Mayron Shares ‘Snapshots’ Secrets

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Academy Award-nominated star Piper Laurie (“The Hustler,” “Son of Ali Baba”) plays Rose, the matriarch with a buried secret that surfaces with the discovery of a roll of film in “Snapshots,” opening today at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. 

Director Melanie Mayron

Directed by Melanie Mayron, the film is about deeply-held secrets in the lives of Rose and her daughter Patty (Brooke Adams, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”) and granddaughter Allison (Emily Baldoni, “Coherence”). They each reveal something life-altering during what started as a simple weekend visit to Grandma’s. Mayron, well-known for her acting role on “thirtysomething,” has also made a career of directing, helming shows such as “Jane the Virgin,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Grace and Frankie.” She worked with writer-producer Jan Miller Corran for over a year on “Snapshots” before getting the green light to film. Mayron spoke with Goweho.com Editor Laurie Schenden about the process.  

GOWEHO: I was intrigued to see Piper Laurie’s name in the cast, she plays such a vital role, and still has her acting chops.

Melanie Mayron: She totally does, she completely does. Her work was so subtle; some people on set were like, is she doing anything? Then you look at the closeups and there’s like a million things going on. It was such a treat to have her in that role. 

Piper Laurie

Piper Laurie

GOWEHO: Could she relate to the subject matter, having worked in Hollywood when many actors had to hide their sexuality?

Mayron: She didn’t really talk about that, it was pretty much the work and the dialogue, and she wanted to do her own dialogue, the blocking and the behavior; it was all pretty much about the work. But just the fact that she wanted to do this part and was so committed to it was just sensational.

GOWEHO: This story is based on real life, who’s life is it?

Mayron: Jen Corran, who wrote the script, told me her mother was dying … and suddenly her mother said, “Louise is here.” Jan said, who’s Louise? And her mom said, “The love of my life.” What Jan knew was her mom was married to her dad for 50 years, so she didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. It was sort of a big reveal. Apparently, her mom had been with a woman named Louise in the 1930s for just a few years, but I guess it was a relationship that effected her her whole life. 

GOWEHO:  How did you get Piper Laurie for the part of Rose?

Mayron: I wanted somebody who was mid-80s…. I called [Piper] and we talked for a really long time and I talked about how I saw the film and the story as a whole and how I saw her character. I didn’t want to go with an unknown, not for that part; I just thought it was too important. I was thrilled she said yes.

GOWEHO: And you and Brooke Adams have worked together before?

Max Adler, Emily Goss, Shannon Collis, Bret Dier in "Snapshots."

Brett Dier, Emily Goss, Shannon Collis, Max Adler are friends and neighbors in “Snapshots.”

Mayron: Brooke was in my first movie, “The Baby-sitters Club,” she played the mother. We also did “Car Wash” together. Brooke appeared in the last “thirtysomething.” So Brooke’s my lucky charm. Piper says she’d known Brooke’s parents so they had that sort of camaraderie going on. Really unexpected.

GOWEHO: Sounds like the makings of a great set. 

Mayron: It was, we shot over 15 days with one camera. We had our work cut out for us. The energy was really great.

GOWEHO: Considering the attitudes of the day [the flashback scenes are set in the 1950s], all the characters are likable–there’s no villain.

Brooke Adams, Emily Baldoni, Piper Laurie

Brooke Adams, Emily Baldoni, Piper Laurie

Mayron: Yeah, nobody was a villain. You could see why [the women] were married to [these men], you could see why they hung in there with their wives. I wanted the men to be really strong actors; Brett Dier [“Jane the Virgin,” “Pretty Little Liars”] is Zee, and Joe is played by Max Adler, he was most known for “Glee,” he played the homophobic, homosexual football player.

GOWEHO: It’s a complex story with flashbacks of Rose and Louise, what was your biggest challenge?

MayronI think the biggest challenge of the movie was, it was almost like two stories in one, weaving them together so it would be seamless going back and forth…. We’re telling a story about the past but there also has to be something going on in the present in order for it to have it all tie in. Otherwise, we could’ve just made the movie in the past, like they did with “Carol,” and it could’ve been called “Louise,” [laughs] and that wasn’t what the script was.

“Snapshots,” opens today, July 27, 2018, at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, followed by a global VOD/Digital release Aug. 14.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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