I know it’s pretty shocking, but one of my favorite films of 2021 thus far is a comedy… albeit a bloody and witty comedy, it’s a comedy nonetheless. Me You Madness (read our review here) took me by surprise, and I had a ton of fun with it. It’s full of blood, great ’80s tunes, and some pretty terrific zingers. Written and directed by newcomer Louise Linton who also stars in the film, the script has both Louise and costar Ed Westwick pulling off some fantastic one-liners while dodging bullets, knives, and fists before realizing that they might just be right for each other. I chatted with Louise and Ed via Zoom the other day, and we discussed how their partnership came about, the best part of filming, and of course, horror movies.
PopHorror: I loved the movie! I thought it was so funny and so much fun. I’m really excited to speak with you both today.
Ed Westwick: Thank you so much!
Louise Linton: Thank you! We’re excited to talk to you!
PopHorror: Of course! So, Louise, you wrote, directed and starred in the film. What inspired the story, and had you always planned to star in it?
Louise Linton: Yeah, I’ve always loved the femme fatale genre. Last night I rewatched Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction. There have been so many brilliant and diabolical characters in the femme fatale genre going back to Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven, which is one of my favorites. Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity… I mean, all of these characters inspired this character, but I wanted to make the play on it, a caricature, a parody, and just satire.
PopHorror: Well, you did a phenomenal job! You’re definitely going in the right direction. And Ed, I’m a huge fan since Gossip Girl days.
Ed Westwick: Thank you!
PopHorror: What was it about Me You Madness that intrigued you and made you want to be a part of it?
Ed Westwick: I hadn’t done anything like this, you know? And I don’t think there are a lot of movies like this anyway. I get to read a lot of scripts, and this one was very unique and very exciting, so my curiosity naturally made me want to take the meeting. I heard that Louise was interested, which is great because so was I. We had an amazing first conversation, and I could tell that she was someone I would get on with and somebody that I could make a movie with. We just had an absolute laugh, and she had this great vision with neon lights and a great ’80s soundtrack, and these characters and story that was beautiful and innocent, even though the stuff that they were doing was absolutely horrific but obviously very exaggerated.
I just thought, “Ok, how do we put this together? I want to be a part of this.” It’s going to be a challenge but growth for me. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think that comes across. I’ve seen the movie now, and I hope everyone feels as happy and good about it as I did when I watched it.
PopHorror: I’m glad that you mentioned the music because I felt like it was its own character. The music selections are just amazing. It looked like it was a lot of fun to shoot. What was your favorite part of filming?
Louise Linton: I would say for me, my favorite part of filming was what you see in the end credits. That was the first thing that we shot together, and it’s just the cutest. I look back on that beautiful sunny day with such warmth. That was the easiest day because we shot it on an iPhone in the garden.
The movie looks like it was very comfortable and fabulous, but we were actually freezing cold during filming, so much so that my Steadicam operator, Manolo [Rojas], told me that my [arm] hair was sticking up so badly, and he suggested that I shave it because it’s catching the light. So there I am shaving my arms. I’ve got these goosebumps. I’m in this little dress and pretending to be so relaxed and so comfortable in this fabulous house. Meanwhile, in between the takes, we’re all like, “Brrrr,” in puffy coats. What was your favorite part?
Ed Westwick: Wearing the fantastic lady’s jewelry. Unfortunately, my fingers were a bit too big to get some of the rings on, but I felt expensive.
Louise Linton: Oh, my God. You looked great in those!
PopHorror: You did!
Louise Linton: You looked amazing! I think that you should wear more jewelry.
Ed Westwick: I never get to dress up in diamonds, so it was very good.
Louise Linton I think you should do it more often. You should be the first guy to really just commit.
Ed Westwick: I need somebody to buy me it.
Louise Linton: Well actually, everything in the movie was fake, so you can wear that stuff.
PopHorror: Yeah, it looked great! Both of your roles looked to be pretty physically demanding. How did you prepare for them?
Ed Westwick: I thought, “Well, I’m just going to let her beat me up, and I’ll just get thrown around.” Sure, if I get a broken neck, who cares right?
Louise Linton And I was like, “Oh my God, I get to beat the crap out of this dreamboat Ed Westwick!” Doesn’t every girl just… I mean, I’m such a fan of Ed’s. I’m even wearing him on my T-shirt.
Ed Westwick: I am on the T-shirt.
Louise Linton: Yeah, I’m wearing him on my T-shirt. I am such a big fan of Ed’s.
Ed Westwick: But she still wanted to put me through my paces physically. And I actually got a bit of a neck ache after all the fight scenes took about seven hours to shoot. Then we’re getting whacked or I’m getting whacked. It was just mad. Super intense.
Louise Linton: We were literally rolling with the punches.
Ed Westwick: Yeah, literally.
Louise Linton: Mostly from me to him.
Ed Westwick: I thought if I did that, I could do anything, so it was a real confidence booster.
Louise Linton: Ed was my dream person for the role,so I felt pretty honored to have him in the movie, and it turns out he has such comic chops. He is hilarious. He’s a brilliant comedic actor.
PopHorror: I have to say that it was quite a departure from some of your other work, and I like seeing that. I like seeing actors move out of what they’re usually known for and doing something completely different.
Louise Linton: Tiffany, what did you think of his dance sequence in that red robe?
PopHorror: I thought it was awesome!
Louise Linton: I think we’re going to see a lot of people hitting rewind on that one.
Ed Westwick: When the theaters open again, I’ll be playing… what’s his name? Flynn in Chicago or something on Broadway.
Louise Linton I think he gives Tom Cruise’s dance-off in Risky Business a run for its money.
PopHorror: It was very carefree.
Ed Westwick: That’s a polite way of saying I had no clue what I was doing.
PopHorror; No, it was really good! I liked the way you both played into the music.
Louise Linton: I wrote all of the songs into the screenplay. I write while I’m listening to music, and I wanted those songs in the film so badly that I actually wrote them into the screenplay.
PopHorror: I know that Covid has stalled a lot of things and projects have been canceled, but what is up next for you two?
Louise Linton The sequel!
Ed Westwick: The sequel. We have about eight minutes of fight footage that we can use, definitely.
Louise Linton: So, during the fight sequence, I beat the crap out of Ed for… what did you say? About seven hours? I ended up cutting half the fight sequence out, so I’m thinking about releasing that as a short film. Louise Linton kicks the crap out of Ed Westwick.
(Insert back and forth conversation over the correct pronunciation of the “gif.”)
Ed Westwick: To answer your question, which we absolutely did not answer your question, not one bit. Covid delayed a few things. I’ve got a show called Glow and Darkness that I’m going to be doing, and hopefully something else. But we’ll see, we’ll see.
PopHorror: One last question for you both. What is your favorite scary movie?
Louise Linton: It!
Ed Westwick You don’t know what that film did to me as a kid. You have no idea.
PopHorror: What it did to all of us as children.
Ed Westwick: It destroyed me as a kid.
Louise Linton: I watched Night of the Living Dead when I was 12, and to this day, I still check under the bed for zombies.
Ed Westwick: My mother let me watch that when I was a kid so… She should have taken it away.
Louise Linton: I also finally, even though I’m a film buff and I love movies, I finally watched The Shining because I was so afraid to watch it. I have to confess. I did mute the sound towards the end because I was just so scared. But anyway…
Ed Westwick: I just watched one called Hereditary, I think it’s called? And that was scary.
Louise Linton: That is scary.
Thank you so much, Louise and Ed, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch Me You Madness, available on VOD now. It will also be Available on Digital Download platforms in the UK and Ireland beginning April 19.