SPAZ: Cheatin’ is your first drama?
Bill Plympton: I really wanted to push the character development, the story concept, and emotional impact. I wanted to make it a little bit stronger. So it’s not as funny as my past films, but I think that people come out of the theater a lot more affected. This is a first time I’ve had a female protagonist.It’s a couple that are madly in love with each other, but yet they try to kill each other.
SPAZ: It’s just one little misunderstanding.
BP: Yeah, it causes the wheels to come off their relationship. He’s sort of a real macho guy until he falls in love with Ella, and that changes his life. He becomes a very romantic guy and then she breaks his heart inadvertently, and that’s where things get really crazy.
SPAZ: Yet, there’s still humor in the film.
BP: The whole idea of a woman loving her husband so much that she’s willing to let him sleep with other women as long as she can go along for the ride… I thought that was such a way out idea, that it would be funny, people would find it humorous.
SPAZ: The use of a lot of Italian opera really plays into the passion between the characters.
BP: There’s no dialogue in the film, so it’s visual poetry. It’s a very passionate film, so it just seemed natural that opera would be the perfect musical backdrop,
SPAZ: Would you consider doing a series?
BP: I do have a series in mind called Tiffany the Whale, I may just produce this show myself, put it online.
SPAZ: Tell me about working with Kanye West.
BP: It was a good experience, I love him, he’s a great guy. When he was a kid his mother used to take him to Spike and Mike animation shows, he saw my films and became a big fan. It was about 5-6 years ago he commissioned Michel Gondry to do a music video for his new film, Heard ‘Em Say and Michel spent like, half a million dollars on it, closed down Macy’s… and Kanye didn’t like it! He called me in the middle of the night “Hello Bill, this is Kanye West.” I certainly knew who he was and I said, “yeah, I’d be happy to do your music video.” He says “well there’s two catches. One is the money is gone, because Michel Gondry spent it all, and two, I need it in a week.” I said yeah, what the heck. So he came to my apartment, we shot some stuff outside, and then he would look over my shoulder as I was drawing and say, “I think I’m more handsome than that, can you make me more handsome?” (laughs) They played it all over the world. I still love his stuff, I think he’s extremely talented.
For the rest of the interview with Bill Plympton, including a comic book version of a great story told to us by Bill, see SPAZ Comics #1!
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