How first director Natalie Morales made 2 films in one year
In the opening scene of the new film “Language Lessons”, Cariño, a Spanish teacher in Costa Rica, virtually meets his new client Adam, who lives in Oakland. Cariño is played by Natalie Morales, who also directed and co-wrote the film, while Adam is played by his collaborator on the film, Mark Duplass.
It turns out that Adam’s husband Will bought the lessons – 100 of them – as a surprise gift.
Throughout all of these lessons, Adam and Cariño bond, connecting mostly in Spanish about a sudden tragedy.
Morales made an unusual directorial debut. Originally, she was supposed to shoot her first film, the R-rated teen comedy “Plan B,” in the spring of 2020. The film follows two high school friends who, after an unexpected night of partying, find themselves on a quest across the south. Dakota looking for the Plan B pill.
When this was closed due to the pandemic, Morales came up with a real Plan B – write and perform “Language Lessons”. The result is that his two “first” films were released in 2021: “Plan B” on Hulu and “Language Lessons” now in theaters.
Morales, who has built a career with acting credits on shows such as “Parks and Recreation” and “The Grinder,” tells KCRW about the steps she took to prepare to become a double filmmaker in a year. This included leaving her agents after they refused to consider her for managerial jobs.
“More than a year has passed and they haven’t put me in touch with anyone. I didn’t meet anyone and it was very clear that they only saw me as one thing, ”says Morales. “And as terrifying as it was to leave a big agency as an actor, I knew I had to do it. Because these are literally the people who represent you – the people who don’t believe you can do anything else. thing? that’s not what I want.
Morales also explains how she became interested in the entertainment industry in the first place – it’s a story involving a mix of high school apps that host Kim Masters says is worthy of her own movie.