Ellen Burstyn's Directorial Debut Finally Here With 'Bathing Flo' & It's About Time
It's been decades overdue, but it looks like we may finally be getting Flowers in the Attic (and Requiem for a Dream — I will never forget that movie) star Ellen Burstyn's directorial debut. Better later than never, though, right? According to Deadline, Ellen Burstyn will direct and star in Bathing Flo , her feature-length directorial debut. Making this even more badass is the fact that Burstyn is 82, and still has a pretty great career in Hollywood (she was just nominated for an Emmy, after all), so she's really doing this simply because she enjoys making films.
Burstyn's been kicking around the idea of directing for quite some time, so this film is a long time coming: In an interview with Deadline, Burstyn commented, "A long time ago in the 70s, when AFI initiated a directing workshop for women, I was in the first one...I made a nice little film and thought I should direct, but I was so busy acting, and every time I'd bring it up, it was something that was always sort of discouraged for women. It's easier now, and when they sent me this Bathing Flo script to act in, I began picturing scenes I just loved. And they loved the way I pictured it, and I just thought, 'Why am I not directing this?'" And that was that.
On the changing scope of Hollywood and women directors (who are still greatly lacking in the industry — seriously, try to name more than ten off the top of your head, then try to name more than ten male directors off the top of your head), Burstyn had this to add: "Back in the 70s, the idea of a woman directing was pretty unheard of...when I brought Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore to John Calley at Warner Bros, he asked me then if I wanted to direct it. I said I didn't feel I was ready to act and direct at the same time. AFI made me more confident, but somehow it never came together and I never got asked again the way that John asked me. And I never found something I really felt I wanted to direct, until now."
As for the project itself, Bathing Flo follows the story of a man who, in a desperate bid to find housing in NYC (a feat I personally have dealt with myself and can confirm is a stressful experience), a man accepts an offer to house sit in exchange for free rent — and then comes to discover that not only is he house sitting, but also babysitting the owner's mother, Flo. Pro-tip: Always take those Craigslist ads with a grain of salt!
Anyway, this sounds awesome, and the fact that Burstyn is directing makes it even moreso. Can't wait!