Kita Updike is a fairly newcomer with two films under her belt including The Misandrists. Her acting so far shows a natural talent to connect with people and no fear of subject or scenes that may make other uncomfortable.
What made you want to take the part of Isolde in The Misandrists?
I decided to take the role of Isolde for a few reasons. It was at a time when I was getting back into acting, as I had a departure from doing it as a child. I had always been a part of the theater, and I had dreamed this continuing on in adulthood as a profession. Although I had never considered myself a very well trained actor, as I mostly took part in musical theater, I figured why not give auditioning for this film a shot. When I was eventually offered the role, I knew I would have to face the other reality that I could no longer be completely “stealth”, and that my trans history would be an open book. After mulling it over and speaking with a few people who are close to me I decided that taking this step would possibly help me grow as a person in the long run.
How did you prepare for the part?
Much of Isolde was already within me as I had the personal experience of being a transgirl finding her place amongst fellow women. I also spoke with Bruce about what he envisioned the part being, and went through all of my scenes one on one before shooting.
Is socially involved cinema important to you? In how you select your parts?
I feel that cinema charged by social issues is very important. I think we often forget that outside of our own little bubbles there are people billions of other people who also have their own bubble. Remembering this you can see how easy it is people may not be exposed to something that might be commonplace to me like a person of color in a position of power. Film, like theater, and other artistic mediums are a great way to reach these people, and get them to start contemplating something new or different.
The social aspect of a part that I am auditioning for can come into decision making periodically. There are times when I have read scripts send to me by my representation and I just think, “Ew!”. In my experience this has occurred mostly when asked to audition for a trans character, and it has been written by someone who is not trans themselves or failed to consult someone of trans experience when creating the script. Often, I also go in to audition for characters that are cis women, and those parts can occasionally be poorly realized if it was not written by a woman. The same thing happens with race in scripts as well. Keep in mind though, we all can make missteps even when writing characters of our similar experience.
Without giving too much away, what were the most interesting, challenging, and fun parts of the shoot?
The most interesting/fun part of shooting this film was hands down all the women and the communal feeling we had on and off set. I personally had a lot of growth with them as I had never been so emotional (and physically) naked with in a group of women like that before. The most challenging aspects were most definitely the shooting were the nude/sex scenes. As well as the chilling temperatures of the german countryside!
What do you take away from this film? What do you hope others take away from this film?
I personally think the film is funny, and rude in the best possible way. It is a great heightened sense of satire that I think we need dearly in this country. There has been a lot of serious action going on with feminism, but it is nice to take a moment and poke fun at ourselves, while also poking fun at others. If nothing else they should take these things away.
As you are newer to this craft, what made you want to act?
I am new to film, as I had not lived in a large city growing up, but I am not new to acting. While growing up I had taken part in various stage productions! When the opportunity came to do a film, I figured why not! I would say I originally fell in love with acting on the stage because I naturally love performing for people, and playing make believe! 🙂
You can find me on instagram: @chippewajane
Thank you Kita, we look forward to seeing you on screen again in the future.