“How can we make this as enjoyable to watch but also go deep emotionally and have as much fun as possible,” declares Emmy-winning Rachel Lee Goldenberg (“Between Two Ferns”) about one of her top priorities in bringing her new HBO Max movie “Unpregnant” to life. “It was my priority every day to make sure the characters felt real and some of the script work I did was to give it as much of the visual adventure as possible,” she says.
We talked with Goldenberg as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the BTL Experts” Q&A event with key 2021 guild and Emmy contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Goldenberg co-wrote and directed “Unpregnant,” adapted from the novel of the same name by Ted Caplan and Jenni Hendriks. It follows a pregnant teen (Haley Lu Richardson) whose decision to get an abortion leads her on a cross-country three-day road trip to New Mexico with her ex-best friend (Barbie Ferreira), where they discover sometimes the most important choices in life are who your true friends are.
It is the quintessential buddy comedy road-trip film, with a difference, as it poignantly explores what we usually characterize as challenging subject matter, by shedding light on abortion, particularly as it relates to younger women who often don’t know who to turn to.
“I had an abortion years ago and didn’t tell anyone about it. I told my mom, I told a couple of friends, but I mostly kept it to myself and I didn’t question that decision, it just felt like that’s what you do, that’s how you behave, you keep it to yourself,” Goldenberg confides. “I have been on this journey of trying to be as open as I can be because it is actually very common”
“My biggest hope for this film is that it can help normalize and destigmatize abortion and that people of all ages and especially teenagers are watching it and feeling comfortable with the word and the topic and understanding it and knowing that it is not something to be ashamed of,” she says.
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