On Sunday, April 20, Famke Janssen strolled into the Roy and Niuta Tutus Theatre at MoMA for the premiere of her new film, Turn the River, wearing a pink tiered dress and heels: a striking contrast to “Kailey,” the crazy-haired, sweat-stained character she plays in the film. “Kailey is asexual,” the 42-year-old Dutch model-turned-actress said of her role, during a Q&A session. “I generally don’t get cast as a ‘house mouse’ type woman. I don’t think it would be that exciting.”
Thinking woman’s sex object Chris Eigeman, the movie’s writer-director, said he had written the part explicitly for Ms. Janssen, his co-star in The Treatment (2006). “I love her cowboy spirit,” he told the Transom. “Her no-bullshit approach, no mixing about, no preciousness. It’s not just that she has these incredible legs, this incredible stride … there’s something else, this spirit, this fierce independence.”
The film follows Kailey from upstate New York, where she is making a living off poker games, to Manhattan, where she tries to reconnect with her sixth-grade son, Gully (Jaymie Dornan). The agenda quickly becomes rescuing Gully from his aggressive and alcoholic father, to which end Kailey decides to raise money playing pool and take the kid to Canada.
“I wrote this because I lost a lot of money back in the day playing pool, now I just play friendly games of cards,” Mr. Eigeman said. “I found myself in a few raids in poker rooms. … They’re both scary, and my wife very clearly explained to me that I won’t be doing that anymore.”
Also in attendance: his former Gilmore Girls co-star, Lauren Graham, The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi, singer Lisa Loeb and 30 Rock’s Lonny Ross, who shares Mr. Eigeman’s fondness for pool. “It’s a sexy game,” he said. “Bowling, too. A lot of butt.”