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09 - Clemency

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Alfre Woodard joins as the first guest of this episode. She starts off by revealing why she says “yes” to a role (1:09). She talks about the prisons she visited with Chinonye Chukwu in preparation to play the role of Bernadine (2:54). She explains how an actor’s body is their instrument and that they are trained to play the notes of their emotions. (4:14)Hollywood Unscripted

Alfre discusses her character’s fractured relationship with her husband (5:55), why her profession put the relationship in that position (7:10) and how Bernadine is emotional in a different way than an artist would be (8:20).

She goes further into the actors’ preparation for their roles, reveals the affect it had on her (12:32), describes how the actors were able to show up ready to work together (13:45), and how emotion is not something to be afraid of (14:41).

Chinonye Chukwu, writer and director of , then joins (17:46) and describes how the process of writing this film led her to uproot her life in order to deepen her research (18:04). She discusses choosing to write the story from the perspective of the prison warden (20:18) and talks about teaching her college filmmaking curriculum in a women’s prison (20:37).ClemencyHollywood Unscripted

She recalls how Alfre came aboard the project (21:51) and then talks about working with the team - cinematographer Eric Branco (23:29); editor Phyllis Housen (24:24); actors Danielle Brooks (24:28), Richard Schiff (26:08), and Wendell Pierce (26:29); and producer Bronwyn Cornelius (27:17).Clemency

Chinoye tells how changes to the script were made to focus on Bernadine’s story (27:57). She describes how it feels to have a financially viable film (29:01) and her next steps (30:02).

Finally, she discusses how she chose to begin and end (31:26) the film, the ability to bring joy to a heavy set (33:03), and her advice to aspiring filmmakers (34:28).

Executive Producer: Stuart Halperin

Producer: Jenny Curtis

Music By: Celleste & Eric Dick

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