By Emily Rome
Updated April 09, 2013 at 01:00 PM EDT
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Violet & Daisy

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  • Movie

When Geoffrey Fletcher won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2010 for Precious, it was a surprise success after 17 years of trying to find a foothold in the film industry. Now, Fletcher is gearing up for the release of his feature directorial debut, though taking a seat in the director’s chair was nothing new for him when he embarked on his first post-Precious project.

“Directing felt like being back at home. It felt very comfortable because I’d shot so many things growing up and through grad school,” said Fletcher, whose short film Magic Markers first attracted the attention of Precious director Lee Daniels.

Fletcher’s upcoming film, Violet & Daisy, which he also wrote, is the story of two teenage assassins (played by Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan) who accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until their target (The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini) is not what they expected.

The film has been billed as an action-comedy, but Fletcher says the genre and style of the film evolve as Violet and Daisy grow and change. First and foremost, though, he considers the film a coming-of-age story and “a teen assassin fable.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why were Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel the right actresses for the title roles?

GEOFFREY FLETCHER: They’re both such remarkable talents. I felt so fortunate to get them. They relished their roles because they’re playing roles that are so different from ones that they’ve played in the past. You’ll see a side to Saoirse, Alexis, and James Gandolfini that you’ve never seen before.

Tell us about what’s going on in the film when Violet and Daisy are looking at this magazine.

This comes at a crucial moment in the film. It happens just before Violet and Daisy decide to embark on what will be a life-altering journey. They learn about something in this moment that they want desperately.

What was some of the thinking behind the design of the poster?

This poster reflects the film’s retro style and color palette as well as the juxtaposition of innocence and adulthood that takes place all throughout the film. It evokes the feeling from an era that was a significant influence on the film too. It has that late ’60s and ’70s feeling to it. Some of the influences in this film certainly come from that time.

And why the tagline “Too much sugar can kill you”?

I often like taglines that have multiple meanings. At times Violet and Daisy are quite sweet.

Where will audiences familiar with Precious recognize your mark in Violet & Daisy, or do you see them as two very different films?

I feel both ways. I’m certain some people will watch this film and conclude that it bears no resemblance to Precious. I think others will watch the film and see striking similarities between the two films. But some of the things they have in common are that they are set in New York City and there are moments that are shocking and humorous, sad, funny, I hope, and ultimately it all lands in a redemptive place. They’re both coming-of-age stories where young women are finding their ways in very tough environments. But I’ve heard from the few people that have seen it early – I’ve heard both reactions, that they can see the continuity from Precious or that it bears no resemblance to Precious.

What was the festival circuit experience like for Violet & Daisy?

Toronto was a great screening and so was Savannah. The energy and the laughter – when you make a film, you never really know how people will react, but we were so thrilled with how effusive the audiences were, how much they laughed, how many times they were surprised. The movie moves through a few genres, and we were so pleased to see how the audience just went with it because the film starts and ends in starkly different places. We’ve always felt that there’s a Trojan horse deep within the film, we were thrilled to see the audience was right there throughout all of that.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

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Violet & Daisy

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