Amanda Powell shines as loving and empathetic Jules Paradise in Rain Beau’s End. This is a very moving story about how love conquers all!
Synopsis: When a prominent, progressive lesbian couple adopts a child mislabelled with a genetic predisposition for violence, they must face the ghosts of their past and contend with their hard-lined stance on acceptance. Will they stand for their values while trying to raise a loving family in the spotlight?
Sean Young, Ed Asner, Janelle Snow, Christian Stolte, Melanie Chandra and Kirk Kelleykahn also star in the Tracy Wren-directed film, written by Jennifer Cooney and produced by Joe Orlandino.
What drew you to this film?
Amanda: I was thrilled by the opportunity to spend almost a month on set with some new folks and a fantastic script. I had already known and admired Joe Orlandino from working on his wife Lucia Mauro’s film One Year Later, which we shot in Milan, and I was very happy to come on board. Once I met everyone else and we got started, it was a true joy!
How would you describe your character, Jules?
Amanda: Jules is a very empathetic person. She recognizes repetition of hurtful experiences from her own life and takes action to prevent other people from enduring the same pain, and she extends herself to care for others in distress outside of her personal experience as well. She practices many routines of self-care, like yoga, healthy eating, and meditation, and maintains strong dedication to her projects, her activities, and her family.
How did you prepare to play her?
Amanda: I thought about what I knew about her – the events of her past and how they have shaped her present, why she behaves in certain ways, why she has certain preferences or not — and I recognized my own feelings from similar circumstances. In places where our experiences don’t match up, I asked myself, what would it feel like for me to be in these particular situations? How would I react, and what kind of lasting patterns would I develop or have to try to break?
How would you describe Jules and Hannah’s relationship, did you and Janelle Snow do anything special to create this relationship?
Amanda: They have a very loving relationship in which they also fail to meet each other’s needs over some sticking points, like many relationships. Janelle and I had a blast getting to know each other! We rode to the set together every day, spent almost all of our time on set together, ate together, and we continue to go to events/virtual events together. We talk frequently, and remain close to this day.
It was an interesting choice to not show Beau on screen, how do you think focusing on the moms without us seeing Beau impacted the story?
Amanda: I think it grounds the viewers’ experience in the narrative of Hannah and Jules. I think so much of the story focuses on how their relationship weathers enormously impactful life events more so than the events themselves, and I think Beau being off-screen allows the viewer to stay immersed in the many dynamic layers of their relationship.
This film touches on a great deal of topics within a family including adoption, healthcare and labels; why do you think it is important to tell these stories?
Amanda: The labeling we see in this story is a way for a group, often the majority, to make fear-based decisions about another group, often a minority, and to believe negative falsehoods about the labeled group to everyone’s detriment. When we see people we can relate to making this kind of mistake, as Hannah and Jules do in the mislabeling of Beau, we can be better equipped not to make similar mistakes in our own lives.
What was it like to explore these topics?
Amanda: As an actor your involvement is really filtered through the lens of the participation of your character in small fragments of the larger story. I can be empathetic to Jules and Hannah and understand their position – they were doing the best they could with the information they had – but since we know more today than characters set in the 90s, a part of you also gets stuck wishing they knew what we know now and were able to use it to help their family stay healthy, as it relates to the mislabeling of Beau and its consequences.
Why was it important to tell this story and explore these topics through the eyes of a lesbian couple?
Amanda: As a lesbian couple in the 90s, Jules and Hannah faced mislabeling of their own. Dangerous falsehoods were believed about them and used to discriminate against them by a homophobic society, and they faced a slightly different version of what Beau would grow up to deal with. Their experiences parallel each other which make them good narrative counterparts, and it’s also so sad and interesting that despite their own experience, they themselves make the mistake of mislabeling as well.
What would you say is the main message of this movie?
Amanda: I think the main message is one of love, how love, nurtured and allowed to thrive, can see people through all manner of difficulties.
What is something you hope the audience can take away from watching this movie?
Amanda: Love wins!!
Rain Beau’s End is now available on VOD.