Fair Play Director Chloe Domont on Making ‘Post-#MeToo’ Thriller Personal: ‘I Write My Fears’ (Exclusive)

Fair Play, Chloe Domont, Writer and Director.
(Left) Chloe Domont (Proper) Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in “Truthful Play”.Picture:

Sheryl Nields / Netflix; Sergej Radovic / Courtesy of Netflix

Chloe Domont is opening up concerning the all too actual — but “bats— loopy” — inspirations behind her new movie. 

Truthful Play stars Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton) and Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story) as a passionate couple who try and maintain their private relationship separate from their work at a cutthroat hedge fund agency.

A promotion that doesn’t go the best way they count on upends their romance, revealing a poisonous masculinity that audiences are positive to acknowledge, particularly amid the continued reckoning of the #MeToo motion

Though it’s a piece of fiction, Domont, 36, tells PEOPLE the movie was “15 years within the making” because of the real-life gender dynamics that knowledgeable it.

“This elephant within the room that nobody may ever discuss,” the writer-director says, is that “a person’s success is a win for the connection. When it is the opposite approach round, why is it a risk?” 

Domont, who has additionally directed episodes of Billions and Ballers, opens up her debut function movie and the way its story supplied a painful however cathartic reflection of her experiences — each in private relationships and a post-#MeToo Hollywood.

The actual kernel got here from this sense I used to be having at a sure interval of my life when my profession began to take off. It was all of a sudden this sense that I used to be having that my success did not really feel like a complete win. It felt like a loss on some degree. And it was due to the sorts of relationships I used to be in with males who adored me for my ambition, adored me for my expertise, my drive, all my strengths. However on the identical time, there was nonetheless this sense that me being large on some degree made them really feel small. 

It was by no means something that was spoken about. It was simply felt. And the best way that I normalized that dynamic, the best way that I began to undermine my pleasure once I acquired sure jobs — this went on for years in several relationships and totally different shades of it.

It acquired to some extent that turned untenable for me, realizing how a lot maintain these ingrained energy dynamics nonetheless have over us, even in progressive cities and even with progressive males. So it is one thing that I wished to placed on display and simply go bats— loopy with it.

The lads that I used to be with, they’d by no means wish to admit that they had been threatened by a girl. As a result of what would it not say about them? And I’d by no means wish to admit that to my pals that I used to be with somebody who was threatened by me on some degree. As a result of what would that say about me? 

No, no, by no means. Yeah… I would not know the best way to make one thing or write one thing that I did not really feel on a deep degree. I write my fears. I write what terrifies me. 

That is at all times been an outlet for me. The cathartic a part of it’s that you simply take some extremely private, however you set it in a distinct world with totally different characters. It is the mix of the non-public aspect and placing it towards new territory that makes it a bit bit extra cathartic due to that separation.

Fair Play, behind the scenes
Chloe Domont directing “Truthful Play”.

Slobodan Pikula / Courtesy of Netflix

They’re the guts and soul of the movie. It is humorous, somebody stated to me a number of months in the past, “It should be arduous as a director when you’ve the very best model in your head after which you do not get that model.” And I am like, “Man, what are you speaking about?” If you happen to solid proper and you’ve got the precise folks round you, the precise collaborators, it takes the very best model you’ve and it turns into one thing you by no means even considered due to what different folks carry to it.

The extent of humanity that these two actors delivered to it, the duality of feelings — I simply really feel like that’s what makes us human. It isn’t after we really feel one factor. It’s that we really feel opposing issues which are fully contradicting to one another. This concept of wanting to like somebody and harm them on the identical time. This concept of desirous to assist somebody, but in addition desirous to prime them and the opposing emotions of jealousy and love.

Issues that they introduced that shocked me in moments had been simply the ache — the ache and the interior battle that Alden delivered to this function, to Luke. He is somebody that’s deeply battling what he is feeling. He isn’t blissful about it. He is battling it, however he does not know the best way to take care of it as a result of he does not know the best way to discuss it as a result of he cannot even confront it. And that is why it turns into a poison that comes out in actually ugly methods.

I imply, I feel being a girl in any trade, you face this. That is why so many ladies have come as much as me on the finish of the movie and stated, “I’ve by no means felt so seen earlier than,” due to what they face, these sorts of challenges within the office, but in addition behind bed room doorways. And there is a cause that I wished to discover that sort of toxicity within the office on the identical time when she’s experiencing that sort of toxicity at residence. As a result of these issues are fairly parallel, particularly if you’re a girl who desires your piece of the pie. 

I actually consider it may have. The rationale why I selected excessive finance is I may relate to the life-or-death stakes that you simply really feel in a piece surroundings. That feeling in finance is similar to the excessive stakes that you simply really feel in movie and TV. There’s some huge cash on the desk and when you do not make your day that prices a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars}.

That feeling and that adrenaline rush, I feel, is sort of truly just like finance. So I felt like I may emotionally faucet into what it is wish to be in that surroundings despite the fact that I had by no means labored in finance.

Fair Play
Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in “Truthful Play”.

Sergej Radovic / Netflix

It is a movie for the post-#MeToo period. Are we asking the identical questions that possibly we had been asking some time in the past? In some methods, sure. And I feel that is an issue.

In some methods, as a result of we’re in a post-#MeToo period, it is more durable to speak about this stuff as a result of nobody desires to confess that that is actually nonetheless occurring. How can we work by means of a few of these questions if a few of us cannot admit that we’re nonetheless coping with a few of these ingrained gender dynamics? I really feel like we’re caught as a result of we do not know the best way to discuss it, as a result of we’re afraid to carry these sorts of issues up.

Truthful Play is streaming now on Netflix.

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