Dianna Agron is a cheerleader no longer. The 29-year-old actress departs from her Glee roots in the new movie Bare, a stunning drama out on Friday, October 30. In Bare, directed by Natalia Leite, Agron plays Sarah, a girl stuck in her small Nevada hometown, bored with her life...until she falls in love with a mysterious drifter named Pepper (Paz de la Huerta) who shows her a new way to look at the world.
BUST connected with Dianna via email to talk about Bare, her directing dreams and her resume of LGBT characters.
Bare is a new direction for you! Why did you decide to get involved with the film? What appealed to you about the script and the character?
The last two years have been challenging for me, because I have tried to make choices that are vastly different from the choices I have made before. I've tried not to repeat characters, or types of stories. Everything has been quite different and I am proud of that. What drew me to this role and story in particular was the chance to play a girl at a crossroads at a very important time in her life. Sarah is very innocent, and quite naive. She has the emotional capacity of someone much younger than she actually is. She is a person who is letting those around her make choices for her, and isn't taking charge of her own journey. Once she sees that she has other options, new things to discover, everything changes.
What was it like acting with Paz de la Huerta in such an intimate relationship?
It was important to me that there could be a clear difference between the two of us, and our characters. In some ways, I would have wanted to be Pepper. Probably because she is closer to who I really am in some ways. She's headstrong, a nomad, she can brazen at times, full of passion. In order for me to play the submissive, to play Sarah, I needed someone who could give me that kind of energy so that I could fall into that mindset. Luckily, that is what we had together and I was able to play someone very different than who I am as a person.
This is a movie directed by a woman, about two women and with a cast of mostly women, which is very rare for Hollywood! What was it like being in that environment?
It's very rare and yet it does exist! I think no matter what, the focus has to be on quality, compelling characters and stories, but when it aligns in this way, you can't help but be proud. Natalia and Alexandra [Leite, a producer on the film] are such badass women. They get things done, they have clear visions, and they are so talented. I love that they are carving their way in the industry, not simply for the fact that they are women, but because they have the talent to lead the way.
You got your start on Glee, which has been praised for its approach to sexuality - including a plotline with your character; your character falls in love with Paz de la Huerta's in Bare, and you play a lesbian character in the upcoming movie Hollow In The Land. Do you feel a connection to the gay and lesbian community because of these roles?
I feel a connection the the gay and lesbian community for several reasons. I grew up in San Francisco, which is quite liberal. I have many, many friends that are gay and lesbian, and I myself would hate not to tell stories that involve this community. We as actors, are storytellers, which means everyone should be represented. Sadly, this isn't always the case. I think that movies are a huge gateway to understanding and knowledge.
You recently directed a short film for Tory Burch. Do you have plans to continue directing?
I do. This wasn't my first time directing, but it definitely was the biggest budget I've had to play with. I've directed a few videos. One, in my old apartment without a budget at all, and another for a very small one, stealing a bunch of shots downtown Los Angeles. I'm still a fan of guerrilla filmmaking, but having the chance to shoot in Paris, have a proper casting, find our wonderful Margaret and two French boys...it was a dream. I love France, and loved the opportunity to shoot there. I think in the next few years, I would want to do a few more shorts, and there's also a few documentary ideas I have floating around. Right now, the focus is acting first, but I love directing just as much. So in the upcoming years, hopefully I get to wear both hats alternatively.
Images via Facebook/Bare
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