Writing a Female Sociopath: A Conversation with Award Winning Writer/ Director Martin Stitt for the release of Love/Me/Do | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Writing a Female Sociopath: A Conversation with Award Winning Writer/ Director Martin Stitt for the release of Love/Me/Do

14 November 2016

An intimate tale of love and revenge, LOVE/ME/DO is the first feature of award-winning writer/director Martin Stitt whose shorts have screened in Venice and Sundance as well as being nominated for a British Independent Film Award.

Screen International Star of Tomorrow Jack Gordon (Northern Soul, Ronnie Biggs in The Great Train Robbery, A Royal Night Out) stars alongside Rebecca Calder (Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, Ron Howard’s forthcoming Clan of the Cave Bear for Fox).

The film premiered at Raindance Film Festival in London, where it was nominated for Best UK Feature. The film went on to play internationally on the festival circuit where it picked up 20 nominations and eight awards including Best International Feature Film at Idyllwild in California, Best Director and Best Feature at Unrestricted View Film Festival in London and Best Actress at the European Independent Film Festival in Paris and Best Actress at the Cardiff Independent Film Festival.

The Fan Carpet’s Camila Sayers spoke to Writer/ Director Martin Stitt about Love/Me/Do, he tells Camila about the inception of the film, the casting process and what it meant to him...


Well, first and foremost I’ve watched your film and it was absolutely gripping. There’s the subject matter obviously of love within this film, what inspired you to write a film based on love, but obviously from such a different perspective?

Good question, I guess a number of things. I really wanted to write a sort of female driven film and I was sort of very aware that a lot of female roles can be very thin, so I realised very quickly on that if I was going to have a female lead character she’s got to be really well rounded and as I sort of explored the material I realised that she had to be both the heroine and the villain and I thought that would be a really interesting conundrum to play, sort of almost a Hitchcockian way, that you actually start to love these people, and then you start to realise what their up to.

And I think that was partly one of the things, the other bit was, I’ve had quite a few different careers over the time and I’ve always been intrigued to know, how and why people survive in careers, especially in a very capitalistic world and the sort of, become much more aware of the dark character traits needed to get to the top you know, a corporate sociopath does very well the investment banking world, the legal world, a strong narcissistic streak is required in the arts these days and obviously the other one is the Machiavellian in the political world.

I kind of got really intrigued by why these people survived and sort of started to understand more about these dark role models and I sort of went, if I can put these into a female character, you hear less about female sociopaths but they are around, I thought it would be a really interesting role to play, because a lot of these sociopaths are lovely to be with when they want something out of you but they are also driven by hidden agenda and a lack of empathy.

So, I sort of put those together and suddenly went “oh a female character in this” I thought it was rich ground to play with and how do you get audiences to like a character, I think love has to be at the centre of it, it’s amazing what we give up and what we do to someone and how honest they are, this couple have real attributes you can admire, because through their love and understanding of each other and be really honest, but at the same time their driven by a very dark motivations which come from their sort of darker individual character traits.


Yeah absolutely. A follow on question from that was actually that that these characters are obviously very complex and throughout the film you explore that slowly, and the audience gets to know them more. What do you think makes them such an explosive pairing, because they are very different archetypal characters like you where saying. But what is it that when their brought together, all these dire consequences, passion erupts?

I think they exhibit certain traits which we find very admirable without realising it, their actually remarkably honest to each other. For example, when Max is first asked, “what does he do when he’s alone?” He at first tries to sort of bluff the question and then comes up with a very honest answer, “I do what you do, I look around, I have a snoop.” Then she sort of questions about it, and it is the way he’s very honest, takes the telling off and at the end “we’re now a couple”. I agree with that so when she does the same, her version is through the webcam, she’s very honest to him and you think there’s no way of coming back, and she says how badly she’s been burnt in former relationship, he kind of understands her insecurities in trying to be safe, we all want to be safe, we all want to understand the person, we do and then they accept each other and acceptance is a really powerful character trait, to accept someone who has sort of harmed you or wronged you but you understand it and you can get over it, it can make a couple incredibly strong as friends or in a relationship as in this, and I hope that audiences kind of understand that and go without saying “would you do the same?”, “have you done the same with other people”, and we do bear grudges, we can be quite petty about things and fall out.

So when we see people not doing that it makes them richer and more believable. Funnily enough when you say about complexity, quite a few people in the industry having a look at the script prior to it being made, and I had people saying “these are horrible characters” and I’m like, “you can’t make this film”, this is people in the industry saying “you can’t make this film, these aren’t likeable characters, you’ll never get people to like them”, and I just thought there was a sort of lack of understanding of human nature because written very clearly in the script is this act of forgiveness, even though your tainted by what they finally do, the process of how they get there is, sure by the very end it’s morally ambiguous, it’s morally wrong what they do, let’s be judgemental, but you have to ask the question “how can people do really bad things?” but understand the motivations to get there, and actually they can show some very human characteristics to get those dark places.

But it’s really interesting when I’ve had people not from the industry read it or sort of look at an early cut and go “I so want them to get away with it” and I’m like “seriously” and their like “yeah” and I say “but do you know what they’ve done?”, and they would be “yeah I had a slight problem with the final thing they do”, so it is that slight complexity in nature, we’re not black and white, you know good and evil, it’s not so clear cut, and I think that’s the thing I found fascinating about it, and was something I certainly gave a great deal of thought, because I didn’t want to write two fairly horrible characters which you don’t want to spend time with and are not intrigued with and get to the end because that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the story.







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