The ‘Bad Sisters’ cast on the liberating joys of attempted murder and what it’s like being a ‘bad’ star
A few months ago, the cast of ‘Bad Sister’ were gathered in Nashville to celebrate their movie’s premiere. And like most of their fans, they were excited to see the movie again. Even on the occasion of this weekend’s premiere in Toronto, the cast members sat in rapt silence while a live orchestra played the movie’s soundtrack. This is not a film with many redeeming social values, a film about the trials and tribulations of a high school chemistry teacher who thinks she can make a difference in a small town through her ‘bad’ behavior. Even the fact that it’s a film about the lives and loves of teenagers — and a movie that, let’s be honest, I’ve seen already — doesn’t make it any less of a film. That said, as they discussed the film in the cramped theatre, the cast made one thing very clear: they were here to enjoy the film and not think about the ‘Bad Sisters’ label. They wanted to talk about the film’s social message, and what their characters would do if they were given the chance.
In the movie, the central character is Karen, a science teacher who tries to make a difference in her small-town in Kentucky by teaching her students the importance of a second chance. In theory, she’s a pretty good teacher, a good role model for the girls she teaches in the small high school. But things aren’t always as they appear. She is prone to fits of irrational rage, usually triggered by the smallest things. Her family is dysfunctional, and her mother hates her because she took away her dad’s car as a teenager.
So one day Karen and her friends go to a bar to celebrate the end of a girl’s dance season and Karen starts talking to the bartender about a new girl at school who has a boyfriend. She ends up getting into a shouting match with a young man named Billy who is one of Karen’s students. Billy has been in Karen’s class since the fifth grade, and the teacher believes that because he’s one more guy in the class, he should be able to see past his mistakes. Karen realizes that she has made a mistake and the following day, Karen and Billy have a fight and end up on the floor. When Karen tries to leave the