Bold New Lesbian Drama ‘Concussion’

Edge on the Net

Interview with Robin Weigert

A concussion, caused by a baseball to the head, sends Abby (Robin Weigert, “Deadwood”) on a life-changing journey. Thought to be content in her relationship with her wife Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence), the 40-ish soccer mom begins exploring the dormant side of her sexuality, first by hiring a few call girls; then, egged on by her studly co-worker Justin (Johnathan Tchaikovsky), creating an alter-ego (named Eleanor) and turning tricks herself.

Concussion

Scene from “Concussion”

The couple and their two children live a seemingly idyllic life in an affluent New York City suburb. But the baseball-to-the-head (which was thrown by her son) acts as a catalyst for Abby to explore the sexuality missing in her marriage, raising the question: Is it wrong to look beyond a seemingly perfect marriage and family? Writer/director Stacie Passon’s debut features questions how far a woman goes in a search for elusive fulfillment.

“The movie is a silky, high-toned thing: ’Belle du Jour’ meets ’The L Word’ meets ’fortysomething,’” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum after its Sundance premiere earlier this year.” You’ve never seen so many beautiful women-who-love-women, and such fine fashion choices.”

“Concussion” won the Teddy Jury Award devoted to gay-themed movies at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Most recently, picked up a First Feature Honorable Feature at San Francisco’s Frameline LGBT Film Festival. The Village Voice’s Scott Foundas calls the film superb: “The movie’s true subject is a problem — the loss of passion — that can happen in any relationship, and (Director Stacie) Passon addresses it in a series of smart, funny and surprising ways.” Variety’s Rob Nelson praises Weigert in her first anchor performance, “Acquitting herself capably in a lead role that strips her bare in more ways than one, Robin Weigert proves worthy of a future in features.”

EDGE sits down with Robin Weigert and Johnathan Tchaikovsky about their breakthrough roles in the character-driven drama. Television audiences will likely remember Weigert from her portrayal of Calamity Jane on “Deadwood,” while the strikingly handsome Tchaikovsky looks to be an actor to watch in the future.

A scary decision

EDGE: How did you get on board ’Concussion?’

Robin Weigert: I was offered the part, which is unusual in my life. I have never met Stacie Passon. Someone sent me the script. But it scared me. I met with Stacie and really liked her, but there was still a period where I was on the fence because if it was not made well, I would be hugely out there. I was telling myself that I should probably not do this project because of how exposed I would be physically. I just did not know how it would be shot. What if it ends up being soft core (porn). What if it ends up being way out there? The themes of the thing would not let me go, I had a couple of actual dreams that I do not remember specifically, where it was clearly at work in my psyche. (And I thought), ’I guess I am working on it already. I guess I have to say yes.’

EDGE: It is like a challenge to know that there are things you would have to overcome?

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