Mickey Sumner and Lucy Owen spoke to Uinterview about their new film The Mend, co-starring Josh Lucas, at SXSW. Sumner (Frances Ha) and Owen (Higher Ground) were attracted to the film because of the non-stereotypical female roles. “It’s amazing to read a script when you have real women written in an exciting way, you’re not just the good girlfriend or the bitch or the slut,” Sumner told Uinterview. “You’re not one thing. And I realize when reading the script that I can be everything, and that is exciting because I feel like I’m everything.”


Q: What attracted each of you to this script? - Uinterview

LUCY OWEN: Well I loved the script so much, immediately. And Andrea, who I play, she is just a pretty complicated strange, wonderful, loving, kind, embarrassing weird woman. She was so many things, like I am so many things, like you’re so many things. She’s very human to me and I just loved her immediately.

MICKEY SUMNER: I’m very similar, felt very similar to Lucy, like it must have been coming up a lot like it’s amazing to read a script when you have real women written in an exciting way, you’re not just the good girlfriend or the bitch or the slut-

LO: Bad mom, good mom.

MS: Yeah, you’re not one thing and I realize when reading the script that I can be everything, and that is exciting because I feel like I’m everything. And you got to express that and John really--, and I think also I wanted to work with John, I think the script was so interesting to me and weird and I couldn’t, I didn’t really know how it was going to work or the feel or the tone. I was just intrigued so I wanted to do it.

Q: Is it difficult to play characters that aren’t always likable? - Uinterview

MS: I think someone once said to me that, because I was always worried, I think I worried in the past about being the bitch, playing the bitch and—

LO: Being likable.

MS: Yeah, being likable, and I think someone said to me, ‘Don’t even worry about, like don’t, it’s not your job to be likable and I think it’s your job to be human and to be honest’ and that was all I could really ask for myself, to be honest and human.

LO: One of the greatest triumphs’ I think of this script and this movie is that John has written people who are lovable and not always likable, like humans are really. And I loved and hated all these characters to an equal measure and thank God that I was allowed to do that. Thank you for letting me even as audience both love and hate all these people, and I similarly I trust the script, I trusted John. I was not worrying about being likable at all, I was so relieved to not have to worry about that and I trust audiences that they are big enough, that they are vast enough to both love and loath these people.

Q: What were the most challenging scenes for each of you? - Uinterview

MS: I shot, my first day was the last scene, and I found that sort of a challenge because I haven'€™t really found her yet, and you know I-€”

LO: I had no idea about that.

MS: Yeah, and I also never had work with Steven hadn'€™t worked with Josh [Lucas], and yeah that felt, I was worried for the rest of the shoot about that day, I was like, '€˜Oh I know so much more now!’ But you always feel like that, I think the work you do on your first day you always want to redo, but yeah I was surprised that it wasn'€™t cut out!

LO: Oh, I loved that scene! You'€™re crazy it was so good. So I think my first day was hard for me too, you'€™re so scared first day and you're getting to know everybody. But actually one of my last days was my hardest scene was, my character's last scene in the movie where she is asking Matt to tell her that he loves her and he refuses. It was really painful, it was a long day of shooting it was a complicated, a lot of camera movement so we had to do it a lot and you know sustaining that level of grief actually because she'€™s being sort of beaten up, she'€™s being verbally abused and sustaining all that grief for 6 hours.

Q: What will the audiences learn about relationships from this film? - Uinterview

LO: They’re hard!

MS: Yeah, they’re hard and complicated and they’re not fairytale endings, I mean you can have fairytale endings but that still wouldn’t work to be honest, it’s like a constant journey with people like pushing and pulling and you know.

LO: Even inside of your best relationships there’s a lot of pain and rage and even inside of your worst relationships there’s a lot of love and tenderness.

Q: What projects do you each have coming up? - Uinterview

LO: I start rehearsal for a play in New York at MCC Theater it's called The Village Bike. Sam Gold is directing, it's off Broadway coming up for me next.

MS: I fly to Michigan tomorrow to star in James Ponsoldt new movie The End of the Tour about David Foster Wallace, I'€™m really excited. I play an ex girlfriend, I'm really excited to work with James and that cast.