Lena Dunham Plays a Pregnant Wife Unaware of Her Husband's Betrayal in Steamy Sharp Stick Trailer
Warning: The above trailer contains potentially NSFW content.
Lena Dunham's next project sees her in quite the pickle.
The newly released red-band trailer for Sharp Stick, written and directed by Dunham, 36, sees her also starring as a pregnant woman whose husband (Jon Bernthal) is having an affair with a younger woman (Looking for Alaska's Kristine Froseth).
According to an official synopsis, Froseth's protagonist character Sarah Jo "is a naïve 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her mother and sister" who "just longs to be seen."
"When she begins an affair with her older employer, she is thrust into an education on sexuality, loss and power," the synopsis adds.
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Sharp Stick premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where Dunham told Deadline she was inspired in part by "female-led films of the '70s," which she watched during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
"It was a time where female sexuality was very explored," she said. "But often these amazing female characters are also being explored from a male [point of view], and that comes with certain, I think, misperceptions about female sexuality."
"I was interested in the idea of creating a film that delved into some of those same [themes], but from a female perspective, and then also of a character who had dealt with a certain kind of trauma," Dunham explained.
Dunham said in a statement to IndieWire while discussing Sharp Stick, "It's a joke as old as celluloid that the minute we spot a sexually active girl in a horror movie, we know she's going to die in a blood death."
"She's let someone touch her below the neck, and so she's marked for murder," she continued. "But there's a more subtle crime we commit toward women on camera, where female characters who dare to take a journey sexually may not get full-on murdered, but they do endure another kind of torture — one more exquisite and subtle."
Dunham went on to describe the torture as one "of judgment, of questioning, of self-doubt and loneliness and regret over choices that should ultimately just be part of the fabric of self-actualization in that same way it can be for their male counterparts."
"Interrogating these cinematic iniquities, I began to imagine a character whose sexual journey would be totally unique, unmarred by shame or self-hate or the projections of others," she said in her statement to IndieWire. "She would use sex not to destroy her body but to heal it from a history of medicalized trauma and cultural projection."