Just before the recent US release of Kathryn Upside Down I was lucky enough to watch the movie which I found to be funny, heart-warming and surprisingly confident movie for a directorial debut. Director/writer/actor Allie Loukas did so much more than any first-time director in recent memory so when the opportunity arose for an interview (over e-mail), I jumped at the chance.
What was your inspiration for the story of the film?
Oddly enough there wasn’t really an inspiration for the film. The idea itself was birthed when I got lost in a parking lot in Los Angeles and had to ride around on a golf cart to find my car, it was so awkward and uncomfortable it made me think of the truck scene. Especially when the golf cart almost slid back down from the second level to the first. Lol.
Out of the jobs you did during the making of the movie, which do you enjoy the most?
Definitely directing because it really encompasses everything and helps you understand the complexity of filmmaking which is so important because there’s really a lack of awareness that surrounds it. You really tie your life and self-esteem to it in many ways, it’s very difficult and heart wrenching, but you also feel a great sense of achievement.
Is there anybody in the film industry that you would love to work with someday?
Hmm, probably Quentin Tarantino; his films are so detailed and unique, he always injects some odd humor, and I love an unapologetic character.
How did you feel when you first showed ‘Kathryn Upside Down’ to an audience?
Very weird! I was so used to just watching it by myself in editing that I lost sight of if anyone besides myself (and my mom-lol) would even think it was funny or understand it. Editing really makes you second guess yourself and see where every single problem is, I’m also very detail oriented and obsessive so it was hard. Luckily no one else obsesses like me; we’re always hardest on ourselves, I think. I was very happy to see that it resonated with the audience.
Is there anybody in your life that you changed your mind about after a bad first impression?
Certainly. You never really know what’s going on with someone or why they act the way they do. Some people who make a great first impression end up not being so great and some people you’re unsure of end up becoming great friends
In the movie Kathryn enjoys smoking and drinking, are there any habits you’d like to give up?
Of course! I wish I could stop my mind from turning when I’m trying to sleep for one! Maybe the hardest thing for me in life is to give up on variables I can’t control and allowing things unfold the way fate wants them too. I don’t know if that’s a habit necessarily, but it’s definitely something I tend to beat myself up about.
When was the last time you went on a road trip?
I believe it was when I moved back to Chicago from Los Angeles and drove my car, Route 66; it was a long one!
Did acting, writing or directing inspire you to become a film maker?
Definitely writing, because I don’t believe I would have arrived here without being a writer. I had a very weird experience, I started out doing acting, then moved into writing; but still wouldn’t have thought to become a filmmaker until I realized no decent agents in Hollywood would represent me. The system there is very tough and when your strength is feature length comedy it’s even harder. I also would have never thought to be a director, it really only happened by default. I was looking for a director and someone mentioned to me I should just do it myself, so I thought that was a pretty good idea and just started doing it. It was basically a surreal series of events that lead me here, I’m still surprised about how it all happened, but you never really know until you try. I’m a firm believer in that. I also believe that unless you ask the answer is always no!
Lastly, tell me a joke
A joke! Hmm this one is tripping me up, which … the irony is not lost on me! I’m going to send a funny joke, because I love a good Chicago one and this to me was honestly the funniest interview. It’s weird how this was the first thing that popped into my head and now I’m looking at the publish date and it was 6 years ago, haha. Conan O’Brien was doing his show in Chicago, and our mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was giving him a quiz about Chicago. One question was asking the population of Chicago (2.7 million,) and the next was asking how many bars are in Chicago (4.7 million,) lol. Here’s the Conan interview:
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