Podtalk: Director Unjoo Moon Sings the Song of ‘I Am Woman’

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CHICAGO – “I Am Woman” is a song, which hit number one in 1972, and it’s the title of the newly released biopic of the song’s singer, the chanteuse Helen Reddy. The director of the film is Unjoo Moon, an Australian by way of South Korea. Since Reddy was a fellow Aussie, Moon understood the quirky dynamics of the singer’s life, and uniquely generated it in the film.

Although the film is about Reddy, it also is a journey to her “I Am Woman” power, and its prominence as a feminist anthem. Australian actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey distinctly portrays Reddy, who won a contest to record a record in the U.S. in the 1960s … only to travel there with her daughter and find out the prize didn’t exist. She stayed and eventually met agent and future husband Jeff Wald (Evan Peters) who took her on a rocky path to her 1970s hit making period. The film fulfills all of the symbolic legacy of the song and the singer.

Director Unjoo Moon on Set with “I Am Woman”
Photo credit: Quiver Distribution

Unjoo Moon was born in South Korea, but was raised in Sydney, Australia. Her path to director began after starting a journalism career, and eventually led to moving to Los Angeles with her cinematographer husband Dion Beebe (“Chicago,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” Oscar winner for “Memoirs of a Geisha” and DP for “I Am Woman”), and getting her Masters of Fine Arts from the American Film Institute for Directing. Her first film was a documentary, “The Zen of [Tony] Bennett” (2012), and “I Am Woman” began a year later when Moon met Helen Reddy and was astounded that her story hadn’t been told.

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, director Unjoo Moon of “I Am Woman” talks about the film’s origins, the signature song and casting Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Helen Reddy.

In Part Two, Moon talks about shooting the performance sequences, recreating the Helen Reddy era and the legacy of the song-and-singer.

“I Am Woman” is available through Video-On-Demand and limited actual theaters. See local and online listings. Featuring Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Danielle Macdonald, Evan Peters and Chris Parnell. Written by Emma Jensen. Directed by Unjoo Moon. Not Rated.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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