‘Shirley’ Interviews: Odessa Young And Josephine Decker On The Literary Psychological Thriller

Sundance feels like a million years ago at this point, but definitely one of the best movies I saw was Shirley. One of the reasons I dug it so much is that I went in expecting a biopic of the horror author Shirley Jackson, and what I got was a tense, downright vicious psycho-thriller with Elisabeth Moss at her cruel best.

This fictional tale of creative control and manipulation is directed by Josephine Decker, whose visual artistry (If you haven’t seen Madeline’s Madeline, please rectify that) is challenged in this isolated tale of terror. The cast is all-around phenomenal as Moss is joined by co-stars Odessa Young, who plays Shirley’s biggest fan and thus the author’s favorite target, plus Michael Stuhlbarg and Logan Lerman.

I had the chance to speak with Josephine Decker and Odessa Young about Shirley, the real-life inspiration for the film, and how it relates to some of their other work.

You can watch those Zoom interviews below. Shirley opens on June 5th.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.