Interview With The Alpines Writer and Actor Mally Corrigan. Can we first set the stage here? THiNC. gives near infinite grace to Indie film makers just trying to pull together 100 minutes of coherence out of thin air. They are stuck with the problem of attempting to weave, alchemically, out of hay and straw, gold. Just their friends, a Best Buy video camera (that they plan to return on the other side of the shoot), and a set that they have for too few hours. Just get mad props from me for even attempting this level of Don Quixote’esque adventure. So is The Alpines perfect? No. But there is so much goodness here that is worth our time despite the flaws.
If I were you… and I’m not… BUT IF I WERE… I’d watch The Alpines first, before you read this interview. There are a BILLION and one great talking points here… but most of them a spoilers for this great little indie film. I did a fullon write up about it, and just had a ton of fun talking about it. Heck, I even did a video break down of the film over on Patreon as well. I’ve had a lot of fun thinking, writing, and talking about The Alpines can been watched here on Youtube, Vudu, AppleTV, and Prime.
Interview With The Alpines Writer and Actor Mally Corrigan
THiNC. – “The Alpines, has won something like what, almost 40 film awards? Congratulations! What has the reception of your film been like? Hopefully people are watching and responding to this crazy script you have written!”
Mally Corrigan – “Thank you! So far it’s definitely been mostly positive which is always something you worry about when sending your creative projects off into the world to be poked and prodded at. And of course there’s negative reviews, and rejections but those are crucial to becoming a better artist! So we embrace both the positive, and negatives, to continue to learn and grow. I think one of my favorite moments, so far, was after we were selected to a festival called IndieEye Film Awards. They do a monthly podcast to announce their winners at the end of the month, and listening to the committee talk about the themes of the seven deadly sins, and the project as a whole put a ginormous smile across my face. That podcast was the reason we found our producers rep and secured distribution! Now that it’s being seen on a larger scale its overwhelming and exciting, and we’re so incredibly grateful for every single viewer who gives our movie a chance.”
THiNC. – “That is cool how you found your distribution… amazing really. This community of Indie support is huge, and I’ve loved meeting so many talented film makers who have all linked arms and supported one another. You also wrote the screenplay for The Rest of Us. What is it like acting in your own screenplays? Also, personal favor – tell me, how did you choose the part of Logan – the role of Pride? Do dish! hahah.”
Mally Corrigan – “Ultimately I’ve always been an actor. I began in a specialized program in High School, and continued majoring in theatre performance at Penn State. In those eight years of training, I was constantly auditioning for roles that were always strictly written to aid the main character (always a male) in their character development. My freshman year of college, I played a rockstar’s girlfriend who he impregnates and leaves to go on tour, a wife who cheats on her loving and totally sympathetic husband with his boss, and a new love for a boy who loses his real dream girl. Then my sophomore year my most exciting and favorite role I played still to this day was Ariel in THE PILLOWMAN. A character who is male that they decided to gender-bend for this specific production. THAT was the moment I realized I wanted to pursue writing as well, to create characters worth playing for everyone. Growing up I was always daydreaming ideas, but it was in my junior year of college when I sat down and really started writing them down. That’s always been my motivation with the characters I write, and the stories I tell. Stories with powerful women, and intelligent men. All interesting. And all important. And that’s the main reason why The Alpines is a true ensemble. So acting in my screenplays has always been the goal! I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own opportunities.
“I always knew I would play pride. I think with the use of the seven deadly sins, it was very telling to myself as a human which sins I personally resonated with the most, and what my own personal weakness’s are. My junior year of college I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and I refused to speak of it with anyone besides my immediate family. I was determined to beat it, without showing any weakness, and only bravery. My pride kept me from talking about it with anyone. And then when I had my surgery six months later and told the world via social media people were shocked and confused. Looking back on it now, the fact that I had this mindset of “being sick equals weakness” is upsetting. We are all flawed, that’s what makes us human, but I was so afraid of the world not seeing me as this strong unbreakable little firecracker that they always described me as, I didn’t want to let anyone down. I’ve always struggled with this, and so it felt right to play Logan. Spoiler here: but there’s a very big reason that the ending is a head to head between Logan and Zach, and an even bigger reason why, as the writer, I killed Zach. Although many viewers have stated the ending as sad, or upsetting, it’s always been incredibly therapeutic to me.”
