The writers of Legally Blonde join us to spill the inside story on the beloved 2001 comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as perky law student Elle Woods. Kristen “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah talk about adapting Amanda Brown’s novel for the big screen, describing the moment of inspiration for the iconic ‘bend and snap’ move and revealing which cast member was difficult to handle on set… Meanwhile, Empire film critic Helen O’Hara talks about her own legal past and revisits Legally Blonde with host Anna Smith. The pair also discuss other films with female lawyers, from A Time To Kill to On The Basis of Sex.
Caitlin Moran and Coky Giedroyc give exclusive interviews about their new film How To Build A Girl, a coming-of-age tale of rock n roll and reinvention amid the male-dominated music press of the 1990s.
The film is based on the Moran’s girlhood in working-class Wolverhampton. Like her heroine Johanna (played by Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein), Moran began her journalistic career as a rock critic aged just 16. She is now a broadcaster, Times columnist, author and contemporary voice on feminism.
Director Coky Giedroyc – sister of Mel – joins us to celebrate sexuality and sanitary towels in cinema, and tells us about working with the marvellous Beanie Feldstein. Sharing her tips on surviving and thriving as a female director, she has high hopes for the future of women in film and the fighting spirit to achieve them.
Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding, Six Feet Under) and Ruth Madeley (Years and Years) give exclusive interviews about their work in this special uncut version of our latest video show on the BFI YouTube.
Actor Ruth Madeley talks to Anna about Diversity In Ability and her latest film, Verisimilitude, in which she plays a wheelchair user training an able bodied actor for a role as a character with disabilities. She talks about the practice of casting able bodied actors and explains her views about the urgent need for change.
Rachel Griffiths shares the inside track on her directorial debut, Ride Like A Girl, and explains how important it is to cast actors with Downs Syndrome. She also shares hilarious stories about filming Muriel’s Wedding, talks about her intense role in Six Feet Under, and brings her French bulldog in for a chat!
An uplifting summer camp doc and a hard-hitting death row drama are explored in a special episode with Birds’ Eye View.
Our first guest is Chinonye Chukwu, writer director of Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinner Clemency. It follows the story of prison warden Bernadine Williams – played by Alfre Woodard – who is forced to confront the psychological impact of her profession as she prepares to execute yet another inmate, played by Aldis Hodge.
Next we hear from the directors of Crip Camp, a documentary about equal opportunities, activism and teenagers having fun. Co-directed by Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht, it goes back to the 1970s when LeBrecht had the summer of his life at a hippy camp for teens with disabilities – a summer that would inspire lasting change in the disability community.
We are also joined by Mia Bays, the Director At Large of Birds’ Eye View.
This episode is a deep dive into the hit show Little Fires Everywhere. Based on the novel by Celeste Ng, it’s the gripping story of artist Mia (Kerry Washington), who upsets the suburban life of controlling mother Elena (Reese Witherspoon).
US journalist Valerie Complex and British broadcaster Rhianna Dhillon join Anna to explore the show’s themes including privilege, racism, microaggressions, adoption and abortion. Avoiding major spoilers, they share their favourite moments from the series and pay tribute to the late, great director Lynn Shelton. They also bond over their love of classic British sitcoms. Little Fires Everywhere Season 1 is on Amazon Prime Video now.
It’s Pride season!
And we’re bringing you a packed Pride special. Actress and vocal LGBTQ+ advocate Bella Thorne joins Anna to talk pansexuality, love and support in the queer community, and the power of social media to make real social change. She also unpacks her starring role in Bonnie & Clyde-style crime thriller Infamous, as well as quirky college comedy The Duff.
Plus, guest critic and Dr of Film Becca Harrison drops in to review three brilliant queer films you can stream for a Pride celebration on your sofa: bittersweet political Brit-flick Pride, Todd Haynes’ Oscar-nominated lesbian love story Carol, and recent Girls On Film guest Desiree Akhavan’s bisexual comedy drama Appropriate Behaviour.
Young Irish actor Lola Petticrew (A Bump Along The Way) joins Anna to chat about her new comedy Dating Amber, directed by David Freyne. She plays Amber, a lesbian schoolgirl who pretends to date Eddie (Fionn O’Shea – Normal People) so the pair can pose as straight. As Eddie struggles with his sexual identity, he and Amber grow closer. Lola talks frankly about the film, her friendship with her co-star and her own journey to coming out as queer. Carrie Lyell, the editor of DIVA magazine, is our guest reviewer and discusses Dating Amber with Anna. The two critics also revisit the 1999 film But I’m A Cheerleader, a comedy set in a gay conversion camp and starring Natasha Lyonne. They also pay tribute to Girls On Film favourite Booksmart.
Isobel Waller-Bridge talks about living and working with her sister, Phoebe, in the second of our special episodes with Scala Radio. The composer talks about
life in lockdown, Fleabag, Vita and Virginia and composing electronic scores for period film and TV.
She’s joined by Anne Nikitin, who scored the award-winning film American Animals. The two compare notes about their experiences in a male-dominated field, and their conflicting thoughts about being labelled ‘female composers’. They also explore the difference between Hollywood and Britain’s film industry.
Anna’s third guest is an Emmy and Academy Award winning composer who has been scoring blockbuster films for over two decades: Rachel Portman. Rachel describes working with Mike Leigh on Life is Sweet, Lynne Ramsay on Ratcatcher and gives a fascinating insight into her working life, from indie movies to big budget Hollywood. This is a must-listen for anyone interested in music and film.
This episode features extended, uncut interviews from the latest Girls On Film YouTube show with the British Film Institute.
Actor Monica Dolan chats about her leading role in Days of the Bagnold Summer, and about collaborating with writers and directors in films including Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and The Falling.
She explores three of her favourite iconic female roles in cinema, and shares her views on the visibility of female directors.
Actor, writer and director Desiree Akhavan talks about the delicate balance of directing sex scenes in The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Appropriate Behaviour, and shares a message for ‘film nerds’ in isolation.
Writer and director Mark Cousins becomes Girls On Film’s second ever male guest, and reveals the behind the scenes story behind Women Make Film, paying tribute to his iconic narrators including Tilda Swinton and Jane Fonda.
Finally, director Nisha Ganatra (Late Night) talks about her new film The High Note starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson. She shares her upbeat views about the future for female directors and her solution for reaching gender parity.
Host Anna Smith is joined by trailblazing Oscar-winner Anne Dudley and BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Nainita Desai. They talk about their careers as film composers, in the first of two episodes partnered with Scala Radio.
Anne and Nainita discuss the details and challenges of this offscreen role,
and share their stories of breaking into the film scoring industry. Addressing gender imbalance, we look to the positive changes taking place – and how to keep them going.
Anne remembers attending the Academy Awards for The Full Monty, while Nainita talks about scoring the award-winning documentary For Sama.
Adapting to lockdown life along with the rest of us, Nainita talks about her new project connecting musicians with composers to keep the industry in motion throughout the pandemic. We also learn which classic scores inspired our guests to make a career of composing – and that even they are not immune to the power of ABBA.