‘I’m Your Woman’ Interview: Rachel Brosnahan and Marsha Stephanie Blake

I’m Your Woman  stars Rachel Brosnahan and Marsha Stephanie Blake in a 1970s crime drama, In the film, Rachel Brosnahan plays Jean, a wife and mother, who has been forced to go on the run after her husband Eddie gets in some hot water with his partners. However, Jean does not have to go alone as Eddie has recruited his associate Cal (Arinzé Kene) to escort her and protect her. Marsha Stephanie Blake co-stars as Teri, the wife of Cal. Teri ultimately becomes a big part of Jean’s life as they work together and try to navigate through the criminal underworld.

Shortly, after the film’s premiere at the AFI Festival, I had the chance to chat with Rachel Brosnahan and Marsha Stephanie Blake for the film. We spoke briefly but managed to discuss what it was like to premiere a film virtually during a pandemic as well as what it was like to work with Julia Hart and what makes her so special to work with as a filmmaker.

Scott Menzel: Thank you ladies for taking the time to talk with me today.

Rachel Brosnahan: Thank you.

Scott Menzel: Since both of you have been to film festivals and been in these experiences before, what was it like to premiere a film at AFI, and also do so virtually?

Rachel Brosnahan: It was strange. They sent us cocktails so we got very wasted on Zoom before our premiere. But, there was… As much as it was a shame to not be able to be together, and that’s one of the best parts about those festivals, is you get to get the family back together and share the film with the world, finally. One of the really cool parts about these film festivals being virtual this year is they have the potential for a much wider reach. People can tune in from across the world where they may not have been able to attend them before. And that’s been pretty special.

Marsha Stephanie Blake: And I think even with Arinzé who’s in the UK, we’ve actually probably seen more of him than we would have under normal circumstances, just because he could Zoom in.

Scott Menzel: I’m a big fan and supporter of Julia Hart as a filmmaker and storyteller. I would love to know maybe a story from working with her that you would like to share, one from each of you.

Marsha Stephanie Blake: I’m trying to think. What can we share? (laughs)

Rachel Brosnahan: I mean Julia, as you said, is such an incredible director. If your audiences are not already a fan, they should be, we certainly are. I feel so much of the filmmaking process is really intimate. That’s why we’re hesitating, we’re like, “We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.” But I will say, it’s not so much a specific story as just the essence of Julia. One of the things I love so much about working with Julia is that she’s so unapologetically all of the different things that she is at once. And that’s so rare. I think a lot of filmmakers, especially female filmmakers, feel this pressure to separate their home lives from their work lives. To leave the fact that you have children at home and to adopt a more masculine sensibility of being at work.

And one of the things I love so much about Julia and I think makes her so uniquely who she is, is that she is a mom and a wife and works with her partner, and is a writer and a director. And she’s all of those things all at once. And because all of those things are within her, simultaneously, it gives other people permission to be the fullest version of themselves as well. And that brings out the best in their artistry. It was such a special experience that I’ve never had before, to see some of these gruff, manly Pittsburgh-ian men in our crew let their guard down, and talk about their families, and show a softer side of themselves. But there is a strength in that softness. It brings out a very different kind of artistic sensibility and pushes people into new spaces. And it’s really special and really amazing to bear witness to.

Scott Menzel: Well, that’s great. Thank you so very much. This is so short, they are telling me to “Wrap it up already.”

Rachel Brosnahan: Wait, Marsha Stephanie, you go before we wrap it up.

Scott Menzel: Yes, please!

Marsha Stephanie Blake: Well, I have one story about Julia. And it’s a moment we had where it’s a very emotional thing that’s happening. And I remember when she came over, we had done one take, and she came over and she was already crying. And I remember thinking like, “Who… Which director…” It’s like she wears her heart just right on her sleeve and she’s invested, as you are, as the actors are, like everyone, and it makes everyone on the set feel like they’re just part of this machine that is very cohesive and you’re allowed to be emotional. She just doesn’t hide hers. I don’t know if she could, if she wanted to, she just doesn’t hide how she’s feeling, which is beautiful.

She’s also sometimes like, “I’m not sure how to do this thing.” Which I always love when a director says, “I’m not sure how to do this thing.” She’s just not a know it all. She’s kind of just always open to something else happening. And even if it’s that she breaks into tears (laughs)

Scott Menzel: Well, that’s terrific. Thank you so very much for sharing those stories. I thought they were great. 

Rachel Brosnahan: Thank you.

Scott Menzel: Love both of you ladies. Lots of continued success. Continue doing what you’re doing.

Rachel Brosnahan: Thank you.

Marsha Stephanie Blake: Thank you so much, Scott. Thank you.

Scott Menzel: All right. Talk to you soon.

Rachel Brosnahan: Bye

I’m Your Woman  is now playing in theaters and will be streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video beginning December 11, 2020

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott D. Menzel has been a film fanatic since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associates Degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Mass Media, Communications and a Masters in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com, which he founded. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name changed occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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