Rose McGowan is through with acting. Vulture caught up with the Scream and Grindhouse star last week at Rooftop Films, where she was screening her directorial debut film, Dawn, a wistful, 17-minute almost-thriller that premiered at Sundance. "[Getting selected for Sundance] as a director was huge, honestly,” she told us. “I almost sank to my knees — and in fact, I think I might have — when I got the word that I got in."
The film looks like The Parent Trap (the 1961 version starring Hayley Mills, not the more recent on with LiLo), but it feels like the 1955 Charles Laughton–directed thriller The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum, both of which McGowan says inspired her short film. ("And Flannery O’Connor’s writing," she added.) While many first-time directors grow nauseous themselves leading up to their debut’s premiere, McGowan is leaving queasiness to other people — including her audience. "A lady told me she wanted to throw up after seeing it,” said McGowan proudly. “And I said, ‘Thank you, [it’s] because you’re stressed.’ It made me very pleased to inspire nausea.”