What was your initial interpretation of Bobbi on the page?
I liked Bobbi. I liked this idea of making it more normal to be vocal about what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling. It was like when you’re entering a space and no one wants to say anything, Bobbi would be like, “I guess I’ll just be the one to throw it out there.”
But in the book, she’s only seen through one person’s lens, and it’s specifically from someone who idolizes her, who loves her, who is her friend and was her lover. I think it just made me almost frustrated for Bobbi, because just because she likes to party and just because she’s vocal and just because she seems like she can be rude and blunt and all those things does not mean that that’s the full picture, because you’re only getting one side. So I was excited to put [my take on the character] into action and force everyone to look at the other half of the picture.
What were some of the additional shades you wanted to add to Bobbi’s onscreen persona that might not have come through due to the first-person perspective of the book?
I think just how attentive she is to Frances, and her own feelings and her own personality. Bobbi is the extroverted half to an introvert. It reminds me of [my relationship with] my brother. He’s the extroverted half to my introvert. So I can be quiet and he gets to do all the “things” for me, and then people think they had a conversation with both of us, but really it was just with him. I was just there. I just showed face, you know?
So for me, it was about, “Do you realize how hard it is to be with a friend, your soulmate, who will not tell you what they’re thinking?” You have to make all the decisions, you have to swallow your own pride and your own emotions for the sake of them in that moment because maybe they are more fragile. So to me, it took a lot of care and a lot of reading Frances’ mind to recognize that what she needed sometimes was a lot more important than what Bobbi needed, because Bobbi was apparently good all the time and didn’t have a single emotion. So I wanted to focus a lot on that, especially when there were scenes where you could see everyone in the room together.
One scene that struck me was when Bobbi gives Frances a bath. Bobbi makes a passive joke about how surprising it must be to see her being nurturing, and Frances quickly counters by suggesting that Bobbi has always been nurturing and that she’s always known that about her. In your mind, was Bobbi actually unaware of her nurturing side?