AUSTIN — “Open Windows,” Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film starring Sasha Grey alongside A-lister Elijah Wood, premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin , Texas on Monday.
Billed as the 21st century’s “Rear Window,” “Open Windows,” despite a frosty reception from critics, has been lauded for its innovative style (most of the action unfolds on computers, phones and other devices).
Wood plays Nick Chambers, a webmaster utterly obsessed with famous actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). Chambers believes he has won a contest to meet Goddard, until a strange man posing as her manager tells him that the contest was cancelled — but offers unlimited access to the star via extensive hidden surveillance cameras. The trailer shows glimpses of the ensuing psychodrama, in which Chambers is drawn into the impostor’s plot to hunt down Goddard.
Grey told the Daily Beast in an interview that she was already fan of Vigalondo when she heard he was working on a new project, and asked her former manager to get the script. When Vigalondo came to L.A. from Spain, they met and hit it off.
“We had some good talks and meetings, and he cast me,” Grey said. “There’s a sense of irony and reflection in my character in this film that’s a nod to my past in adult films. I’m not the kind of person who ever wants to hide or forget my past, so I enjoyed that element of it.”
She explained further, “There are elements of Jill that are true to her character — she’s a diva, has had problems with drugs, isn’t a faithful or loyal person — and that’s what a lot of people project onto me. And she’s an actress that everyone loves to hate, and I deal with that too. People love to hate me.”
Beyond the ironic congruities, Grey and Jill do share the similar, harrowing experience of dealing with stalkers. Grey says that even while filming “Open Windows,” she was being harassed by both an in-the-flesh stalker and cyberstalker.
“I’ve dealt with strange things,” she said. “There’s a sense of entitlement that people have because of the Internet, and because we’re part of the public eye. You’re walking down the street with your phone and people grab you and say, ‘Hey, can I have a picture?’ You deal with that. But the scarier part is the people that don’t give up, hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, and feel like they have a right to insert themselves into your life.”
For more information and showtimes, click here.