“I’m living my life now and I’m not telling myself ‘no,’ I’m just going do what I want to do and wait until other people tell me ‘no.’”
Academy award-winning actor Brie Larson was at Toronto Film Festival this week for the premiere of her feature-length directorial debut, Unicorn Store.
The movie follows Kit (Larson), a whimsical and idealistic young woman struggling to find her way after flunking out of art school. After taking a job as a temp at an ad agency, Kit begins receiving anonymous invitations that lead her on a magical journey, which may end in Kit receiving her heart's lifelong desire: a real live unicorn.
Courtesy of TIFF
The film opens with real childhood home videos of Larson spinning around in dresses, painting, and blowing out birthday cake candles. It was around this time when she realized she wanted to become an actor, that Larson recognized she also had a desire to work behind the camera. “It was always a very pure thing that I loved to do,” Larson told BuzzFeed News.
This year, one-third (33.6%) of TIFF’s feature-length movie slate is directed by women. The festival also launched Share Her Journey, a five-year campaign aimed at developing new female voices in filmmaking. But Larson was less focused on her experience specifically as a female filmmaker, and more on just getting the movie made.
“You don't have that definitive moment where you’re like, I'm gonna direct this! You’re like, I hope I can make this. It’s not as assured as it seems like it should be,” she said. Larson first auditioned for the role five years ago, but didn't book it. When the script resurfaced two years ago, she and screenwriter Samantha McIntyre spent a year re-writing it together.
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“I think that women have been, and minorities have been, proving that they’re capable and have been showing up for a really long time. And it’s not about us proving it, it’s about being accepted into the club,” she continued.
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