Melora Walters interview: Director of the movie ‘Waterlily Jaguar’
Melora Walters has been an actress for a long time, from her first movie role in Dead Poets Society to The Butterfly Effect she’s a prolific actress. However, Walters is now making her directorial debut with the movie Waterlily Jaguar. The movie is about a famous novelist spiraling in his own obsession leaving broken relationships, in his wake.
We were lucky enough to be able to ask Melora Walters some questions about her movie, filmmaking, and her inspiration. After reading this interview, watching Waterlily Jaguar is sure to be on the top of your must-watch list.
About Waterlily Jaguar
Where did the concept come from for Waterlily Jaguar?
The La Brea Woman is the only human skeleton found in the La Brea Tar pits. Ritual sacrifice was ruled out – I believe I just quoted a character in the film – or there would be more human skeletons. It might be one of the first examples of murder. A grinding stone and a domesticated dog were near her. Her head was bashed, most likely with the stone. This made me wonder if anything has really changed in 9000 years, obsession, love, jealousy, madness.
I was also interested in exploring obsession and depression and how it affects everyone involved with the person in the downward spiral.
The other subject is that of the fine line of creativity and madness, and when does someone step in to stop what is going terribly wrong on a personal level when the person is creating what might be genius?
For you, what was the most important aspect of Waterlily Jaguar to get right?
I was trying to get everything right. And, I learned that it is impossible.
What one skill from acting did you find useful when directing?
It is very important that each actor feel appreciated. Each actor is a person filled with lifetimes, stories, gifts. If you allow them to shine, they will, and it will only make everything better.
What was something you learned while making Waterlily Jaguar?
Be open and try to make things work, there’s always another option.
What was the most rewarding moment of working on the set of Waterlily Jaguar?
Every single second.
What is something you want viewers to know before watching Waterlily Jaguar?
Waterlily Jaguar is psychological. It’s about relationships. The actors, James Le Gros, Mira Sorvino, Stacey Oristano, Dominic Monaghan, all the actors really are incredibly beautiful and brilliant.
What is your favorite part of the movie making process?
As a director, I love watching actors and actresses transform, it is pure magic, I am in awe of them.
The collaboration with the cinematographer is also a relationship that I love.
What’s your filmmaking mission?
All my art is an attempt to show what it is like to be alive.
Name the most important thing you want viewers to experience when watching your movies.
There were a few movies I saw when I was young and I thought “I’m not alone.” I would hope to be able to help someone else feel that way.
Do you have any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
My second film Drowning premiered at The Rome Film Festival last October. It is in negotiations right now. I believe my short The Muse is coming out on some platform in June. I have many scripts, but there’s no point in talking about anything, it doesn’t mean anything until you actually film it and people can see it.
What was getting into filmmaking like for you?
It is like diving into the ocean at night with no land in sight.
What are some of the biggest influences on your filmmaking style?
Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, John Cassavetes.
In your opinion who are some indie filmmakers that should be on our radar?
Aaron Koontz, Jessica Mendez Siqueiros, Kelly Oxford. Honestly there are so many it’s a hard question to answer.
When you need inspiration is there any specific music you listen to?
Music is a magical medium. I am always shocked at, no matter what I listen to, how it takes me into another world.
What was the last “ah-ha!” moment you had when watching someone else’s work?
I started watching Hollywood. Mira Sorvino who I have known for almost 20 years is in it. Her first scene came up and for a minute I thought, “wow, they are using old footage. Who is that movie star? How did they get the rights?”. Then suddenly I realized it was Mira. I went back and watched the scene over again. That is pure “ah-ha” brilliance.
What one movie can you rewatch over and over again?
Any Fellini or Bergman or John Cassavetes film.
If you could work alongside anyone for a movie who would it be?
Paul Thomas Anderson is our best filmmaker, as far as I’m concerned. I would do anything to work FOR him again as an actress. But I would rather die than work alongside him, it is too intimidating. It makes me sick to even think of such a thing. In fact, I realize in writing this that I should probably just quit right now. Pack up and leave town, jump on a train going through Mojave, and get the hell out of Dodge.