Interviews: Director Michael Cross Talks About His Upcoming Comedy Second Nature

This September, Collette Wolfe and Sam Huntington swap genders – and Second Nature filmmaker Cross is there to capture it.

TMS: In a few words, what’s the film about?

MC: When mayoral candidate Amanda (Collette Wolfe – Interstellar, Hot Tub Time Machine) uses a magic mirror to reverse the gender roles in her small town, she gains the upper hand on her womanizing opponent, Bret (Sam Huntington – Superman Returns, Sully). As each experiences life in the other’s shoes, they must decide which reality they prefer before they’re stuck in the flipped world forever.

TMS: Always been a fan of the genre?

MC: Yes, I’ve always loved comedy. Second Nature is rooted in truth, which is where most of the humor comes from. It’s really the movie I’ve always wanted to see. I think there’s a good balance of funny scenes, dramatic and romantic moments. Comedy is so subjective, but in general I think it’s a mistake to try to make every scene funny. If you’re presenting nonstop jokes, it’s an opportunity missed, preventing your audience the chance to feel the weight of your story.

TMS: Have you discovered any unlikely fans or segments that you didn’t count on?

MC: So far nearly everyone who has seen Second Nature has really connected with the gender equality message. The result of many years in writing the script is a film that allows both women and men to feel what it’s like to walk in each others’ shoes – which was a tough balance to achieve without alienating one or the other.

TMS: Have doors opened for you as a result of it?

MC: Having directed Second Nature has already led to not only more commercial directing jobs but also an increased interest in my next feature film – so hopefully my next one won’t take 8 years to get off the ground!

TMS: Would you compare the storyline to anything we’ve seen in earlier films? Anything you can say is an intentional homage?

MC: You might say Second Nature is in the lines of Bridesmaids meets Freaky Friday. If you pay close attention you’ll see homages to Tootsie and Back to the Future as well.

TMS: Has it all gone according to plan for you? Anything you’ll do differently next time around?

MC: By the time we wrapped our first week of the shoot, my crew was a well-oiled machine. With a larger budget we could have allowed ourselves more prep time before filming began and reached our team efficiency earlier in the process, so this is a definite goal for my next film.

TMS: What’s ahead for you?

MC: Until my next film is unveiled, please check out Second Nature! Limited theatrical release begins September 8 in Seattle, and on video worldwide (iTunes, Amazon, Google, DVD, Blu-ray + more) starting September 19.