The Director's Chair Interviews

Allison Anders Interview
Grand Royal magazine

Click here for Allison Anders films, books, and soundtracks

What is Four Rooms about?

It's four friends telling four stories in one movie, but it's different from other anthology films because it has a connecting character who develops throughout the film. That's Ted the Bellboy, played by Tim Roth. It's New Year's Eve: he goes into these four rooms, and each room is directed by a different person: me, Alexander Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, or Quentin Tarantino. And terrible things happen to him. Actually he makes out best in my room because he gets laid by Ione Skye!

How was working with Ione again?

Totally great! I've always loved her work, but now it's really accomplished.

She's grown as an actress?

Very much so. She really had to play comedy and she had all the sweetness that the character needed. She plays a virginal witch who wants to be a midwife and is part of this coven because she wants to attend births.

Your story is about a bunch of witches who meet in the Hotel?

Yep, to resurrect a Goddess. Each witch needs to bring a life fluid. One brings mother's milk, one brings virgin's blood, etc.

What's Ione's fluid?

She supposed to bring sperm, but she swallowed it! So she has to get it from the bellboy and only has one hour to accomplish the task.

I dunno if we should go into it. Who plays the other witches?

Lilli Taylor plays a hippie witch, Valeria Golino plays the head witch, Sammi Davis plays Jezebal, a southern witch, Amanda DeCadenet plays the Goddess they are trying to resurrect, Madonna plays a lesbian witch bitch and Alicia Witt plays Madonna's girlfriend.

What's up with the Darby Crash movie?

Not much, but it's a good time now. I might pursue it more actively. Actually I thought of Darby on Four Rooms at one point when the make-up artist tried to give the witches elemental symbols on their bodies. We were trying some make-up out, and I went, "These scars look like Germs Burns." And it turns out my make-up artist had....

Stop it! She had Germs Burn?

Yeah! I go, "Come on, that's really a Germs Burn?" She goes, "Yeah."

Who did her Germs Burn?

Darby!

So what's up with Paul Is Dead?

It kinda died. If Four Rooms does well, maybe I can do that one. I'll definitely do it somehow.

What do you think that Hugh Grant on the Cover of GQ?

That's were he belongs [laughs sarcastically].

Talk about guilty Pleasures.

My guilty pleasure is karaoke.

You sing?

I do indeed. The embarrassing thing is that somebody always sings "The Greatest Love Of All". When my kids were small and I was constantly going to school musicals, they were always singing that song and I would always cry. Now I prime myself cos I know I am going to cry like and an idiot.

At the karaoke joint?

Yeah, so karaoke is my big guilty pleasure. It's saving my life at the moment. The other guilty pleasure for me and my daughter is that song by Sheryl Crow.

Aaaaarh!

What's yours?

KROQ

Ha ha ha, that's excellent!

Name a movie you wouldn't want the other directors on this project to know you enjoyed?

Remains of the Days. I wouldn't want them to know that I actually liked a Merchant Ivory film. They must not know or I will be excommunicated.

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