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Bates Gets Her Way With Lifetime Movie

(Posted September 6, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

Kathy Bates fell hard for "Ambulance Girl." "I just didn't want to let anyone else get their mitts on it. I knew what I wanted to do with it. I didn't want anyone else telling me what to do," says the Oscar-winning actress, who is both star and director of the new Lifetime movie.

"Ambulance Girl" is no girl, however. She's a mature woman, a real person: Jane Stern, who with her husband, Michael, chronicles American culture through books, radio and television.

The film, premiering Sept. 12 at 9 p.m. EDT, is an adaptation of Stern's 2003 memoir about how becoming a volunteer emergency medical technician gave her the confidence to salvage her marriage and emotional health.

Trevor Walton, Lifetime's vice president of original movies, says Bates' casting was ideal because she "knows how to produce pathos and humor all in the same breath. It's a really sort of compelling, sad, difficult tale, but it's also imbued with humor."

When Bates said she'd like to direct as well, Walton had no hesitation because "what informs her, both as an actress and as a director, is that she's a keen observer of the human condition."

Bates is no newcomer to directing. She earned an Emmy nomination for the A&E movie "Dash and Lilly," and an episode of HBO's "Six Feet Under" brought her a Directors Guild nomination. She's also helmed episodes of "NYPD Blue" and "Everwood."

But "Ambulance Girl" was the first time she was both director and star. She's quick to mention the "tremendous amount of help" she received from the producers and crew, particularly cinematographer Jean Lepine.

Directing oneself, she notes, is definitely "the whole kit and caboodle."

The first few days on the set were "sort of my trial by fire," Bates recalled. "Once you've set the scene, and you know the way you want to shoot it, and how you want to play it, you've got to get into the scene and forget everything else."

Source: Yahoo! News

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