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!”
Betty replaying Camilla's performance
Someone 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?
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)
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