By Gene Triplett
OKLAHOMA CITY– Actress turned writer-director Famke Janssen said she chose Oklahoma as the setting for her film “Bringing Up Bobby” because it provided the perfect background for her “Bonnie and Clyde-esque” story.
“I’d seen the Round Barn and I’d seen Pops and I’d seen all these places where I thought it would make it really interesting,” she said, ” … and there’s something about Oklahoma, where you still have a train coming right through town.”
She spoke to journalists Saturday night during a gala wrap party at a Nichols Hills residence, in a neighborhood where some of the filming took place. It was the first time she had agreed to be interviewed since filming on the $1.5 million production began on July 19 on locations in and around Oklahoma City, Edmond, Arcadia and Guthrie.
Filming was completed Friday.
“I was introduced to Oklahoma through my boyfriend Cole Frates and, being a foreigner, even though I’ve lived in the United States for about 20 years in New York, I thought it was a unique and different place, very American in a way that I think New York is sort of its own little country.
“I was fascinated by it, it intrigued me and Cole and I just sort of started developing this idea … which became ‘Bringing Up Bobby.’ And Oklahoma just seemed the right setting.
“I kind of felt like my space ship had landed because it was so different from what I have experienced growing up in Holland and living in New York. It really just inspired me.”
Janssen said another enticement for filming in the Sooner state was its Film Enhancement Rebate Program, which offers a 35 percent return on film production expenditures made within the state.
The film stars Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil”), Marcia Cross (“Desperate Housewives”), Bill Pullman (“Sleepless in Seattle”), Rory Cochrane (“Dazed and Confused”) and newcomer Spencer List as Bobby.
The film marks the directorial debut of Janssen, who is best known for her starring roles in films such as the “X-Men” trilogy, “GoldenEye” and “Taken.”
“Bringing Up Bobby” is a comedy-drama about a con-artist named Olive (Jovovich) who escapes to Oklahoma with her son Bobby to try to create a better life for both.
Filming has involved the use of many Oklahoma cast and crew members and among the executive producers are locals Chad Burns from Indion Productions, David and Maryann Johndrow from Johndrow Vinyards, Steve and Renee Knox and Cole Frates.
Janssen also complimented the “kindness and generosity” offered by many Oklahomans during the production.