Lorraina John, Lorena Bobbitt, John Bobbitt discussed on Women and Crime
Hi Meghan. Hi Amy how are you today? I'm wonderful were you. I'm good as can be which is great. I'm excited because today we have a special show our listeners. Recently we were contacted with an opportunity to interview Lorena Bobbitt. Gallo you Lorena Bobbitt is. Don't you Meghan I certainly do and I share your enthusiasm. Today is not our typical story format but we really felt like the themes touched on in this case fit so well with what we're trying to do with women and crime showing crime through the Gender Lens showing victims and offenders that we just really couldn't pass up this opportunity today we have three interviews to share with you the first two are with the lead actors Luke Humphrey and Danny Montalvo from the new lifetime. Film I was Lorena Bobbitt which was actually produced by Lorraine A- and then we will also get to hear from Lorraina herself for those of US old enough to remember such as me and you Meghan. This was an unforgettable case for some of our younger audience members. We wanted to give you a brief overview before we get to the interviews. Llerena was born in Ecuador in nineteen. Sixty-nine and she grew up in Venezuela and had two younger siblings at the age of eighteen. She obtained a student Visa and Move Virginia to attend community college to earn money. She worked as a nanny and she also took a later position at Anelle Salon. Shortly after moving to Virginia she met John Bobbitt then a US Marine at a club for enlisted men and they began dating shortly after the pair were married on June eighteenth. Nineteen thousand nine when Lorraina was twenty and John was twenty two. According to Lorraina John became violent just a few weeks after the wedding and the violence continued from that point on and the rain did call the police on multiple occasions and in February nineteen ninety-one John guilty to assault and battery though. The charges were later dismissed after he went through counseling. Laurynas testimony was that in the early hours of June twenty third nineteen ninety three. John came home drunk and raped her after the attack. While John was passed out in their bed Lorraina went to get a cup of water and she spotted a knife when she went to the kitchen she picked up the knife and she returned to the bedroom and she cut. John's peanuts off. Still holding the knife and the severed organ. Llerena then overweight from their apartment building and tossed the penis out of the moving vehicle into a field before driving to a friend's house. Llerena did contact the police and she told them where she had thrown the penis. The police located it and reattachment surgery was a success. Meanwhile Lorena had a rape kit examination in the very same hospital that John was being treated in. Well that's where the trial comes in. And in this case there were two trials in November nineteen ninety-three. John went on trial for Marital Sexual Assault Though. Llerena had actually accused him of rape at the time. Virginia law required couples to be living separately or for serious physical injuries to occur for a charge of marital rape. Amy and I could probably spend an episode on our feelings about the Earlier definitions of that but for now we'll just say that the jury found John Not guilty and then in January nineteen ninety-four Lorena trial began. I also want to say she did not accept a plea. Although she was offered a nice play because she really wanted her day in court and she wanted to tell her story she ended up being charged with militias wounding in this put her at risk for up to twenty years behind bars and facing possible deportation from the United States now during the arenas trial. John testified that he had never committed any act of violence against her however other witnesses and police reports corroborated that Lorena had appeared with bruises. And say did that. John had been seen hitting and shoving his wife on January. Twenty First Nineteen Ninety-four Lorraina was found not guilty due to temporary insanity meaning that she would not have to spend time in prison for wounding John However following the acquittal she was sent to a hospital for forty five day psych evaluation. This was required by Virginia State Law. After that she was released. Lorena has since become a firm for domestic violence with the Lorena Gallo Foundation founded in two thousand eight the created an organization to help victims of domestic violence and their children and to raise awareness of the issue. And this case I think we could probably go on and on talking about it and we really just glossed over it because we do want to get to the interviews because always being able to hear first hand from someone is always more valuable than us. Speculating before we speak to Llerena. We had a conversation with Luke Humphrey who played John Bobbitt and Danny Montalvo. Who Played Lorena Bobbitt? And their insight was particularly relevant to the issues in this film of domestic violence and the fact that this is not a black and white issue and how this looks on both sides of victim and victimize her so some of their insights were really helpful in understanding. This case. A little bit deeper. I also think it's interesting to hear from actors who have to portray both victims and offenders and how they feel about that and how that plays into the public's perception of those who are both victimized and those who victimized people so without further ado we'll get into our conversation with Luke and Danny. Hey how are you nice to meet you Mr meet you? I am so excited to be on a I just started listening to your show and immaculately hooked so big fans of very excited to be chatting with you thank you oh thank you. Wow all right I appreciate it so starting here. You're playing the role of John. Bobbett and John Bobbitt is portrayed as a violent and abusive victimize or of his wife in this movie. How do you prepare to play this type of role? Well this is interesting. I mean like normally playing fictional characters. So this were especially with. This is a story that was so much part of the cultural conversation. There's so much to draw upon but I interesting as far as doing research was the script that we had the story we were telling was the story that happened before or the cameras showed up before so when John is presenting himself. You know in all the footage I was able to look at his presenting himself. He's wearing a mask right. He's showing the world apart from said that he wants to be seen as so the job for me was to go okay like licking the script taking a store that we had going to court documents. You know review the transcripts and gathering information trying to draw a picture of someone and tried to find the man behind the mask and that for me was the most challenging