18 Questions with Micaela Wittman
Quintuple threat Micaela Wittman isn’t one to be held back. Her new film Remy & Arletta, based on the novel of the same name that she penned herself, was just released to critical acclaim. For someone who starred, co-wrote, and produced the film itself, Wittman seems to have a magic touch. The LGBTQ+ drama Remy & Arletta is a deft exploration of friendship as Remy latches onto her best friend as a means to cope while she struggles to deal with her alcoholic and abusive mother. It’s a grounding and powerful performance that not only showcases Wittman’s ability to present characters that are multidimensional but write them just the same as well.
1883 Magazine asks Wittman 18 questions to get to know her a little better and find out everything from her dream dinner guestlist to what makes Remy & Arletta so special.
What’s one exciting thing that happened to you this week
I went to Paris Fashion week!
What was the last thing you read?
My friend wrote a cool book called Search History. It’s a series of poems made out of her private Google searches over the last few years. It’s not out yet but it’s so cool.
Favourite memory growing up?
Going to my grandma’s house in Florida.
Where was the last place you travelled to?
Paris! I am still here right now. It was so cool to attend PFW and see the new season of fashion and make some really good friends.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Trying to remember movie quotes for question number 8.
What’s your nighttime ritual?
The shorter the better, and then when I’m ready for bed I watch a comfort show until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. I hate trying to fall asleep with too much energy.
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list?
James Cameron, Tom Cruise, Kate Winslet.
Favourite quote from a film or TV show?
Unironically I quote my own movies the most. Just because I’ve had to watch them 5 thousand times. But if I tell you it won’t make any sense because there’s nothing catchy about them. Just a certain delivery that the actor gives or something like that that makes them stick out in my mind.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I’m much too shy for that. I would probably get nervous and choose the first song I see and not know any lyrics.
Favourite item in your closet?
My CELINE purse that I wear everywhere and black knee-high boots.
What made you want to get into acting?
When I was 9 I walked into the community theater in my hometown, and such an intensely warm and positive feeling swept me up. To this day I haven’t felt anything like it. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember.
Your new project is the coming-of-age LGBTQ+ drama Remy & Arletta, which is actually based on a book you wrote! What was the process like writing the book and translating it to film?
Because the film was so low budget, I focused on the relationships between the characters and the dialogue without leaning on locations or fancy set pieces. Writing the book helped me refine the story and parse through the parts of the story that were important before I had to go spend money on actually filming it.
You were obviously incredibly involved in the creation of the movie, from co-producing to co-writing to starring. Was it difficult to balance all of those hats at times?
I like the thrill of it. Of course, it was difficult but in my opinion, it’s way more difficult to sit around doing nothing and hoping an opportunity will fall into your lap.
When you look back at your time filming, is there a specific scene or moment that really resonates with you?
All of the school scenes in the film were shot in one day over 8 hours because that’s all the time I could afford to rent the location for. It was the very first day of shooting and the only extras we had were other actors in the film because we couldn’t find anyone who wanted to be an extra for free. We had some really important scenes to shoot that day and there were so many opportunities for everything to go wrong, 4 scenes to shoot in 8 hours is almost an impossible task. Of course there were moments where we started to run behind schedule, but at one point it became clear that we were actually “making the day” and it was going to be a real movie, so that was a really special moment for me.
If there were some songs or books that you’d use as accompanying pieces for the film, what would they be?
I listened to the song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper on repeat to write the script. It’s such a beautiful song and it reminds me so much of Remy & Arletta’s friendship. I could tear up just thinking about it.
Knowing what you know about your character’s arc, what advice would you personally give them?
This time in your life is temporary, it will get better.
What do you hope people take away from this film?
It’s hard to think of what I want people to take away from the film because the audience usually brings more love and understanding of my films than sometimes I even have on my own. I guess I hope it will remind people of their own relationships in their life like Remy and Arletta’s or like Remy and her mom, and make them feel understood.
Lastly, what can we expect next?
I don’t know just yet. I have a lot of things I’m working on but I’m not sure what will hit production first. But whatever it is will be something great I’m sure!
Remy & Arletta is out now.
Photography Arthur DeLarroche