EW has debuted a brand new clip of Mary in writer/director Eva Vives’ All About Nina, hitting select theaters in New York and Los Angeles tomorrow. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly talked to Eva about how she turned her real life trauma into this film, which is loosely based on her.
There’s a distinct rage coursing throughout Nina and the film, too. I don’t mean to probe into your past, but is that what inspired the script: a personal rage from a similar experience?
I wouldn’t say it was the rage that sparked me wanting to tell it, but I certainly didn’t want to shy away from the rage…. Until very recently it wasn’t really allowed in women, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel it. We’re certainly feeling it a lot more in the last year — specifically this week. I’m incredibly triggered by what’s going on with the Kavanaugh hearings and how Dr. Ford is being treated. I’m upset that it feels like she’s being bullied into testifying and it’s a bunch of white, straight men trying to overpower her and not believe her! I was, funnily enough, trying to write a movie that’s somewhat hopeful for survivors. At the end of the day, she’s somebody who has a passion and does what she does well, and hopefully by the end of the movie you feel like she will at least be able to open herself up to love. I also didn’t want that to mean she wasn’t in touch with her anger and her rage. Keeping that stuff down is really hurtful.
You’re a survivor as well?
It’s very much my story, except I’ve never done stand-up comedy. Everything else is very much taken out of my life. Definitely in terms of everything she says on stage during her breakdown is me. I was abused by my father for eight years.
Was writing Nina’s liberation liberating for you?
The liberation happened already; that’s why I was able to write about it because I didn’t have to create that much. She’s similar to how I was in my twenties. I’ve calmed down since…. The bulk of my recovery — not that it ever ends — was 10-12 years of living in New York, exhibiting [destructive] behaviors Nina does…. I was able to write this with some distance because I’d recovered and healed enough. I also had a son five years ago, and becoming a parent gave me that kind of power. I want to be strong and good for him in the way my parents weren’t able to be for me, and that gave me strength and security.
It was more empowering to write in the sense that I don’t really think about my father anymore. As Nina also says in the movie, he committed suicide years ago, so he was already not part of my life. For me, maybe it will be liberating soon enough…. We’ll see what happens when it comes out. It was empowering to at least have some say on how I told the story, because for so long he defined me, what he did to me or what he was how I had to live.