KILLING FOR TWO
Alice Lowe is eviscerating and expecting in thriller Prevenge
IT’S NOVEMBER 2015, and the peace of a prenatal yoga class at alternative London health centre Clerkenwellbeing has just been shattered by a blood-curdling scream. Everyone in the room jumps, for real. Alice Lowe — the screamer — sits up delightedly and calls cut. She does a second take. Everyone jumps that time, too.
Pregnancy for most working women means maternity leave. Not for Lowe. Rather than take time out from her career, the Sightseers star decided to channel her child-bearing experience into writing, directing and starring in Prevenge. “There’s never a right time to direct your first feature,” she grins. “It’s a lot like having a baby in that way.”
A violent comedy about a rage-fuelled, baby-bumped woman with a death list — Kill
Umbilical, if you will — Prevenge is as disturbing as it sounds. “You’re basically working out why this woman’s doing what she’s doing,” Lowe explains. “You don’t know who the baby’s father is, so that’s another mystery that gets unravelled.” Ruth believes her foetus is prompting her to murder — and maybe it really is. “It’s a psychedelic Jekyll and Hyde mystery,” Lowe says, “where Hyde is an unborn baby.” Lowe evokes Dead Man’s Shoes and
Sightseers as examples of films with a similar horror/humour mix and improvisational style. Later in the day, the guerrilla crew grab footage on the street outside: Lowe gets some strange looks from passers-by as she walks, trance-like, waving her arms around. “I don’t have time to feel embarrassed!” she laughs.
She doesn’t, in fact, have time for much. After the shoot wraps, Lowe will take a break for the small matter of delivering her actual baby, then head into the editing room to get
Prevenge ready. “As an actress you stress about having a baby because you’re worried you’ll never work again,” she says. Having not stopped yet, it doesn’t seem like that’ll be a problem for her.
above: Alice Lowe puts ’em up for Gemma Whelan’s Len; From one assassin to another — Ruth channels
Hero’s Flying Snow; The expectant mother experiences some unusual pregnancy cravings; Lowe’s Ruth and her unborn child are armed and ready for their next victim.