Yes, it’s true, Traci Lords stars as Helen Hazelton. Traci was totally amazing, unbelievably professional, and well, fantastic during our 18 day shoot in Lindsborg, Kansas.
We didn’t officially announce that Traci was in our film while filming as we were concerned about a certain religious group based out of Kansas that might have picketed the filming due to Traci’s past history in adult videos. Actually, we probably would have gotten great national PR if we had been picketed, however, my goal in returning to Kansas from LA was to make films and encourage filmmaking in Kansas. If national news had shown Au Pair, Kansas getting picketed while shooting, we would have gotten good coverage, but the state of Kansas would have appeared as being hostile to filmmakers. The last thing I wanted was another reason why Hollywood doesn’t want to shoot movies in Kansas.
Traci has over 70 legitimate TV and film credits in the last 20 years. She’s truly a remarkable actress, and my hope, of course, is that Helen is her break out roll as a lead actress! After spending three weeks working with Traci, I can’t imagine another actress in this roll. Rule number one as a director: Hire actors that know what they’re doing (even if you don’t.)