“What is it to be a human being?” — On film-making, the shifted Hollywood climate, and alot more with Marianna Palka, director of Bitch

Wess Haubrich
14 min readNov 11, 2017

I caught up with actress, writer, and director Marianna Palka (GLOW) to chat influences, filmmaking, satire, the surprisingly frequent occurrence of people believing they are wild dogs (hint: police have a code for it), Harvey Weinstein, and her latest film Bitch.

Bitch tells the powerful and darkly humorous story of a housewife (Marianna Palka) who, after her philandering husband (Jason Ritter) and unruly kids (Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, and Kingston Foster) break her psyche, upends the family dynamic by assuming the persona of a vicious dog.

Bitch is currently on Netflix. I highly recommend catching it as it is brilliantly written scathing satire executed by very capable acting, and a just as capable director.

Hello Marianna! Starting off, you have quite theatrical pedigree, and history, being a Scottish transplant who came to NY at 17, how does that shape your work as an actress, writer, director, and filmmaker?

In New York I was doing a lot of shows, for sure — that is kind of what was happening. I was in a lot of plays at the Atlantic Theatre Company, I was like a student there — a bunch of off-Broadway shows there, which was really exciting because that helped me realize what my dream was.

That was kind of my dream of coming to America initially: I wanted to get shows on Broadway. I thought I would be doing that for a long time — maybe until I was an old lady — and after I did that, I wanted to move to LA and start doing movies. Directing them, making stuff that was more broadly engaging — stuff that would have more of an impact on society because I felt like the New York stuff was in good hands, but there was a lot of stuff that needed to go on — especially in altering female roles in cinema right now — what a female character actually is — and just to be profoundly affected by the people you’re working with.

LA was the right place for me to do that also because I needed to experience what it is like to be at my maximum potential. I always try to do that. I go for what is the most maxed out way I can help the world with what I’m doing. It’s always about others…

Wess Haubrich

Horror, crime, noir with a distinctly southwestern tinge. Staff writer, former contributing editor; occultist; anthropologist of symbols.