ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with actress Kate Hudson and writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour about their sci-fi thriller Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon. The film is out today in theaters and available digitally and via video-on-demand.
“When a struggling single mother (Hudson) befriends a mysterious mental institution escapee with supernatural powers (Jong Seo), she sees a lucrative opportunity to make some quick cash,” reads the film’s synopsis. “But when they attract the attention of a detective (Craig Robinson), their luck starts to run out as the police close in on their crime.”
Tyler Treese: Kate, you give such a great performance in this, and Bonnie is shown as being quite manipulative, but she’s also been hardened by her environment and is dealing with raising a son on her own. There’s a lot of complexity there, but how do you look at your character?
Kate Hudson: I see Bonnie Bell as a survivor. I mean, she’s a survivor through and through. She’s been through the wringer and she takes the opportunities that come to her when they come to her. She’s after the money, and that money is, gets her what she needs, and she just becomes, I think, very present. I think that, to me, that’s who Bonnie really is. Then of course there’s a lot of detail that I went into before just to understand for myself, her backstory and where all her tats came from and how she ended up in New Orleans and all those little nuances. But really, she’s just there to survive. I think Bonnie really likes who she is. I think she feels good that she has survived so far and that she is proud of what she has been able to accomplish, which is unlikely that a person would think that would be the case , why she was a lot of fun to play.
Lily, the film almost has a rave-like quality to it, and the city of New Orleans really feels like a character throughout. How important was it to shoot in Louisiana to really incorporate that particular atmosphere?
Ana Lily Amirpour: Yeah, I mean, it was a different character, and the whole idea of it was born and born from New Orleans – from the swamp. The original… I mean, I haven’t even really talked about the moon in all of this.
Hudson: My God. That’s right, the moon!
Amirpour: Because the idea that this girl with these great powers is generated from the moon and the swamp. Something when I went there… it just clicked for me. It is this primordial… like the deep juices – kind of like a werewolf, but not a hairy one – that comes to life in this girl. She’s like a hairless werewolf. So yeah, New Orleans just ends up being the mold of it all, and that’s it. It’s a bananas, colorful, electric place.