Interview: Angela Robinson on Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women had its World Premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. I got to see the film at the festival and out of all the films that I saw while at the festival, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was my favorite film of the festival. During the festival, I had the opportunity to sit down with Angela Robinson, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote to talk about their amazing film. This is my interview with writer/director Angela Robinson who was very passionate about finally bringing this remarkable true story to life on the big screen.
Scott Menzel: Congratulations, welcome to the Toronto International Film Festival. What does it feel like premiering this film here?
Angela Robinson: I’m so pumped to be premiering my film at TIF. I’ve never been and it’s really, really exciting. The festival’s been incredible so far and we premier tomorrow.
Scott Menzel: I absolutely loved D.E.B.S, I have to mention that one because I feel like it’s a underrated gem that has over time finally gotten cult status. So congratulations on that one, too.
Angela Robinson: Thank you.
Scott Menzel: But this movie for me was just such an eye opening experience, I didn’t know anything about this story prior to going to see the film.
Angela Robinson: Oh wow.
Scott Menzel: So what was it about the story that spoke to you and these actors, where did you get them because they really do hold the whole entire movie on their shoulders.
Angela Robinson: Yes, they really do. I’ve always been just a huge Wonder Woman fan. I was a fan since I was a kid and people kind of know what a big Wonder Woman fan I was and so a fan of mine, for a wrap gift, after D.E.B.S. actually gave me this beautiful book on Wonder Woman and there was one chapter in there on the Marston story and I, like my brain exploded. When I read it, I couldn’t believe that this incredible story was at the heart of what Wonder Woman was about. And also that I didn’t know it and nobody I knew knew it either. So I kind of became obsessed with it.
Scott Menzel: That’s the same reaction that I had when seeing it. I’m like, “How did I never know about this?” But what was interesting for me is the relationship between the three characters. I wrote this in my review because in most movies where they show a married man and his mistress, its so cliched but this one had a very genuine feel to it. And also it seems that the movie was more about the relationship than just the sex. Can you talk a little bit about how you crafted that to make it seem so authentic and true to life?
Angela Robinson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). First and foremost, this movie’s always been a love story to me. Like that’s what really struck me when I first learned about is is I started actually thinking that was a movie about a guy who had a wife and a mistress. And then I read this incredible detail that Olive and Elizabeth stay together for 38 years after Marston died and that just blew my mind. And I was like, “I’m looking at this all wrong and I just need to look closer at what actually is happening here.”
So, I set out starting to write and then direct the film and I just wanted to have it be an incredibly organic love story. I didn’t want to otherize the experience of “Oh, this is weird.” Or “This is kinky.” I just kind of wanted to see what it would be like if you just played it, just as a straight love story and that they organically fell in love and what that would look and what that would feel like.
Scott Menzel: Perfect. Well congratulations once again on this film, thank you so very much for talking with me.
Angela Robinson: Thank you so nice meeting you.
Professor Marston and The Wonder Women opens in theaters on Friday, October 13, 2017