Livia De Paolis first came across The Lost Girls, a novel penned by Laurie Fox, in 2003. During our interview, De Paolis discusses the close to 20 year journey in getting her feature made. The Lost Girls takes an alternate look at the Peter Pan tale, and the feature contains a talented ensemble (Vanessa Redgrave, Joey Richardson, Louis Partridge).
“It just resonated with me,” said Livia De Paolis. “I was curious about it because I loved the Peter Pan story so much. I was very interested in any kind of different look at the story. Laurie Fox wrote a very feminist book and as a very young woman it was all kind of a new language for me. But it was a language that made a lot of sense. And also I feel I connected with it in a very personal level.”
The Lost Girls centers on several generations of women whose lives have been affected by Peter Pan (Louis Partridge) and his wanderlust. Livia De Paolis plays the modern day Wendy (with Emily Carey playing Wendy as a youth), and Joely Richardson stars as her mother Jane. In a great bit of casting, Joely’s mother Vanessa Redgrave plays their grandmother and Iain Glen is Hook.
One thing I appreciated about The Lost Girls lies in De Paolis dedication in making these characters flawed and three dimensional. Wendy, due to her lifelong fixation with Peter Pan, often ends up giving her husband (Parker Sawyers) and daugher (Ella-Rae Smith) the short end of the stick.
“For me it was important to have this normal person that lived this contradiction,” said De Paolis. “There are a lot of women out there that do live that contradiction. I’m sure my mother at some point in her life lived that point of contradiction of not wanting to have that responsibility. Back in the day, motherhood was not just a choice – it was something that you just do.”
If you’re making an indie film, try to make sure you are laser focused:
The Lost Girls is now in theaters and is available on Digital and On Demand.
My full interview with Livia De Paolis is featured below on the Find Your Film podcast:
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