by Jade Luber
In June, Movies in LA had the amazing pleasure of seeing David Robert Mitchell’s THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, starring an unknown cast including the quietly effervescent and beautiful Amanda Bauer. The film had a limited run in July and August and is available on Video on Demand –- we highly recommend you see it ASAP.
Amanda was so cool to take some time and answer a few questions we had, to get to know her and the girl behind Claudia. I must admit that when I first saw the film (view count is at one, two and three) I felt a little uneasy with her character, but I loved her so much, at the same time; the Ouiji Board and breathing scene in the basement are definitely some of the film’s highlights.
Recently, the Fies Sisters featured Amanda in their new short film shot in two hours within LA’s Metro Red Line called SCRUTINIZE.
Please enjoy the following Q&A!
Which film, how old were you, and where/which theatre were you watching at is your earliest memory? Do you still love that film?
I remember seeing ROCKETMAN when I was about six with my dad; we saw it at a theater in town in Lansing, MI. We went to a lot of movies at that particular theater when I was younger, I think it’s now a laser tag place. If you haven’t seen ROCKETMAN, you should, and if you have, you should see it again. I actually just watched it a couple of months ago with my family and we were crying we were laughing so hard. Harland Williams is hysterical.
Give us YOUR synopsis of THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER.
MYTH is a film about four kids on the last night of summer, some looking for love, some a little adventure. They’re all different people at different points of their lives, but throughout the course of the night they cross paths and learn a little about themselves. To me it’s about those profound moments that make you grow up, even just a little bit.
David [Robert Mitchell] mentioned that a lot of the cast and extras doubled as crew members. What were some of your roles?
I doubled as a 2nd AC for an afternoon. It was when we shot Scott talking to Jen in the cafeteria. All I really did was clap the slate, and I’m a dork and would hold it in front of my face while I did it, so David and Julio had lots of takes of me looking like a spazz at the beginning.
Will you describe your character development with Claudia and how you connected with her perspective?
I think that most girls and women could connect with Claudia. It was probably her first big relationship, and she was fully trusting of her boyfriend and he betrayed her. I could totally understand how she would want to get back at both of them, so it all made sense.
For me it was about creating the arc. There were very clear moments in the script where she would make a distinct choice that would change the way she connected with the people around her, like when she first meets Andy and the Ouija board scene. I wanted to make sure that you could see her thought process.
Can you give us the lowdown on the experience of making MYTH during the month of filming? Can you share any stories and fond memories?
Making this movie was such an awesome experience. I just hung out with a couple of the people from the shoot at the Detroit opening and we all had a little bonding moment of how great it was then and now. It really is an amazing group of people that I hope to be friends with for a long time.
Because it was a low budget indie, it was a little more intimate. Between takes everyone would just hang out and there was no line between cast or crew or extras; it was great!
I remember when I first met Drew, who played Andy. The girl who was originally supposed to play Claudia backed out at the last minute, and I was already out in LA so I flew in the day before we started shooting. Everyone had met before and I wanted to break the ice with him since the first scene we were shooting together was the breathing scene in the basement. I’m a bit of a smart ass so I waltzed right up to him and said, “Hi I’m Amanda, do you have herpes?” Thankfully he has a great sense of humor and laughed it off and we got along fine, but thinking about it afterward — that could have gone badly.
You were 17 when you started production on MYTH. How has your experience over the last three years been, and how did you react to worldwide audiences’ receptions?
Thankfully I’ve been working here and there the last couple of years, so I do have a better understanding of filmmaking and how everything works. But, I’m still learning! When we were shooting MYTH, I was just starting out.
It amazes me, some of the responses we’ve gotten. I think it’s great that we’ve been able to play in cities all over the world and have been received well.
I remember being at our opening at SXSW and afterwards I went into the bathroom and overheard two ladies arguing about when the movie took place. They kept going back and forth saying, “It was MY decade! No, it was MY decade!” It was really sweet.
Can you tell us about any projects you’ve got coming up?
I have a short film I did, ANGELA WRIGHT, that is done and they’re sending it off to festivals. I also have a TV movie that I did called NO ONE TO BLAME that should be out by the end of the year. I’ve worked on a couple other things as well, that should hopefully be out soon after.
Top 5 favorite films and actors and why?
- I adore Meryl Streep. ADORE! One of my biggest things that I would love to achieve with my career is diversity. I want to be able to play different characters and be a part of different kinds of films. I really look up to Meryl Streep because she has done that flawlessly her entire career.
- Paul Bettany is one of the most underrated actors in my opinion. He also has such a wide range, and he commits completely. I was able to meet him once and I swear I couldn’t breathe; he’s fantastic.
- I also love Gary Oldman. Again, he’s done such a variety of characters and he’s so interesting to watch. You see his thought process, and his choices. He really takes on his characters.
- Marion Cotillard is just beautiful to watch. She’s so captivating, I love watching her. I get so caught up in the film and forget everything else. It’s incredible.
- I’ve always loved Gilda Radner. She has this spark, and she’s hilarious. She has the ability to play so many different characters and be effortlessly funny with all of them. I just love her.
- Filmwise — I love NOW AND THEN. It’s probably the movie I watched the most growing up, I have the whole thing memorized.
- I first watched BILLY ELLIOT with one of my cousins when we were probably too young to understand it, but we both loved it and have ever since.
- BENNY & JOON is such a sweet movie and it’s so well-acted.
- SLEEPY HOLLOW was one of my favorite stories growing up, so I love the movie.
- I had heard the music from AMÉLIE before I watched it and I fell in love with it. I love when the music in a film enhances the mood of the story and makes you really feel something and AMÉLIE is a prime example for me. It’s beautiful.
Thank you so much to the wonderful Ms. Bauer, and we cannot wait to see her future projects! You can find Amanda on Twitter and IMDb and please do see and support THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (★★★★★)!