Q&A with Madelaine Hoptry

Added on by Chris WHITE.

Madelaine Hoptry…"Brooklyn" in TAKEN IN…how did you and I first meet?

MADELAINE HOPTRY: Oh gosh. People have asked me that question so many times recently that I’m tempted to start making things up. "Chris rescued me from a pack of wild & hungry desert bears, Chris saved me from a sinking pirate ship, Chris directed my high school drama at CCES… back when I was 17."

Maddi rehearsing for TAKEN IN. \ March 2011

Maddi rehearsing for TAKEN IN. \ March 2011

What did you think after our first meeting with Tim Brosnan at Starbucks?

MH: Honestly, I was so excited about the prospect of the film actually coming together that I tried not to think about it too much because when I do, these things usually don’t happen. BUT I knew right away (I guess it was his immaculate diction that gave it away) that Tim was going to be awesome to work with and I wasn’t really ready for our meeting to be over when it was. That was the whole film really. Just wasn’t ready for it to be over.

What’s the best part of making a movie at South of the Border?

MH: That is such a hard question. Probably the people that I got to work with. It was so hard to go back to normal everyday life after spending a week doing what I love most all day every day surrounded by awesome people who I came to really care about.
You are probably the best director I’ve ever had and working with you was truly a life-changing experience and I’m oh so thankful for it.

  • Tim – well, by the end of the shoot, I’d come to look at Tim as if he really were my father.
  • Jennifer Whitley Baxley was the best roommate/AD/Mamma that anyone could ask for. Ever.
  • Adam [Robitaille, Still Photographer] taught me so much about photography & supplied plenty of laughs.
  • [Brian] Fellers [sound] was so great to work with & such an amazingly sweet guy & I loved watching him & Dan interact with each other basically like brothers.
  • And even though I still see Dan [McCord, cinematographer] at least once every two weeks, I find myself missing his penis jokes on a regular basis.

Yeah, it was definitely the people. It was like I got a whole new family out of this mess. But making out with Ronnie Gunter ["Dillon"] was pretty awesome too.

Maddi and Tim, just after wrap. \ March 2011

Maddi and Tim, just after wrap. \ March 2011

What was the funniest thing that happened during the shoot?

MH: That’s a tie… When we were at the Reptile Lagoon and Daniel got a little too close to the croc. That thing lunged at him and we were all scared shitless and jumped back and you let out this little girl scream...almost peed my pants. Or one of the last nights we were there, I think that it was me, Jen, Traysie Amick & Emily [Reach White, Co-Writer], but we all had an absolute blast hanging out in the bathroom & demonstrating how the bidet was to be used…

What was the sweetest/sappiest thing that happened?

MH: Scene 12 ("The Explosion") was THE most difficult thing I’ve ever had to act through in my entire life. It just hit really close to home & brought up a lot of bad memories so the night that we shot it, I basically cried for 90 minutes. You noticed this and apparently sent Jen a text saying that I was going to need some serious Mamma-ing after we wrapped so literally, not even five minutes after we were done, Jen was there with shots of Jameson’s, some Dum Dums & Little Debbies, and a big Mamma hug, ready to take me to see the slightly-used pad left lying near the Pleasure Dome. And that’s only one example of how Jen took care of me during the shoot.

Maddi between takes. \ March 2011

Maddi between takes. \ March 2011

Talk about Brooklyn's wardrobe that you selected/designed. What ideas were you trying to get across with her clothes?

MH: People always compliment me on how I’m dressed so I really didn’t think that it’d be that hard to design someone else’s wardrobe. You told me what you wanted, I knew what I wanted, and then I went shopping at Goodwill. But two nights before we left, I still only had two or three of the five or six outfits picked out. You just said, “Bring whatever you have.” So I literally brought my entire closet with me to South of the Border. It all worked out though. (Wearing those shorts in 40 degree weather was NOT fun though.) Really I just wanted Brooklyn to look different than everyone else, to have her own sense of style, but to not stick out too much. I really just wanted everybody to see that this girl, even though she’s forced to dress conservatively along pretty strict guidelines, still manages to express a unique sense of style fondly referred to as “cracked out hobowear” by her father. There’s the rebellious teenager on the outside, but you’re still able to see the little girl on the inside.

What do we do next?!

MH: This film really did it to me. You know after you’re done with a show in theatre and there’s always that short period of time where you miss doing it, but you’re so so so happy to have time again? Yeah, this was completely different. After we wrapped, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I just wanted to keep working on it. Or any movie. So now I have the bug & the only thing I want to do, is work on films. I don’t really care if it’s as a writer, director, producer, actress, photographer, designer, grip – I am literally so in love with cinema as a whole that I just want to work now. I want to be involved in every step of the process and learn as much as I can about all of it so that one day, I can go and make my own movies and make them well. Lately I’ve been working on a film with a few other students from USC Upstate called SICK AS I AM which should be done in June...and I just started writing a really gritty adaptation of Nabokov’s "Lolita" that is giving me creepy dreams about James Mason and 12 year-old girls.

Buy TAKEN IN on DVD.