The young stars of the abortion drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” auditioned in a bathroom and other nontraditional locations to capture the feeling of what it would be like during production.
Director Eliza Hittman and stars Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder dropped by TheWrap Studio at Sundance and described the unconventional way in which they got involved with the project. “I read for Eliza, and after a few rounds I got to test with Sidney, and we spent a day doing scenes on the subway and in bathrooms as a way of auditioning,” Ryder told TheWrap’s Steve Pond.
“I like to audition in the world and not in the artificial confines of a rehearsal room where there’s all these added pressure forces like producers and casting directors,” Hittman added. “I’m always trying to break my potential cast out of those environments and get to know them more in the context of the way we’d be shooting the film.”
The title “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” refers to one of the survey forms young women have to fill out when they go to get an abortion, and the story involves two teenage girls who leave rural Pennsylvania for New York to have the procedure. Hittman said the film was inspired by the sad story of a woman who died because she was denied an abortion that would have saved her life.
“I began to wonder how far she would’ve had to travel to save her life,” Hittman said. “And I became reading about what’s insensitively known as abortion tourism and women who are forced to travel for access to safe reproductive care.”
Flanigan was 14 when she first met Hittman and began to get involved in the film, and though she knew it could be difficult to obtain a legal abortion depending on what part of the country you live in, she had no idea about the many hoops women often have to jump through in the process.
“I was generally aware that sometimes access can be hard and that sometimes people have to travel,” Flanigan said. “But I wasn’t aware of the extent of how many obstacles there can be and how traumatizing it can be.”
Check out TheWrap’s interview with the team from “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” above.
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” opens in limited release this Friday.