Eva Green and Gemma Arterton will star in drama Vita & Virginia, based on the true story of the love affair and friendship between literary icon Virginia Woolf and author Vita Sackville-West.
The film will be directed by British helmer Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) from a script by Eileen Atkins based on her own play of the same name, which debuted in 1992.
Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912, and then met socialite and author Vita Sackville-West, wife of Harold Nicolson, in 1922. They began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a decade, as shown in their various letters and diary entries. After their affair ended, they remained friends until Woolf’s death in 1941. Green will play Woolf while Arterton will play Sackville-West.
“One of the joys in my life is that in the space of a few months I can go from playing a depressed mother to a Restoration strumpet to a wartime screenwriter […] I live these different lives, asking myself, ‘Can I go to that length? Can I push myself further?’ It’s a way of exploring myself. You’re always learning with each role.” - Town & Country Magazine (2017)
If I’m developing a project as a producer it is my responsibility to give it to a female director or make sure I get relationships with female writers because there are loads of them out there, they’re just not being given the opportunity to do what they want to do, or being given the money to do what they want to do.
It’s Getting Late dir. Massy Tadjedin (2012) The Voices dir. Marjane Satrapi (2014) Gemma Bovary dir. Anne Fontaine (2014) Their Finest dir. Lone Scherfig (2016) My Zoe dir. Julie Delpy (2018) Vita & Virginia dir. Chanya Button (2018)
“What is it about wearing a tuxedo or that little black dress, that makes us feel confident, beautiful, splendid, even invincible? We put on formal wear and suddenly we become extraordinary. On the days when you feel low and invisible, why not try this on for size: imagine you are wearing a fantastic tailored tuxedo or a stunning formal gown. And then proceed with your day.”
I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it.[…]
Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don’t really resent it.
Virginia to Vita:
Look here Vita — throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.