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Critics' Academy - Sharing impressions with the Starlet cast



The real magic of STARLET is how fully realized, well written and performed the characters are and how the film refuses to judge them for their actions. These elements that are brought forth could have been handled in an exploitative or negative way, but the film captures a perfect tone. (...)
A great deal of attention was also spent on actress Besedka Johnson, who plays the elderly Sadie. She was discovered in a YMCA gym by Tsou, who thought she would be great for the part. Johnson hadn't done any acting, but had dreamt of being a performer since the age of 15. She never commented on any of the film's more risqué elements, but did mention to the director that it included a lot of pot-smoking.
Another interesting fact which was revealed was that the film never really had a fully written screenplay, rather a 70-page “scriptment.” The actors would improvise much of their dialogue around scenes set up in the script. In some cases they would even interact with real people and non-actors, who then had to sign a disclosure agreement allowing the filmmakers to use them in STARLET.