On Wednesday, Jan. 22 The Cinema Society with fashion house Alice & Olivia hosted a screening of Roadside Attractions' "Gimme Shelter" at MoMA. From the film: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, Ann Dowd, Stephanie Szostak, Dascha Polanco ("Orange is the New Black"), Emily Meade, Tashiana Washington, Laneya Wiles, Gena Bardwell, Eddie Schweighardt, Elyse Kratchman, writer/director Ronald Krauss, and Kathy DiFiore (the inspiration for the film; founder of Several Sources Shelters) all walked the red carpet.
Check out what Vanessa and Fraser told Examiner.com exclusively about the project.
Why was this an important role for you to play?
Vanessa Hudgens: This was an opportunity to push myself in a way that I had never before. It's so rare that a script comes around like this, where it's a fully transformative role, deals with very serious topic issues, but still leaves you as an audience member feeling uplifted and enlightened, so it was a very important story to be told.
Brendan Fraser: This is a picture that has…I don't want to scare any viewers away with "a meaning behind it"…But I assure you, you will feel changed. If you have an opinion about it one way or another, It's a very thorny contentious issue of what do we do with the young woman in our society who have nowhere to go. How do we support them? The answer is very simple: with love! Give them a home and a family.
Can you speak about collaborating with writer/director Ronald Krauss?
Vanessa Hudgens: He is amazing. I mean we got to a point where we didn't even have to say anything to each other, we could just look at each other and understand what the other was saying. So it was a bit magical and we had an amazing time together.
Brendan Fraser: Collaborating…and I say this with fondness…is not really necessary. He is a man of singular vision. He lived there, he wrote this. This came as an epiphany. He was like a dog with a bone, he wouldn't let go until he got the film he needed, that he wrote. He was very particular to it. Our resources were limited, but that didn't matter cause he believed in the film so much. We shot on locations where it was set, many of the background players were wonderful because they're frankly not actors.
What did you take away from doing this film?
Vanessa Hudgens: I mean it definitely opened my eyes that we have to help each other out. I mean it's so easy to judge people by their appearance and their situation. That's not the case. We're all human beings, we all need to have some compassion.
The evening was also presented by Nespresso and a chic after party followed at Harlow. "Gimme Shelter" is now playing.