Rhianne Barreto and J.C. MacKenzie of HBO’s “Share” on Shame and Sexual Assault

Share Rhiane Barreto J.C. Mackenzie Rhianne Barreto, J.C. Mackenzie and Poorna Jagannathan of PIppa Bianco's "Share." (HBO)

Welcome back to More of a Comment, Really…, a weekly interview podcast hosted by Clint Worthington! Every episode will feature interviews with actors, filmmakers, producers, and more, giving you the skinny on the latest films and TV.

CW: contains discussions of sexual assault.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to truly capture the complexities of life after sexual assault, especially in an age where social media can relitigate the event and retraumatize victims in untold ways. The genius of Pippa Bianco’s feature debut Share (premiering on HBO tonight) is that it doesn’t shy away from its victim: Mandy (Rhianne Barreto), a high school student drunkenly taken advantage of at a house party one night. She remembers nothing of what happened, and her only clue is a blurry cell phone video from one of the perpetrators that got shared to everyone around school. Rather than fall into histrionics, or immediately demand justice, Mandy withdraws, doing everything she can to ignore it and move on.

It’s a challenging role to play, and Rhianne Barreto accomplishes that sense of dissociation with incredible aplomb. Bianco’s film focuses firmly on Mandy’s experience, and the young actor manages to convey volumes of emotion in every one of Bianco’s dreamlike closeups and staggered naturalistic conversations. Her relationship with her parents — especially her father, played with a relatable dumbfoundedness by J.C. Mackenzie — smartly highlights the disconnect between how adults feel she should react and how she actually does.

Luckily, I got the chance to sit down with Rhianne and J.C. over a conference call to discuss how they were approached for Share, their characters’ differing reactions to the film’s events, and the need to have open, frank discussions about the impact of sexual assault in a post-#MeToo world.

(More of a Comment, Really… is a proud member of the Chicago Podcast Coop. Thanks to Overcast for sponsoring this episode!)


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