Sean Baker’s third feature film, Starlet, finds him exploring the world of sun soaked California through the eyes of porn star Jane, played by model come actress Dree Hemingway. Coming off his last film, Prince of Broadway and her successful modeling career, Baker and Hemingway came together to tell the story of the unlikely relationship that emerges between Jane and Sadie (85 year-old newcomer Besedka Johnson) when Jane stumbles upon a stash of money in an old relic bought at Sadie’s yard sale.
In his new film, Baker uses a more contained, locked down camera style then his previous works yet also incorporated more improvisation into his storytelling. Hemingway, for her part, engulfed herself in the role, spending time with adult film stars in an attempt to learn the lingo and embody the lifestyle. Below, Baker and Hemingway discuss their work methods, individually and together, what it was like to work with real porn stars, and how two separate stories became one film.