I read the book and hired the director and went through the process of adapting the screenplay, and then I was an actress, just for the filming, and then in the post-production, I was in the edit room.
I really did produce it, start to finish. I really wanted two fabulous female roles. When I was looking for a book to adapt, I was looking for a female love story, not because I wanted to add lesbian to my resume, necessarily — but female-on-female desire and eroticism and friendship and love and intimacy is so overlooked. Just a woman being portrayed with a full sexual appetite and desire is massively lacking in Hollywood.
So, I thought, how wonderful to see two women together in this intimate relationship. I read a lot of lesbian novels, some good, some not so good. We actually have an exclusive clip from the film of one of the most moving moments from the film, when Ronit and Esti discuss her desire. But for both Esti and Ronit, they both really do have a deep affection for their faith and their religious community. Just all the questions that are really interesting.
At the end, the three of them, they find their own family. I know of at least one wonderful Orthodox gay rabbi here in New York. There going to be bonded for life, the three of them. The thing most people were talking about coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival, and the tease most magazines and websites used, focused on the sex scene. Lesbian sex always makes a good headline. Is that frustrating to you, or is it liberating? I think it can only be a wonderful thing.
When people talk to me about this movie, they talk to me about Judaism and they talk to me about sex. Some of the first critics clocked the sex scene. All the wetness, the spitting in the mouth, the pubic hair, the vaginas, but also leaving some of it to the audience to imagine.
It was important for him to focus on our faces to really capture that desire. What did you think? What did I think? Journey to a Woman by Ann Bannon. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.