“I’m such a big fan of yours always,” Carson Meyer says to Judith Light as the two shake hands at the Hilton in Austin, Tex., over the weekend. Despite both appearing in SXSW entry “Ms. White Light,” the two have never met until now, as they make the press rounds in promotion of the film.
The movie tells the story of Lex Cordova (Roberta Colindrez), a counselor to terminally ill patients; Light is Valerie, Lex’s most challenging patient, while Meyer plays Nora, a former client hanging on.
“I read the script before and when it was a male cast,” says Meyer, who is the daughter of CAA cofounder and NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer. “Most of the main characters were male I think because Paul [Shoulberg, the film’s writer and director] is a writer who writes so much about his own experience. I think he saw himself in those characters. And I loved it then, but I remember seeing the new draft and…I work as a birth doula in addition to an actor. As I was working on it, I was able to draw a lot of that because even though birth and death are different in so many ways, I do think Lex’s character is very similar to a birth doula. You’re holding someone’s hand through the same portal, in my opinion. The same life-changing experience.”
“Well, they are just the same hand; it’s just one side of the hand and the other side of the hand,” Light says. “And so that’s that amazingly beautiful process.”
The fact that this now very female-driven story was originally made up of a cast of men strikes Light as a surprise.
“I would never have known that from the way that Paul writes women,” she tells Meyer. “His devotion to the feminine and the female gaze is like he’s been writing about that forever. That would be my experience.”
“It’s so not stereotypical,” Meyer says. “But there’s also a masculine quality about the female characters. They challenge you, they challenge the other.”
“Each woman carries the animus and anima,” Light says. “The integration of the male and female.”
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