When one hears the film title like "Hanna Has a Ho-Phase" (available VOD and iTunes on June 7 from Hourglass Entertainment) some graphic and sensual images most likely come to mind. But surprisingly the film, about a gal who decides to explore her more amorous side (while her best friend in turn is forced to abstain!), is also rich in comedy, romance, honesty and most importantly heart. Directed by two budding female filmmakers Jamie Jensen & Nadia Munla and made with an entirely female production team, the movie takes a look at issues of female sexuality but with a very engaging and funny vibe that guys can appreciate as well. We especially liked the unconventional relationship between Hannah’s best friend Leslie (the captivating Genevieve Hudson-Price) and her new guy pal Seth (the hilarious Mike C. Nelson) and thought we’d explore their chemistry further with a little Q&A. So check out our tag-team chat with both Mike and Genevieve who give their impressions on the script and title, their obvious on-screen chemistry and what it was like to do some pole dancing exercises. (Yes, Mike too!) So raise a glass to a very memorable on-screen relationship – here’s actors...
MIKE C. NELSON
First off I have to say Mike you were in a film that was on my Top Ten list last year...
Mike Nelson: Which is...?
"Dust Up" – I love "Dust Up!"
MN: Oh, man! That’s great.
So for both of you - what did you think when you heard the title "Hannah Has a Ho Phase" and what was your reaction upon reading the script?
MN: (Laughs) My reaction? I was intrigued right away.
Genevieve Hudson-Price: I was so excited! (Laughs)
MN: Nadia as producing a web series I was doing in LA a few years back and she was really cool and a really good producer. She sent me the script and I thought it was awesome. The part of Seth was something I don’t get offered – just more of a laid back regular guy role.
GHP: I was actually originally supposed to audition for Hannah. And I got the script the night before my audition and about halfway through the script I put it down and called my manager and said, ‘I love this script – can I please audition for Leslie instead of Hannah?’
And the title?
GHP: The title is awesome!
MN: I thought the title was hilarious! It’s still weird in this city and this world for women to be dirty, to talk about sex and it’s such a taboo for women to talk about farting and their periods – its such nonsense. I’ve always been a proponent for women being real.
I obviously loved the chemistry between you two – was it an instant one?
MN: It was relatively quick. I think we had just talked on the phone before I arrived in New York. I arrived and a day later we had our first rehearsal. We’re trying to work through all of our scenes and we had to kiss and we just met each other. But at the first rehearsal I felt really comfortable and she’s awesome. We got to improvise a lot in most of our scenes too which helped out.
GHP: We became fast friends. I love Mike so much – he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. The first time we met they had us improv for four hours and we just had instant chemistry.
What do you think it is about the reserved Seth that the brazen Leslie finds intriguing?
GHP: He doesn’t let her off the hook. He does in a way in that he lets her take the reins on everything, but he makes her laugh which is surprising for her. I don’t think she’s surprised by men very easily and that’s important. But Leslie’s vulnerability comes out when she finds this really great guy and they have this really special relationship that shows her big heart.
MN: There’s something about Genevieve and the way she plays her character where she’s just no nonsense. There’s no façade – there’s no mask on her face. It’s refreshing about a woman who if you talk shit to her, she’s gonna talk shit back. She’ll kick your ass! (Laughs) It’s a very attractive quality.
Genevieve in the film you teach a pole dancing class – did you have to train to take on the role?
GHP: Nadia and Jamie signed me up for a pole dancing class at S Factor. And also Nadia gave me some private lessons in her apartment, which was really funny because she has her pole and everything. I have so much respect though for the art of pole dancing – it is so hard.
I also loved the pole dance studio montage between you two – was that at all choreographed or did you guys freestyle it?
GHP: (Laughs) We kind of freestyled it!
MN: I had never touched a pole in my life, but I pretty much wanted to look terrible at it so that it’s funny. So that wasn’t hard at all to make myself look like a complete ass clown on the pole. It was fun – that was a memorable evening.
GHP: But my favorite was teaching Mike how to toss his hair!
I loved the wonderful message the film sends about love and relationships, especially with your characters – what do you want audiences to take away from the film?
MN: Everything. I want the audience to feel something and to be entertained. It’s a cute film - it’s touching. But I think for more people also to be aware of the gender issues in this country that still prevail today.
GHP: Some might scoff at this, but I actually find Leslie to be a great role model for women. She transcends this annoying double standard that’s out there right now where promiscuous men get a pat on the back whereas women get labeled a slut. Really the only people in Leslie’s life that are being degraded are the men she’s slept with not her. And she doesn’t apologize for herself, which is really great. Women should stop apologizing for themselves if they’re sexual beings.
Finally Mike, I’d be remiss not to ask you about the amazing "Dust Up." How did you get involved in the film?
MN: Both with "Dust Up" and "Hanna Has a Ho-Phase" with the independent film it’s go big or go home – nobody’s gonna see you shit anyways. You have to do stuff that’s groundbreaking or different. But with "Dust Up" I went to college with Director Ward Roberts and a lot of people in the film are fellow Hoosiers. And Ward and I were always close friends even after college when I moved out here to LA. But when he started he kept talking to me about certain characters and my character went through a bunch of changes. He was supposed to have crazy facial features like he was burned and stuff like that. And I thought since everyone is crazy and insane like Mr. Lizard and Mo the hipster Indian, I could just be this straight-laced accountant type. And I’ve always felt the name Keith is hilarious and Ward loved it and that’s how that character came to be.
"HANNAH HAS A HO-PHASE" THIS VOD AND ITUNES JUNE 7 FROM HOURGLASS ENTERTAINMENT.