The Royal Hotel from director Kitty Green

Kitty Green on the Contrast of Beauty and Darkness in ‘The Royal Hotel’

The Royal Hotel is a dark story about two young girls who go to the Australian outback on a journey to try and make money for a holiday. While there, they experience the true fear of toxic masculinity and what being stranded with it can feel like when you’re up against the wall with it. Hanna (Julia Garner) is always aware of what is going on but her friend Liv (Jessica Henwick) tries to be a little more open to the experience but the setting of Australia really helps to set the scene.

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In talking with director Kitty Green, I asked her about bringing the beauty of Australia to life for the film and making sure her home country was still visually stunning while highlighting how the fear that Hannah and Liv felt wasn’t understated.

“We were conscious to make it look beautiful because Australia is stunning and the landscape is stunning and we wanted to convey that,” Green said. “So even though the story is dark and goes into some dark territory, we were very conscious that the landscape should be gorgeous. So when we were looking for places to shoot, even the waterhole and this sort of place, we really needed it to feel, we thought visually that was kind of, you know, why not make it take advantage of the country that we’re shooting in, you know? So to us we were very specific about where we were shooting and how and what we were kind of, how we were portraying Australia. And also, beause it does have some nice place, like the Sydney Harbor and it’s got some really beautiful kind of touristy things in there, even though, yeah, it’s a pretty dark story.”

You can see our full conversation here:

The Royal Hotel is in theaters now.

(featured image: Neon)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.