Call Jane

Director Phyllis Nagy discusses Call Jane

October 29, 2022 DGA Membership Screening Q&As in LA & NY

A pregnant woman finds herself needing help in a dire situation in Director Phyllis Nagy’s drama, Call Jane.

Nagy’s film takes us back to 1968 Chicago where Joy, a conservative housewife and mother, is faced with a devastating diagnosis when her second pregnancy leads to a life-threatening heart condition. Unable to get an exemption for a legal abortion, she turns to a clandestine group of women for help.

On October 23, after the DGA membership screening in New York, Nagy discussed the making of Call Jane during a Q&A moderated by Director Sarah Pirozek (#Like). She also spoke about the film in a conversation moderated by Director Catherine Hardwicke (Prisoner's Daughter) following the Los Angeles screening on October 29.

During the New York conversation, Nagy spoke about breathing life into the ensemble scenes with all the women who played the “Janes,” many of whom had lived through the times depicted in the film.

“The extra Janes, who were there in the background, were all local Hartford businesswomen -- professionals, doctors, lawyers, people who brought stories with them -- and everyone was very invested. But the principal ‘Janes’ I just threw together in the week before we started shooting. You know how much time I had for rehearsal, but I wanted rehearsal. [DP] Greta [Zozula] and I knew already we had Sigourney Weaver for nine days and so we had to shoot those ‘Janes, scenes in a very economical way. So, we did moves and countermoves with Steadicam. I said, “Let's just do this, keep it moving.” We needed to do that because we wouldn't have made our days, but it also worked.”

Call Jane is Nagy’s feature directorial debut. Her other directorial credit is the movie for television Mrs. Harris. She joined the DGA in 2021.

You can listen to Nagy's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Shane Karns (Los Angeles) & Marcie Revens (New York)
– Print courtesy of Roadside Attractions

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