What Working With Courtney Love Is Like, According To Directors Who Did

Courtney Love as Kitty Menendez

Rock stars are a tricky breed of celebrity. The musicianship and gigs are often accompanied by recreational drugs, promiscuity, and irresponsible behavior. As such, the artists can sometimes acquire a nasty reputation. Case in point: singer/actress Courtney Love. Love has had a career spanning decades, and the public was able to watch the ebbs and flows of her struggle with substance abuse and legal woes. So one has to wonder if potential employers/directors are worried about her colorful past when hiring the artist. It turns out, maybe not; her most recent directors seem to think very highly of her.

I recently had the privilege to speak with directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato about their upcoming Lifetime original movie Menendez: Blood Brothers, which stars Courtney Love. When I asked what the living icon was like to work with on set, Barbato revealed:

Courtney was just amazing. She was our first choice. And she completely immersed herself in the role 24/7. She was not necessarily what one would expect. Because you'd think 'Oh my god, Courtney rock legend. She's gonna show up 3 hours late on set with a bottle in her hand'. It was the opposite of that. She was the mother hen of the set, she was always early, and she was really focused on the craft. She's a serious actress, and I think when people see this film they're going to see that she's a contender.

That's the thing about reputations, they can sometimes be very wrong. While Courtney Love has seen her share of ups and downs over her prolific career, it appears that she takes her acting roles very seriously. And considering how heavy the material in Menendez: Blood Brothers is, that's probably for the best.

Menendez: Blood Brothers is an adaptation of the real life 1989 murders of Kitty and Jose Menendez at the hands of their sons. The trial would go on to be a national event in the 1990's, as the country collectively saw the proceedings and made their own judgements about both the brothers and parents. Courtney Love is almost unrecognizable as the privileged Kitty, portraying a woman who is the polar opposite of the singer; meek, subservient, and utterly scared.

In my same conversation with Randy Barbato, he revealed how dealing with the big personalities from RuPaul's Drag Race helped make working with the somewhat infamous Courtney Love a non-issue. He said:

You know, we work with Drag Queens 24/7, so we weren't that worried. We met her before, and we have mutual friends so we know that she's a serious artist. She laid it out very clearly. She was very direct about her commitment to her craft vs. her reputation. And by the way, her reputation in Hollywood right now is that she's a serious actress. So I think her path just adds color and dimension.

Well, this certainly makes sense. So often the most captivating artists are ones who have had a challenging life, so Randy Barbato's assessment of Courtney Love is spot on. Having so many life experiences can only help an actor relate to their character's experience.

You can catch Courtney Love in Menendez: Blood Brothers June 10th on Lifetime, and new episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race Friday nights on VH1.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.