In the emotionally charged film “Meadowland,” Olivia Wilde plays Sarah, a parent who must grapple with her worst nightmare: her son goes missing.
The movie, now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, examines two parents who have since lost their identities, and are desperately trying to find their way through their turmoil by dealing, or in some instances, not dealing with their grief.
For Sarah her unanswered questions and endless numbing medication, send her into a self-destructive spiral.
Wilde sat down with amNewYork to discuss being a first-time feature producer, and living inside of a mother’s worst nightmare.
Did the script affect you as a mother?
When I first read it, I wasn’t yet a mother, but then it changed dramatically once I became pregnant. I thought, “Now this is really difficult for me to imagine” and as [my son] Otis grows, the film is harder and harder for me to watch, and I definitely think that connection [director] Reed Morano and I had definitely involved us being mothers. I felt like I wasn’t going through it alone.
Sarah is in such dark turmoil. Is it hard to leave that character behind?
Yeah I think it’s really hard for me to leave that character behind. Once you’re aware that you can feel that way, that sticks with you. I don’t know if I could be as strong as Sarah. I try to maintain her strength as opposed to her pain.
Did you learn anything about yourself from this experience?
I learned that the worst possible thing that you think will ruin you is something you can survive. It made me have so much respect for people who live with tragedy every day and continue to get up every day and go to work. It made me realize that there’s a well of strength that you’re not aware of until you need it.
It’s fascinating to see actresses take on producer roles. What’s your goal?
There’s so many actresses-producers that I have so much respect for. I think Reese Witherspoon’s company is brilliant. I love how she produces, and I love how she and her partner work together. I’m inspired by other women in the industry who are incredibly tough because you need to be tough to push things through, and supportive of each other. I’m really happy to have joined the ranks in female producers. As a producer I want to champion for the filmmaker and fight for them, and that’s what I did with “Meadowland.”
If you go: “Meadowland” screens at the Tribeca Film Festival Monday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday at 6:15 p.m. at Regal Battery Park Stadium, 102 North End Ave. For more information, go to TribecaFilm.com.