Yale School of Drama professor and New York-based actor Bill Connington can be found both on the poster and as screenwriter of a new independent romantic comedy called “Love, Repeat.”
“Love, Repeat” was released to video on demand on Dec. 22. Connington is the star, screenwriter and producer of the movie, which was directed by Canadian director Shelagh Carter. The movie’s plot follows James, a New Yorker who realizes he is in love with his ex-wife and struggles to win her back.
“Romantic comedy is something I’ve always been drawn to, from the screwball comedies of the 1930s, the romantic works of Alfred Hitchcock in the mid-20th century, to the pop culture romantic comedies of the early 2000s,” Connington said. “There’s something there for everyone, since love with a capital L is important in many peoples’ lives.”
Connington added that the story looks into both the more painful aspects of love, as well as humorous incidents that arise from “the things people do when they are [in love].”
He explained that characters in romantic comedies are often “exaggerated,” with impeccable looks, large apartments and dream jobs. But the characters in “Love, Repeat,” are mundane people who are trying to pursue meaning through their relationships.
“To them, love is everything,” Connington said.
According to Connington, “Love, Repeat” took approximately four years to develop and distribute, which is quicker than for most movies. Even though it only took 12 days to shoot the film, its production spanned several years.
After writing the screenplay, Connington had to find a director, crew and artistic team. He was also tasked with casting the film. Instead of going through a regular casting process and holding auditions for actors, Connington first reached out to his friends and personal connections.
Leenya Rideout, who plays James’ ex-wife in the film, noted that Connington’s collaborative nature allowed him to “attract and assemble incredibly diverse and talented people.”
School of Drama acting professor Daniela Varon said when watching the film, she was struck by Connington’s persuasive performance of an emotionally contained man who discovers his capacity for expression.
“There is mysteriousness in Bill’s film acting, a wonderfully compelling quality,” Varon said. “You want to get to know this person better — and then you do. All these qualities are communicated as much through his detailed and layered physical acting as through the language.”
Since “Love, Repeat” is an independent film, the film crew did not use much equipment. They used a mobile camera to shoot footage in populated locations such as Central Park, Times Square and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“The film is my valentine to New York City,” Connington said. “There are many films that show the harder, tough side of the city. I wanted to show a softer, more intimate side.”
In his work, Connington has often taken on multiple roles while producing films. He recently wrote, produced and starred in an upcoming psychological horror film titled “Poughkeepsie is for Lovers.”
Connington also works with actors on their physicality and mind-body connection at the Yale School of Drama. He additionally acts as an informal advisor to students producing their own films.
“Bill is a beautiful colleague to work with and does amazing work with our students,” Anne Tofflemire, a professor in the acting department, said. “He is one one the best listeners I’ve ever known and students benefit from his extraordinary skills in observation and feedback. I’m always thrilled when students come into singing right after working with Bill because they’re always feeling grounded and open and happy.”
“Love, Repeat” was made available on DVD in January.
Marisol Carty | firstname.lastname@example.org