Karen Kusama says “Yellow Vests” is a war story about women

Karen KusamaA Hollywood journey, at times, may have felt like trying to survive a plane crash. The director who is best known for the now-famous 2009 classic Jennifer’s body 2015 the invitation, and 2018 Nicole Kidman– sear destructive, She found herself struggling to get more work in the movie after Jennifer’s body And the eternity flow She had rocky receptions – she put her in the prison of the alleged director. At that time, I turned to TV, directed episodes The L word, stop and catch the fire, And the sex masters.

“In some ways, I try to see my failures, my perceived failures, and my setbacks as lessons,” she says Vanity Fair. “I can easily be reactive and bitter—what I would describe as just about anyone in Hollywood, basically. I could have done it easily, and I don’t think it would bring me any closer to what I really want to do.”

What you want to do is work on projects like Showtime yellow jacketsAnd the The dark drama revolves around a group of young women who end up stranded in the wild after a plane crash. The series’ captivating first season (which received seven Emmy nominations) follows young women as their situation worsens (and leads to violence and possibly cannibalism), and in a separate timeline, survivors after years as a middle-aged woman, dealing with trauma and the secrets of their time in the woods .

Along with working as an executive producer on the series, Kusama directed the pilot episode, for which she received her first Emmy Award nomination. It is a series that perfectly aligns with many of the themes presented in Kusama’s work, including and also connects with its strengths in channeling horror and dark tales. Here, Kusama reflects on what drove her to this “war story,” how she juggled the two timelines, and her plans for directing in Season 2.

Vanity Fair: What do you remember about your first impressions of this project?

Karen Kusama: You probably got the script three years ago, which is crazy to think about – but COVID interrupted everything. I really like writing right away. I thought he was smart, funny, beautifully committed, and had a very specific voice. But I was also struck by the intensity of the storytelling: lots of characters, then jumping back and forth in time. It took me a couple of readings to decide if I could tackle it. I think that was the challenge of the first scenario, a challenge for every successive script. It’s a balancing act of juggling multiple timelines and maintaining this chain of engagement, so my hats off always being off the book for being able to figure out how to keep our attention alive in a really interesting way.

As the director of the pilot, you must have a lot of input about the visual style of the show. How were those conversations?

One of the things we talked about really early on was this idea that in contrast to the more static and long storytelling, where there is, oftentimes, a necessity to create a distinction between the past and the present visually or acoustically, we were more concerned with what seemed like a continuous thread or chain Connected from the experience as you watch the characters. What I was showing them, and I think they responded to, was the idea of ​​waiting so little for the past or the present — that you kind of feel like even if you have to catch up with who you are in time, we’re in time with these characters. It’s as if you want to find some character core that can live across multiple timelines.

I would say this was one of the first creative conversations we had, along with this idea connected to this but in a more emotional or psychological way – which is that in some ways, we saw the story as a war story, and that these girls came back from the war. We are now watching how this experience follows them or is incorporated into their lives.

Scene from episode 1 of yellow jackets. Paul Serkis/Showtime.

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