It’s a really cathartic experience for the audience. And I think we do something similar.

The original inspiration was Taxi Driver, actually. There are also lots of horror influences on the music, like A Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner. But it’s not a traditional horror that will freak you out; it’s something odder than that!

Have you heard about the Big Scream screenings we do at Picturehouse?

Yes. I want to do parent and baby screamings – can we call them screamings? I love people tweeting pictures of their babies whilst they are watching a film. I think it’d be a really good idea!

Prevenge opens on 10 February, and Alice Lowe will be doing a Q&A tour across the country.

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