1 of 5 | Jermaine Fowler and Anna Konkle said they used a doll for the scene in which they drop the baby. Photo courtesy of Hulu
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Anna Konkle said she filmed her movie, The Drop, premiering Friday on Hulu, three months after having her first daughter. In the movie, Konkle plays Lex, a woman who accidentally drops her friend's baby.
"I felt like I was jinxing myself," Konkle told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "There's so much, at least for me, self-criticism that I wasn't expecting as a new mom."
Konkle, 35, gave birth to baby Essie in 2021. She said dropping babies is not uncommon, and parents should forgive themselves for such a common mistake.
"A lot of parents do drop babies," Konkle said. "No matter how hard you're trying, you're never going to do it perfectly."
That said, Lex drops someone else's baby. Konkle admitted, "That would piss me off."
Jermaine Fowler, 34, plays Lex's husband, Manny. Fowler has two children with Megan Hester, son Mars and daughter Thebe Orion.
Fowler said Hester dropped one of their children as a baby. The child recovered, but Fowler never forgot how traumatized Hester was.
"I came back home and she was just in a dark room holding the baby and she was crying," Fowler said. "I remember her face. I tried to channel that in a lot of our scenes."
Fowler said babies are naturally slippery. Konkle said bath time becomes stressful because of that.
"Right after a bath, hold on tight," Konkle said. "That was always very scary right after bath."
No baby was endangered in making The Drop. Konkle described the movie magic that made it appear she dropped a baby.
"I dropped a doll," Konkle said. "I remember in the moment having a hard time probably because of motherhood being so new, dropping it, having it be honest."
Not only did Konkle have to adjust to motherhood, but she also had to readjust to playing a character her own age. For two seasons from 2019 to 2021, Konkle played a teenager on PEN15, which she also co-created.
"In PEN15, I'm strapping down my breasts and going back to prepubescent times," Konkle said. "For my first project after that, to be doing something that's talking about birth and pregnancy [is] the opposite."
Some of the adult themes portrayed in The Drop include family planning. Lex and Manny are trying to conceive, but their love scenes in the film are comedic.
"We asked each other a lot of questions," Konkle said. "It's funny in itself. You'd be like, 'So, are you down if I'm going to do doggy style? Are you OK with that?'"
Fowler pointed out that the love scenes in The Drop are not explicit. In fact, they are filmed so creatively that the actors did not even have to disrobe.
"Most of our scenes, we had clothes on for a lot of them," Fowler said. "You had to use your imagination."
The cast also used its imagination in the dialogue scenes. Director Sarah Adina Smith, who co-wrote with Josh Leonard, left room for them to improvise their characters' reaction to Lex dropping the baby.
"This was more of an outline, but there were a lot of lines within the outlines," Konkle said. "If you connect with that, do it or make it your own. That was a cool creative way for us all to stay present."
Fowler said Smith would step in if the actors improvised too far off course.
"There'd be takes when we'll just go nuts, just kind of throw [expletive] at the wall," Fowler said. "Sarah would come in and hone us in and shape us and remind us what the point of the scene is."
Both Konkle and Fowler agreed the focus of The Drop was the unrealistic expectations parents have for themselves. Konkle said she hopes The Drop shows parents that it's OK to make mistakes.
"We're so hard on ourselves as parents and just human beings in general," Konkle said. "That's why we have therapy."