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5 Questions with Ally Walker of Sex, Death and Bowling

Speaking to Ally Walker, an actress who has starred in While You Were Sleeping, Tell Me That You Love Me, The Profiler and many other projects is an absolute joy. The actress has written and directed a narrative feature for the first time with the uniquely titled Sex, Death and Bowling which stars Adrian Grenier, Selma Blair, Drea de Matteo and is an extremely charming film about coming home, family, cancer, identity, the 1990’s, and yes, bowling.

We talked with Walker by phone and she supplied some very surprising anecdotes about this very personal movie.

Scene Creek: Have you been to Toronto before?

Ally Walker: I lived there for a movie that I did called If You Believe, an HBO film with Hayden Panittiere, and I lived in a beautiful house in Rosedale? I want to say Rosedale. I LOVED it.

Scene Creek: Like every actor and actress, all you wanted to do was direct?

Ally Walker: (Laughing) No, I don’t think so. I didn’t know that I wanted to direct until I directed, and then I just went “Okay, I’ll do it” I really have caught the bug and I’d like to do it again. I just kind of did it. We put together a cast rather quickly and got some money, and one of my producers said to me “it’s your story, you should do it”, and I thought to myself “it can’t be that difficult”, well, famous last words…but I loved it and I want to do it again.

Scene Creek: And from your experience in acting, you’re probably more of an actor’s director?

Ally Walker: Yes. Yes. I know. But this piece was right up my alley, no pun intended, and it’s about acting and it’s about relationships and that sort of a thing, you know, that I find interesting about film. I was a child of the seventies and there were some really great movies. I miss those sorts of movies.

I found death to be a central character which was sort of interesting, because also there is a lot of laughter and joy and dancing around.

Scene Creek: Who happened to be the best bowler?

Ally Walker: (Laughing) Adrian Grenier, I defy anyone to go bowling with him. We actually had a bowling expert and we were actually thinking, “Could Adrian bowl these for us because we could save a hundred bucks.” And Adrian hit a strike nine times out of ten, as a matter of fact, when he did one of the strikes for the other team, he did them. Those were his strikes and we had to use visual effects to get him out of the shot. Well he grew up in Santa Fe and it was boring. And he’s about ten years younger than me and we went to the same lanes, but I’m not the bowler he is man, he’s amazing.

Scene Creek: The nineties flashback feel was so great!

Ally Walker: Thanks, man. I remember the song Hip Hop Hooray, as it was right around the time that I was doing Universal Soldier, and it was a happier time, and Bill Clinton was president, and these boys were hanging out, thanks, man! Thanks for noticing. But bullies were always around, man. How I came to write this was that I was at the Golden Globes and I ran into Tom Ford, and I spent a few years in high school with Tom and he was a sweet beautiful boy who was wickedly funny, and he made me laugh, and I knew that he was gay. We were all talking about gay marriage and I was thinking about Tom, knowing that he was different, knowing that he couldn’t talk about it, knowing that he wasn’t going to be accepted. And I thought to myself, we’re all gonna die, and we might as well love and accept everybody as best as we can. And it’s always bothered me about homophobia, racism, I mean being a woman, tell me about it. Its weird that people define you in such a way just to dislike you.

Sex, Death and Bowling is now available on DVD and VOD.