Earlier this year veteran actor Scott Parker found himself in a conversation with his wife discussing the state of the presidential campaign.
“These are people, if you see them on the street, they don’t look insane,” Scott said. “I asked her and myself a rhetorical question. How people could be so adamantly for the regressive ideas of the Republican Party while we are a 180 degrees opposite?”
The conversation led to Scott to not only embark on a journey of research but to deviate from a 10-year acting career to move into the field of directing.
“I just thought that they hadn’t interacted with people of other cultures or it was more of an environmental thing.” Scott said. “I started doing research and I found out that there was actually scientific research showing that their brains are different, and that was the germ for Bob and his Enlarged Amygdala.”
Although the film Bob and his Enlarged Amygdala was a “passion project” for Parker that took only three months to write before its Aug. 8 premiere at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema, not every actor that he invited to be involved with the film shared in his enthusiasm.
“Early on I did have a couple of people say that it was too much for them, which I don’t respect because I do roles, that’s an actor’s life,” Parker said. “I am very much an atheist and I have played many preachers.”
Bob and his Enlarged Amygdala, while a comedic film about a bigot, with a scattering of hilarious features like a dance number, a dominatrix doctor office scene, a classic cat lady, a concupiscent skunk lady, and limitless political puns, truly has a serious underlying message.
“It goes against guns,” Parker said. It goes against religion. It goes mainly against this idea that America is supposed to be one thing. This is a part of the style in which I grew up, America is supposed to be, white, preferably male, Anglo-Saxon heritage, and Protestant; not even Catholic, but Protestant.”
Stephanie Lindley, the actor who plays German dominatrix-scientist Schlampe, willing agreed to participate in Parker’s film, never having worked with him, simply because of shared values.
“I’m a Bernie supporter,” Lindley said. “I was all for this. I assumed everybody would be of that mindset, but when I went on set the day of filming. I didn’t feel like everyone was necessarily of the same political mindset. I was having a little battle with the guy playing the doctor over who we were going to vote for.”
There will be no entries into an independent film festival, vying for the attention of a cable network, or straight-to-DVD movie deal for Bob. The story of his amygdala and the ruckus it creates can be seen for free on YouTube. And now that the dust has settled from the hype of the film the cast has largely moved on.
“We still have candidates who are hanging on by their fingernails to archaic concepts.” Parker said. “These constructs of race, religion, national origin and sexual preference are created constructs, and they are not helpful. They are usually very harmful.
“That’s what I want to get across.”