Woody and Betty

Audition and murder - (MikeC)
Diane's audition & cartoons - (gandalf36)
Acting is reacting... - (gandalf36)
Betty's audition - (kary82)

The Sylvia North Story | Sexual Abuse | Woody Katz | Theory: A different form of revenge
The Diane's Selwyn Story - (thebigmouthstrikesagain) 
it's David Lynch's Dream analysis & more! - (unc84steve)

Naomi Watts about her sexually charged audition scene

This whole other character emerges. It comes out of left field, but we’ve had hints that Betty is not all that good and pretty and perky and sweet and innocent. There is going to be some kind of transformation, and that’s where we learn more about her. We see her come alive and undergo a change. The way Betty is set up [in the beginning] seems almost like a cardboard cutout. I thought when I first read the script, “Oh my God, it’s so one-dimensional -- she should be on the side of a cereal box in 1952!”
But there were moments of release, like when she pulls the [substantial amount of] money out of Rita’s purse you think, "Is this person gonna call the police right now? No." You see the fear register on her face but then there’s an excitement, too. Then we see her in the audition scene, and it’s the same thing. We get a hint that there’s a whole other layer about to reveal itself. Again, that’s Diane's projection of her complexities, and who she is and who she wishes to be. But then there’s this whole other truth coming through.

Betty replaying Camilla's performance

Woody and CamillaSomeone named Wally Brown, who was an old friend of her aunt's, agreed to let her tryout for the lead part in a movie he was having made. The movie was called "The Sylvia North Story" and it was not a major production, so lesser known actresses were being given an opportunity to audition for the lead. The film was about a young woman who had suffered through sexual abuse in her childhood. Getting the part meant everything to Diane since it had a connection to her own life story. And, of course, finally becoming an actress would give her some deeply needed validation and it might even free her from her dependence on the call girl business. Sadly, the director of the movie, Bob Brooker, was not impressed with her so she did not get the part. The woman who got the part was named Camilla Rhodes, and she won the audition by playing the role more seductively than Diane.

 Woody says, "Hey Bobby, I want to play this one nice and close. Like we did with that other girl, uh, what's her name? The one with the black hair. That felt kinda good. Whaddya think?" So the clear implication is that Camilla was the one who liked to play it close. In fact, she seems to have been the only one who wanted to play it close since the issue stood out in everyone's mind, and this tells us a lot about Camilla. As we see when Betty has to play it close, it turns into a hot sexual scene, and this is the first time we are getting a clear indication that this is how Camilla gets parts. She plays it very hot and very sexual, and she is very successful. No wonder then that when Diane revisits this traumatic event in her life through her fantasy, Betty decides to play the scene the way Camilla did. And sure enough, she gets the same reaction. The scene that Betty called "lame" when she rehearsed it with Rita in Aunt Ruth's apartment, now has become hot and heavy. As we have seen all along, Diane's innocent Betty persona believes in Camilla passionately. And so she cannot help but try to relive her life in Camilla's image. - (Alan Shaw)

Clues to Diane been sexual abused?

  • In this scene she was rehearsing with an actor named WOODY and Betty's character referred to him as Dad's Best Friend. Woody and Dad's best friend are references to a penis and Betty's abuser. In her dream Betty takes control and flips the tables. She is the one who makes the more sexual advance towards Woody. This is Diane's way of dealing with her abuse by (in her dream) trying to take control of it. - (TBickle)

  • The casting agent with the red hair represents Aunt Ruth - which means that Wally, who she was married to, has to be Diane’s Uncle, and Wally’s "good friend" Woody, appropriately named, has to represent the older man that Diane had an affair with - probably at the age of 16. Diane’s "Uncle Wally" pushes her into the relationship with the older man, her parents being upstairs and knowing nothing about it, though her father and “Woody” are also best friends. Aunt Ruth knows about this, and even gets Diane out of the situation - watch the body language as they leave the audition and "Aunt Ruth" protects Diane from the men - but she tells no one about the abuse that happened and keeps it a secret - hence "Silencio." - (Freiheit) 

  • The first thing we have to do is look at the lingering after-effects of childhood abuse on its victims. What is the primary negative thing that continues to affect a person of Diane's age? Answer: guilt. How does this guilt arise? The strong sense of betrayal that the victim initially feels turns to guilt as the victim internalizes the abuse by assuming that he or she must have done something to merit the betrayal. These feelings of guilt are what cause the feelings of self-loathing, unworthiness and low-self esteem in general: "I hate us both!".
    This guilt is magnified exponentially in situations of continuing abuse in which the victim comes to enjoy the sexual contact and in which the abuse then becomes consensual. As we see in the "Woody" scene, this was the case with Diane. Some have speculated quite persuasively that the abuse initially took place between the ages of 12 and 16. That's why we not only have apartments 12 and 16, but Adam goes to room 16 in the hotel. And the clincher is that Diane receives "safe HAVEN" between the ages of 12 and 16 when she gets some time away from her parents/grandparents by visiting Aunt Ruth at 1612 HAVENhurst.
    Point is, in the scene with Woody, we see that the abuser returns a few years later. ("You came back!" - "I thought that's what you wanted.") And when he does return, Betty by no means rejects him. At best, she is somewhat conflicted. Clearly there was (maybe not initially but at least eventually) a consensual and probably enjoyable aspect for Diane to this incestuous sexual relationship. If you ask me, this is one of the saddest and sickest elements of the whole movie. - (Rusty Nail)

Diane reveals that she and Camilla were up for the same role, but Camilla won out. While it's not explicitly discussed in the film, though, I believe the way most Hollywood films are made, at least big-budget ones, the major roles are already decided fairly well in advance, part of the overall "package" that's sold to the movie company beforehand, so I question whether or not Diane would really be competing against Camilla for the role. It's like we are thrown back into the 'old days' of film making. - (Matt Lupo)

Betty seduces a roomful of old men (in her fantasy world), in reality she's screwed over by Hollywood's old me. This is surely one of the points of the movie - the power balance, cycle of cruelty, dynamic, whatever, between young women and old men. They're all a bunch of arses, especially the clueless director. "That poor old fool Wally." - (Steve Rose)

Click to enlargeTrivia: The script

The one handed to Betty by Coco when Louise Bonner comes knocking. Just a little observation that I think is quite neat. Look at the names there. – They're using the *actual* shooting script for the scene. Perhaps coincidence because they needed to use it as a prop, but perhaps David enjoyed the idea of Coco delivering Rita and Betty's lines for the next day, and not a script for the audition that Betty was going to.

She's playing a role, acting the part of Betty not in control of her own story, merely reading the lines and playing the role to the best of her ability.I like how that ties in. - (blu)

Thread: Betty's Script