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Karen Strassman Talks ‘The Red Thunder’

Published on December 11th, 2019 | Updated on December 11th, 2019 | By FanFest

Back in 2015, a superhero short film The Red Thunder was based around a mother, Dr. Rachel Thun (Karen Strassman), and her daughter, Sarah (Allie Grant). Sarah cannot help but want to take her mother’s new car instead of their old car after being invited to a show by her boyfriend. When her mother refuses her the car, Sarah takes it upon herself to borrow the car for the evening anyway. However, upon getting into the car, Sarah’s life changes forever as she discovers a secret her mother has harbored. She’s a superhero.

The Red Thunder

In a world full of superhero films and shows, I believe the time is now to recreate this short into a weekly episodic television series. The dynamic between mother and daughter is always an important one to show on television. An even more important message to address is the working mother. Women get treated differently in the working world, whether they are a doctor or not. As Karen Strassman and I talked about below, some privileges come along with being a doctor. These privileges do not take away from the stress put on women in the workplace. Unlike everyone else, however, Rachel can come back to set things straight.

Michelle Patterson: The Red Thunder has many positive reviews. The short film won 14 awards, including best short film at the 2015 Golden Angel Awards. And the short film garnered 21 other nominations, including a Goya nomination, which is the Spanish equivalent to the Oscars.

What was your favorite part of filming The Red Thunder?

The Red Thunder Trailer
The Red Thunder

Karen Strassman: That was such a special project. Alvaro Ron is such a talented filmmaker. I wish I could just fly over and live in Spain and work with him more often. This was nominated for awards and won awards all over the world. It almost won the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars. I love the idea of playing a superhero. I love the idea that you just have no idea because she’s a podiatrist. I think it’s one of those enduring– sort of the archetype of the mutant. This normal person is perhaps invisible or a reject in their normal world. Then you see they’re a superhero.  

I think my favorite scene in that is the very last one when my daughter has gone through this whole experience, and she’s looking at me, and I don’t know that she knows. But she realizes the reality of this, and I go off and say, “Well I gotta get to work.” I think I also add a catchline at the end, “You never know whose lives need to be saved.” 

He did such a beautiful job with the effects, the tongue, and cheek. If we ever had a chance to do it as a series, that would be great because I think that there are a lot of opportunities with that storyline.

MP: I agree. That was one of the questions I wanted to ask you. I think it’s such a rich story. And especially with all the DC Comics having their own thing on The CW Network. If they were to make a television show, where do you envision her going? 

The Red Thunder

KS: I don’t know. I think there are so many issues that can be addressed with the givens for this storyline. Women in the working world. Who she can be and how she’s perceived just as a doctor and the freedoms she has. The contrast of the superhero and who she has to shrink back into to fit the realities of life. There’s even a lot of humorous things in terms of the things she has to deal with in her everyday life. There are so many things that working women and working moms to deal with. Then she can go into superhero mode and come back and set things right. There’s a lot of issues that could be addressed that would be really worthwhile.

MP: I know you have stated you were kind of a goody-goody as a kid, but if you were in Sarah’s shoes, would you have taken your mother’s car without her permission?

KS: If I were her, absolutely. She didn’t think she was doing anything wrong. She just wanted to see her boyfriend. She was in love. If I were her, I would have done that too.

MP: I agree. I would have done the same. At that age, you aren’t thinking about any consequences. You just think he’s my boyfriend and I have to see him. It’s the beauty of being young.

KS: Yeah, and the juiciest of life, you know? Breaking those rules without feeling like you’re doing damage or hurting anything. You’re just going out beyond curfew. I’m just going to borrow mom’s car, she’ll never know.

The Red Thunder Trailer
The Red Thunder

The Red Thunder has the opportunity to tell a woman’s story in three fascinating ways. A woman as a mother, a career woman, and a woman superhero. These three facets are beyond intriguing and not just because we live in a world dominated by male superheroes. Although it does seem the world is finally taking notice of the female superheroes as well. The Red Thunder is more critical now than ever. I would love to see Karen Strassman come back and play Dr. Thun one more time. I want her to let the world know that females can do everything and more after the interview above. I believe Strassman does as well.

For more on Karen Strassman, check out our two part interview, part one and part two, as well as her Twitter account, her Instagram account, and her official Facebook page.

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