Jaime King on Why Her New Film 'Bitch' Is More Than Just a Dark Comedy

Jaime King on Why Her New Film 'Bitch' Is More Than Just a Dark Comedy

V sat down with the actor at Sundance Film Festival, where she revealed that she accepted the role before even reading the script.

V sat down with the actor at Sundance Film Festival, where she revealed that she accepted the role before even reading the script.

Photography: Sharif Hamza

Styling: Ellie Grace Cumming

Styling: Ian David Monroe

“It’s the most powerful film I’ve worked on,” says Jaime King of her latest movie, Bitch. The dark comedy, which debuted at this year’s Sun Dance Film Festival, sees a suburban mom (Marianna Palka) buckle to various societal pressures until she experiences a psychotic break that causes her to believe she’s a dog.

Or, as King puts it, “We made a story about inclusiveness, about working through division, loving one another, and caring—letting go of our patterns and the way we think things should be.” On the one hand, she’s describing the plot, since the mom’s breakdown forces the negligent husband (Jason Ritter) to reconnect with his kids and sister-in-law (King). But it’s easy to also interpret a larger social message in Bitch. The movie’s first screening took place on inauguration night, and the next day millions of women across the United States marched to protect their rights from the calamitous current administration. “To have it come out when it did, and have it premiere on that night, was just so wild and strange and ironic and beautiful and painful,” she says. For her, Bitch is as much about a micro-experience within one family as it is a comment on the collective experience of women fighting patriarchy everywhere. “We were able to put everything that we were experiencing in our own lives and what we’re seeing in the world into these characters and these stories,” she explains.

King, Ritter, and Palka (who also directed the film) are long-term friends, so much so that King accepted the role without having even read the script. “If you really care about your friends, you have to support one another. You have to take that risk.” It paid off, and their collective closeness created a true sense of intimacy on set that translates to the screen. “My character is supposed to have this intense hatred for [Ritter], but in real life I’m looking at someone I really deeply love and care about,” King says. “That kind of history can’t be manufactured.”

JAIME WEARS COAT RODARTE S/S ’17 DRESS (UNDERNEATH) VERONIQUE BRANQUINHO S/S ’17

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