Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Tiffany Giddes and Teal Sherer, here’s what you should know about them…
Hollywood action movie? Check. Assassins, double-crossing, and intrigue? Yes, please. Leading ladies that kick ass and take names? Sounds like a winner. But Collision is no ordinary action film, and its stars are no ordinary starlets. Tiffany Giddes and Teal Sherer use wheelchairs and so do the assassins they play. The result? A one-of-a-kind action film that portrays not only lead actors with disabilities, but women, all in a positive and powerful light. And like most creative ventures, it all started with a good idea.
“I think that Hollywood has this – and not just Hollywood – I think that people in general have this, like, stigma on people in chairs – that we are weak, that we are fragile, that we can’t do certain things,” says Tiffany, who first came up with the inspiration for Collision. “I wanted to bust all of those stigmas, and I wanted to take the barriers that, you know, society has on people in chairs and just shatter them. And what kind of cooler thing to do than make a movie about, you know, women kicking ass?”
And by all accounts, Collision makes certain to show said ass-kicking. From the kickstarter.com description of the film: While rehabilitating from a motor vehicle accident that left her paralyzed, Jessica (Tiffany Giddes) meets Charlie (Teal Sherer), a local bakery owner and fellow wheelchair user. Jessica soon realizes that Charlie is leading a double life as an assassin, and that she’s being groomed as her partner. While Jessica looks to get revenge on the man that put her in a wheelchair and Charlie seeks protection from former bosses that are trying to have her killed, both women learn that you can’t change the past, and friendship is the key to moving forward.
“I think what’s cool, Tiffany and I both are really strong,” says Teal. “We work out, we have trainers, and we do a lot of things in our chairs, and I think most people just don’t ever see it. That’s what’s cool about the film, even though we both may not be able to jump and dive out of our chair and kick somebody in the face, it’s like, what would you do if you were in a wheelchair in that situation? And there’s a lot of other things you can do.”
While the final product for Collision is still in the works, and how it will eventually be presented remains to be seen (a feature-length, short film, or even as a pilot for a television series), the purpose is, and has always been, intact. It’s about changing perceptions and highlighting the strength, ability, and normalcy of all people, regardless of the circumstances.
“To me, I think the big misconception about people with disabilities is that we’re broken, and that we’re fragile, and that I need to be fixed in some way, and that’s not true,” says Teal. “We’re both – this is our situation – we’re both very healthy, very strong, and that’s something I think will come across in the film – that we aren’t striving to be walking or striving to be something else. This is the situation, and this is our life and what we’re doing, and it’s great and fine how it is.”
Below is the video of Johnny interviewing Tiffany and Teal.
Download audio MP3 file (Right-click and choose “Save Target As…” or “Save File As…”)
Transcript coming soon