THiNC. – “Woah. We are all flawed… aren’t we?!? Impressed to hear such a real world example. I swear I wasn’t digging that deeply! But thank you all the same. Can you tell us about where this screenplay idea came from, what was the spark? (I will tell my readers to watch the film before continuing on, that our conversation will be laden with spoilers, and will link to all the big streaming services that have it.)”
Mally Corrigan – “Yes! So I’ve always loved the seven deadly sins ever since I did a project in my Stage Makeup class in college, and it was so incredibly interesting how each person in my class displayed their chosen sin on their canvas. I also found it somewhat telling which sin they picked (can you guess which was mine? Hehe) Anyway, I began to wonder what a sin would look like, living and breathing. What would gluttony look like? Which sin would greed choose to pursue romantically? Is lust a male or a female? Then I began to read various articles about the sins, and their meanings in the biblical sense, and even modern day tellings. I wanted to see how the seven deadly sins would live together in the physical world and so I wrote The Alpines.
“Every single thing each character says and does matters and is driven directly by their sin. Everything down to the colors they wear throughout the film. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of and to this day is my favorite part about it all.”
THiNC. – “OOOOoooOooh. I like that answer. Love it. Yeah, I started the movie over once I realized that they were the personification of their sins. That made the movie for me. 1000%. Very much enjoyed that aspect of it. So, can you tell us about the shoot for The Alpines? Must have been a fairly tight knit community, and cool shoot?”
Mally Corrigan – “It was honestly an impossible task. Seven actors, two crew members (the third being myself) and eleven days in Wolcott, Vermont, filming 118 pages. There were several days I’d only get an hour or two of sleep. Shooting went well into the early morning sunrises, and our ending alone (in its entirety) took over two full nights to shoot. It was exhausting, emotionally taxing, and a tad insane looking back on it now. On set we’d run into the typical “no budget” first time filmmaker issues like losing locations or having to improvise with forgotten props, but every challenge was just an opportunity to prove to ourselves that we could overcome anything.”
THiNC. – “Woah. Sounds really difficult to stick that landing. But you did it! Congratulations. Gotta say, that my favorite from ANY movie this year is this one: “Although forgiven by God, damned to a life of predetermined torment by their sins…” would love to know where this came from and a deeper dive here. Personally think it extraordinary deep from a theological standpoint, and also psychological vantage. Brilliant really.”
Mally Corrigan – “Ahh, the ending! Always my favorite topic when it comes to discussions for the film. I’m here to tell you right now, that no – it’s not all in Zach’s head! It ultimately came from the origin of the sin’s, and their purpose throughout mythological history. The end monologue explains that they are not humans, they’re the immoral, the entire film is an allegory for Dante’s Inferno and these are souls damned to live in a never ending and never changing purgatory. An endless loop. Zach will always die because his Sloth will hinder him from telling Andy how he feels, who will never return his love because she is Lust. Rowan will always have an affair because her Envy requires her to be this picture perfect woman, which in return will release Jame’s Wrath to snap and kill her. And of course, Greed is a poor man’s Gluttony, which unfortunately is why 9 times out of 10 Logan’s Pride always come running back to Gil even though it longs for Roger. This story has no happiness, no virtues, and will never end.
“I’ve always loved psychology, and the everlasting question of nature vs. nurture? Wrong vs. Right? Adding the seven deadly sins into the discussion – it became an experiment to myself to write something solely powered by one’s nature (*their sin). This movie, and these characters should create various discussions by the final credits. Who is right? Who is wrong? Which one is “bad”? Are any of them “good”? And after answering all of these questions – will that say something about you?
“My favorite thing to always ask someone who’s watched it is – off the top of your head, which do you think is your worst sin? Do the choices you make big or small seem to be decided by a specific mentality? And do those choices attribute to your own deepest darkest secrets?”
THiNC. – “It’s interesting that you have obviously gotten the question before about it all being in Zach’s head… never crossed my mind. But, I did wonder if this was just an allegory. Or maybe a morality tale. Like maybe it was all in the narrator’s head, and it was telling us a truth about the seven deadly sins? But I didn’t think it was only in Zach’s head. Interesting theory though! And I like it the more I think about it! Not to disagree with the writer of the film or anything! hahaha. Just kidding.
“But that is an interesting point you are making there Mally… seeing as though the Bible actually doesn’t weight any sins as more weighty, or less weighty than any others… but we as humans do. And what does that say about us? What does that reveal? That’s really fascinating, I had never really thought that through before!”
Had a great time chatting with you Mally, and we wish you the best of luck on your movie career in the future! If there is anything we can do at all in the future, please don’t hesitate to let us know!!