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Nick Cassavetes Discusses Incest at Toronto Film Festival

At the Toronto Film Festival this past weekend, director Nick Cassavetes debuted his movie ‘Yellow’ and found that he had to defend the main character in the film because she has an incestuous affair with her brother. Cassavetes’ ex-wife, Heather Wahlquist, stars in the film as Mary. Melanie Griffith plays her mother and her sister is played by Sienna Miller.

During the movie, Mary visits her brother in prison, whom she had an affair with. The scene showing the affair is tender and does not judge the incest.

“I have no experience with incest,” Cassavetes said in an interview with TheWrap. “We started thinking about that. We had heard a few stories where brothers and sisters were completely, absolutely in love with one another. You know what? This whole movie is about judgment, and lack of it, and doing what you want. Who gives a shit if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”

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Other films done by Cassavetes include ‘The Notebook,’ ‘John Q’ and ‘Alpha Dog.’

In the movie, Cassavetes wanted to portray a woman who is both a ‘rock star’ and ‘ a mess.’

“We wanted an exaggerated version of a girl who came from a place where different things are acceptable,” he said. “We wanted her to have a reason why she couldn’t feel. She’s a walking dead. In a certain respect I feel like I’m this lizard, sapped of all my feelings… Something had to happen to this character that was traumatic and beautiful and made her a pariah. She’s a wipeout of a mess. But I hope people root for this character, damaged or not.”

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