“With every character I write I try to put myself in their shoes,” says writer/director Mora Stephens of the troubled protagonist in her new thriller, Zipper, the story of a rising political star who becomes obsessed with call girls.
Zipper, staring Patrick Wilson, has been a festival favorite for its unique point-of-view of a protagonist who is usually the bad guy.
“It grew out of an interest in political sex scandals but wanting to look at it from the point-of-view of empathy and curiosity and wondering where it might have all began,” she says. Stephens co-wrote the script with her husband, producer Joel Viertel (The Adjustment Bureau, Strickly Sexual).
Being a child of two artists and a father who is a recovering alcoholic, Stephens says she’s always had a fascination with addiction and the brain, especially in the early stages of its development.
ScreenwritingU sat down with Stephens to talk about her inspiration, her father’s struggle with alcoholism and writing the script with her husband.
Zipper releases in theaters August 28 and co-stars Lena Headey.
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Photo credit: ThirtyThree Pictures Photo by: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle