MIDLIFE DRIVE-THRU AN INTERVIEW WITH IRIS MAY

An ageing party girl, a religious loner and a divorced hottie join forces, battling time and tinder as they continue their endless search for true love. ‘Midlife Drive-Thru’ takes a midlife crisis and combines it with wit, desire and friendship to create an amusing clever tv show that put women in control. 

Cult Critic –  What motivated you to create this show? And what other tv shows did you look at for reference?

One day in my 40s, I woke up and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. Where did my old self go? Seems it had just left the party – with passion & adventure! I had no choice but to search it. I told my writing partner Leia Vogelle how I felt, and she understood me very well, as she was in the middle of a divorce. I guess we both had a Midlife Crisis.We watched several shows that time, but none of them addressed our situation or feelings. One of the shows we really liked was “Grace and Frankie” – but we were also a little bit inspired by “Two Broke Girls” and “Sex and the City”.

Cult Critic – What is the message you’re hoping your readers will get from the pilot?

 The most important is: While you can’t stay forever young, you can have forever fun!The Midlife Crisis is like a Drive-through. It’s not a place where you stay forever. As soon as you take action and address your unfulfilled dreams, it belongs to the past.

Cult Critic – The script deals with woman empowerment. What made you choose this specific background and characters to address it?

Women empowerment is so important for us because it seems like women over 40 are getting invisible. The world is full of advertisements with models in their 20ies, full of TV series for younger women. But hey, we’re still there! We’re the same women, only with some wrinkles.There’s so much more to a woman than her youth or her fuckability.

Cult Critic –   Speaking of women empowerment, what would you like to see change in the film industry and where do you believe we’re headed?

We’d like to see more interesting female characters over 40 in film and TV. Women that have a purpose, a job and an exciting love life. There’s a 2016 analysis that found that after age 40, male actors get 80 percent of the leading roles. I’m glad there are women like Geena Davies who fight against ageism and the lack of great roles for women.I think serious progress has been made when it comes to equality on-screen. And there’s more to come.

Cult Critic –   Are Gemma, Steffi and Winona’s characters based on real life people? Who inspired their stories?

The official answer is: Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. But if you keep it to yourself, I can tell you. Yes, of course! We know this party girl, we know this invisible housewife and also the reclusive nurse. But I shouldn’t tell you who is who.

Cult Critic –   What can we expect for the rest of the season?

Oh! The joint Diner of the three women will be a great success – of course with a lot of challenges and conflicts. And there will be a big, fat Indian wedding with Winona and Bilal. Bruce and his lover will interfere a lot in Steffi’s new life. And there’s also a surprising development with fitness trainer David.

Cult Critic –   If you could cast any actress, who would you choose and why?

The glamorous part of Gemma would be in great hands with comedian Deborah Frances-White. I think Heather Graham could perfectly embody the sensitive Steffi and Sally Hawkins would be strong asshy and clumsy Winona.

Cult Critic –   Can you tell us about your writing process alone and as a duo, and what advice can you give young writers?

We had to learn the hard way, that just writing down our funny ideas is not enough. It’s much more efficient, if we discuss the story structure, the character lines, the hook, the midpoint and the payoff first. Then we roughly create the story beats. And last but not least one of us writes the even, the other one the odd scenes. Afterwards we put them together and hope that the script doesn’t look like Frankenstein. It works surprisingly well.

Cult Critic –    What other filmmakers inspire you and which films do you recommend?

Iris admires the directors Frank Capra, Lulu Wang and Tom Tykwer and the writing duo Eileen Heisler and DeAnnHeline (“The Middle”). Leia likes them too, and admires the writing duo Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Some of the Films that we recommend watching: “The Etruscan Smile”, “Dan in Real Life”, “Posthumous” and “The Farewell”.

Cult Critic –    What are you working on now?

 We’re working on a RomCom involving Alpacas. But we have a notebook where we note down all our ideas. The next projects will be a comedy TV series and a Drama Feature. It is too early to talk about it.

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