Dani Montalvo stars as Lorena Bobbitt within the Lifetime film ‘I Was Lorena Bobbitt.’ HL spoke with the actress about how Lorena ‘guided’ her whereas filming, why Lorena is a ‘highly effective’ inspiration for girls, and extra.

Lorena Bobbitt’s unimaginable story is being informed within the new Lifetime film, I Was Lorena Bobbitt, which premieres Could 25. Lorena, now 49, made headlines all over the place when she minimize off her now ex-husband’s penis with a knife in 1993 after years of alleged abuse. The film will discover Lorena’s life from the beginning of her marriage to John Wayne Bobbitt, now 53, to the dramatic finish of their relationship. I Was Lorena Bobbitt, which is govt produced and narrated by Lorena, may also present how Lorena has emerged a stronger girl who has devoted her life to advocating for different abused ladies.

In 1993, Lorena notoriously minimize off John’s penis with a knife whereas he slept and threw it out her automobile window. John was initially tried for marital sexual assault. In the course of the trial, Lorena accused John of raping and assaulting her all through their marriage. John denied abusing Lorena and was discovered not responsible of marital sexual assault. Lorena was tried for malicious wounding and located not responsible by motive of non permanent madness. John and Lorena divorced in 1995.

MeSlop talked with actress Dani Montalvo, who’s enjoying Lorena Bobbitt within the Lifetime film. She admitted that she had “no concept” who Lorena was earlier than filming. Dani opened up about assembly Lorena for the primary time and their “immediate connection.” Having Lorena on set whereas filming gave Dani extra “confidence” and “further braveness.” Dani additionally spoke about her outrage for a way Lorena was handled by the media through the high-profile case. Learn our full Q&A beneath.

How acquainted have been you with Lorena Bobbitt earlier than signing on for this film?
Dani Montalvo: So earlier than I received the audition, I had no concept who she was. I had by no means heard of her identify earlier than. I had by no means heard of any of the jokes, and I didn’t know of the incident itself. As quickly as I received the audition, that’s after I began doing all of the analysis. That’s after I noticed the Amazon documentary and the trial that was televised. I checked out the entire protection and all of the footage, simply hours and hours of that.

Did you discuss with Lorena in any respect? 
Dani Montalvo: Sure, she is an govt producer on the film. She personally known as me just a few days after I booked the position to congratulate me, which was great. So I received to talk to her on the telephone, after which to fulfill her in particular person was so surreal. As quickly as I met her, I felt like telling her, “Hey, I missed you.” Though I hadn’t met her earlier than, I already felt so linked to her. Possibly it was as a result of I used to be immersing myself in her life story. Once we met, it was like this immediate connection between us.

What was it like having her as a supply of data alongside this journey?
Dani Montalvo: Lots of people have requested me if I used to be nervous to have her on set. Actually, it gave me a lot extra confidence and that further braveness I wanted to drag this efficiency off. Having her on set made me really feel comfy. I knew that if I had any questions or second-guessed issues that I might come to her. Clearly, she is aware of it just like the again of her hand as a result of it occurred to her. We did focus on among the most troublesome components of all of her trauma, and that actually guided me in a variety of the performances.

Lorena’s story and the case are very well-known within the public. What do you assume individuals will study Lorena’s story with this film?
Dani Montalvo: I feel we’ll study that she got here out of this a totally totally different particular person and this didn’t break her such as you thought it might. She didn’t get any of the help that she would’ve acquired in the present day. It was made a joke. She was a laughingstock. So for her to now use her voice and to see that energy and confidence in her eyes, you may observe the transformation. You evaluate who she was when she was 19 years outdated when she first married John Wayne Bobbitt to who she is in the present day, you simply see it in her eyes. She glows. She’s simply so highly effective and brave.

What do you assume is the commonest false impression about her?
Dani Montalvo: That she is a damaged particular person in the present day. That this messed her up. I feel individuals hear what occurred to her they usually assume, wow, how can somebody really feel human after this? You take a look at her and he or she has by some means pieced herself again collectively into this stunning, robust girl. I feel that’s one thing that’s going to encourage all of us once you watch this film.

Do you assume she was unfairly handled by the media?
Dani Montalvo: I undoubtedly do. I don’t assume anybody again within the day was prepared to listen to the reality about home violence. There have been jokes about how she was too ugly to be raped, like that it simply couldn’t be true. That will not fly in the present day. It makes you query: why did it? Why did they let that slide again within the day? The place have been we as individuals again within the day? Did we not respect ladies sufficient to deal with them like human beings? I feel this present day, particularly through the #MeToo motion, individuals are able to hear with a distinct lens.

Luke Humphrey performs John Wayne Bobbitt. What was it like working with him and establishing such a unstable relationship? 
Dani Montalvo: It was great working with him. Actually, he made me really feel simply so protected. The entire time, we created this protected area and a protected surroundings for us to carry out in. Earlier than we began a scene, we at all times communicated and made positive we have been OK going into it. As soon as we have been able to step out of it, we communicated about that as effectively simply in order that we wouldn’t be taking any type of unfavorable vitality or feelings with us all through the day. He actually was simply so skilled on and off the set.

Dani Montalvo (left) performs Lorena Bobbitt (proper) in ‘I Am Lorena Bobbitt.’
Dani Montalvo stars alongside Luke Humphrey in ‘I Am Lorena Bobbitt.’ (Courtesy Picture)

What was it like so that you can get into that mindset of Lorena throughout that point? 
Dani Montalvo: I didn’t simply analysis Lorena Bobbitt and simply watch all of her footage as a way to precisely painting the bodily abuse and sexual abuse. I additionally watched a variety of performances concerning that matter — totally different films the place the sufferer will get raped or bodily abused. There are totally different ranges of ache that you just started working with. I listened to a variety of totally different podcasts and browse totally different blogs about ladies personally speaking about their very own experiences.

What was probably the most shocking facet of this story for you as you researched?
Dani Montalvo: I actually couldn’t imagine the way in which Lorena was handled. I keep in mind yelling at my TV whereas watching the entire footage and watching the documentary. I used to be crying and in shock that that is how a human being was handled. After the hurt that she needed to undergo, she was handled this manner. That actually shocked me and that actually opened my eyes as to how home violence and sexual abuse are seen, or how they have been seen again within the day. Though we’ve got made progress, it’s nonetheless not sufficient. Now we have to maintain shifting ahead. I feel this movie is an effective step in the precise route. When individuals watch it and, they’re going to see one thing uncooked. They’re going to see one thing very clear.

Lifetime may also run a PSA for the Nationwide Home Violence Hotline and the Nationwide Coalition In opposition to Home Violence that includes the actors and Lorena Bobbitt, as a part of Lifetime’s public affairs marketing campaign, Cease Violence In opposition to Girls. The film will air at eight p.m. on Lifetime.