Among the many, many films that made their big (or not so much) debut at the Sundance film festival during the past week or so, one that stands out is Sweetwater – a Western with a twist, starring January Jones.
The actress, who is of course best known for her role as a desperate housewife on Mad Men, is making a big turn in her career with this film. In Sweetwater, she plays a former prostitute who is now out to avenge the death of her husband, by hunting down his killers one by one. Jones herself has spoken about the challenges of the role and the nude scenes in particular: "I'd just stopped nursing and I think modesty just kind of flies out the window sometimes when you're a mom, and I was like, whatever," she said of a particular scene, in which her character is bathing in a river, with her back turned to the camera. When a couple of men try to attack the seemingly vulnerable woman, she turns around and shoots them down.
"Also, that scene in particular when I read the script was so ... amusing to me, I couldn't not do it. I've never seen a scene like that in a movie when you think a woman is just swimming in a river and you realize she's using her sexuality to lure these men in and then turns around and blows them away. And that's pretty awesome.” Jones adds about the scene in question.
The actress has also discussed the challenge and the fun in playing such a strong female character. She disagreed with the description “feminist western”, but nevertheless defended the film’s themes by saying: "The character is not anti-men either; in the beginning of the movie, she is madly in love with her husband, but I think if it’s feminist in the way that she is a female character who is strong and stands up for herself and takes revenge on the people that wronged her, then sure. She is not a fragile flower. She takes charge."