bang. And 'cause you go through this I had moma talking with Lorena and she wanted to let me know that at the beginning there was love. You know and it's something for me playing an abuser like that. It's important to honor victim. You know and if I play someone. Who's dimensional if? I make it someone who's slightly whiplash. Trolling the mustache. Evil it discredits the people who have been taken advantage by people like that and so in the beginning when there's a blossoming romance that you can understand. Why he someone who someone to fall in love with you. Understand how these heavy abuse escalates and how he traps her by undermining different aspects of. You know her her intelligence or abilities. He creates a world where she is dependent upon him. And then you know things escalate so finding that mentality and finding the the incremental steps towards where it went to. That was a lot of the challenge. I mean I find acting as is a wonderful tool outside of just like performance in entertainment. It's it's a way of stepping into somebody's shoes. You know especially when looking at situations when you have crime or or something. Heinous with with high stakes. It's so easy to jump to painting them in black and white and I find the actors job is to step into that and understand their worldview mean. Very few people are walking around making decision always out of horrible person. I will do this horrible thing. People have emotional connection emotional impulses into intellectually justify themselves to themselves so you have to find out what that worldview is in what I so frequently in this in this script in this story I had to go through when be. This is the scene that the audience is watching. But this is the scene that I'm in. This may look like a man who's raging the control and abusing spouse but for me. I'm just you know for John in that moment. It was correcting somebody it was. I didn't want to go this far. New Push me there. It was headed completely. Take myself out in. See a whole other way into a scene great insight and I even heard some criminologists statements in there too so thanks. I appreciate it that so when considering a role like this. Did you think about the fact that John is the he is the bad guy? Even if it's not black and white and that you know that would be very alienating to female watchers or females in general. Yeah I mean just be really honest with you right now. I'm very apprehensive for this to come out. I wouldn't be surprised if I received some unpleasant feedback from audience members. But honestly like I take a look at the world right now in other myself in it and I have the opportunity to tell stories and particularly to embody roles like this because I think exploring these kinds of people in the effect they have on society is really important. And if that's my cross to bear in this situation than I think it's important enough to kind of push myself through that to get these stories told in a way that I think is important. Did the women in your life have any opinion. I wonder about you taking on this role. Yeah I mean I I'm married. I'm very happy relationship. My wife and I are very much in love. GonNa be. I'm not I'm so far from the Portray it's It's a challenging role to step into so I mean I was shooting in in Canada. My wife was in Los Angeles in one of the challenges of that is coming back. You know you're in your onset. Twelve hours a day in frequently. You're you're in this world. You're you know you're shooting violent scene. After violent scene it's going from emotional abuse physical abuse to sexual abuse all in days and just living in this world and then I remember one day coming home and just feeling like a monster and like having my wife to to to talk me back to to remind me that when I touched someone. It's not damaging when I when I use my voice on someone it's not to belittle or undermine just back to to bring me back and remind me of myself and remind me that you know. I'm not who I was betraying because it's psychologically challenging to live in that space for filming day after day after day for our you know it's it's it's it's important to pull yourself out. Certainly I've read about a lot of actors and actresses who assumed that role and they stay in at the whole time so I think I understand what you're referring to even if I have an experience it I Denise Guard director was phenomenon and g created an amazing crew of people who was predominantly female department heads since there is a lot of incredible women onset and when. I talked to her before I stepped into the role was Roy before I got the part. Was you know I don't want to do this unless less creating a space where this work can be held with respect? Because I'm not going? I'm not turning into this guy and taking this home with me. 'cause that's GonNa damage me people around me. I need to create a space where I can do this work. Do the work leave it at the door and go home. Feel like myself again. And she really created that space Intimacy coordinator stunt coordinators. The whole team came together in respect the fact that this was a true story. Retelling what we portraying actually happened to this woman. And if we don't respect that with reverence than we're doing a disservice to the reality of what this is for so many women in society. Did you take some because you said you're apprehensive about this coming out night kind of expected that? Did you take some time to really think about whether you wanted to play this role? Yeah Yeah I mean I come from the theater so i. I'm used to playing like young romantic leads in all these kinds of things but as an artist as an actor. These are the kinds of rules that I wanted to explore these. This is what I want to engage with in society As a storyteller. I don't know how this is going to turn out. I don't know how this is going to affect people who watch this but I believe how it was handled in. What we're handling is important enough that has made as maze been a challenge in scary for me to step into this is GonNa be worth it for the people that it can. You know providing share a story with Recognize themselves in it and hopefully you know reach out in helping get out of dangerous situations. You know when when you're filming you. It's it's all encompassing. You're working very long hours. You're working burying. It's very intense onset. You end a thankfully The crew in Danny Was fantastic. I A lot of great report with a lot of trust was there is so important but I had this moment when I when I met. Lorraine for the first time we've been filming for a while and I didn't know I was going to be meeting when I when I was in. We just finished filming about half a week of some of the most violent acts that take place in the film and then I go in and I need her. We greet each other and.