‘Judy & Punch’: Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman and Mirrah Foulkes on Their Dark Fairy Tale

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One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Mirrah Foulkes’ dark fairy tale Judy & Punch. The film, set in the 16th century, is about two puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) that are married and trying to resurrect their marionette show in the rough-and-tumble town of Seaside (which is nowhere near the sea). Unfortunately, Punch can’t control his drinking, and it leads to an unfortunate situation with Judy. Afterwards, the film turns into a female-driven revenge story. Trust me, the film is unlike what you’re expecting and it’s weird, absurd, unique and worth seeing. Judy & Punch was produced by Michele Bennett, Nash Edgerton and Danny Gabai.

The day after the world premiere I got to sit down with Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman and Mirrah Foulkes at the Collider studio in the Kia Supper Suite in Park City. They talked about being at Sundance, the unusual tone of the film, how they describe the movie to friends, how they set out to create something entirely unique, what’s the secret to playing a realistic drunk on screen, what scared them about the script before filming began, and so much more. In addition, Damon talked about getting to play Charles Manson in both David Fincher’s Mindhunters and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Finally, I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Image via Kia Motors

Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and the synopsis.

Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman and Mirrah Foulkes:

  • What was it like premiering their film at Sundance?
  • Does Mia live at Sundance and what have the past few years been like?
  • How have they been describing the movie to friends?
  • Image via Sundance

    How it’s got an unusual tone.

  • How did the project come together?
  • How they set out to create something entirely unique.
  • Mirrah talks about the writing process and if she wrote with a budget in mind.
  • Damon talks about how he landed the lead role and how he never expected to get it.
  • Mia on how she got involved and her thoughts on the script.
  • Before filming began what were they excited to film and what scared them?
  • What is the secret to playing a good drunk on screen?
  • What did Mirrah learn in the editing room about the movie and did early screenings impact the finished film?
  • Damon talks about getting to play Charles Manson in both David Fincher’s Mindhunters and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Here’s the Judy & Punch synopsis via Sundance:

In the rough-and-tumble town of Seaside (nowhere near the sea), villagers flock to Punch and Judy’s marionette theatre. Though Punch (Damon Herriman) proclaims himself the greatest puppeteer and his beating stick rouses cheers from the crowd, it’s Judy (Mia Wasikowska) who breathes artistry into the otherwise crude show. But during a drinking bout and a tragic mishap with their child, the hot-tempered Punch brutally beats Judy, leaving her for dead in the woods. Taken in by Doctor Goodtime and a society of outcasts, Judy plots her revenge.