Rabbit Tales Films in Tarrywile Park

Aside from my dear old mom, Susanna Raeven (above) is the toughest lady with red-hair I’ve ever seen.

Raeven was in Tarrywile Park last week crawling in the dirt, having repeated buckets of cold water dumped on her and enduring the “Spiritual Slip n’ Slide,” whatever that is.

Her assailant?

Kirsten Russell, the writer and director of “Rabbit Tales.” 

Russell and her crew were in Tarrywile Park in Danbury last week to film “In the Backyard of His Holi Vrindavin,” on of three short films comprising “Rabbit Tales.”

Raeven was “In the Backyard’s” lead actor, playing Dr. Nadine Weinstein, a woman who discovers her long-lost father is now a cult leader.

I was invited to check out the filming by Bethel’s Dave Bonan, who acted as location scout for the micro-budget dark comedy.

The dark comedy of the script came through in the one scene I witnessed being shot on the lawn next to the Tarrywile Mansion last Wednesday.

The scene involved Raeven lying unconscious on the ground. A frizzy-haired dude wearing what looked like a Girl Scout’s dress dumped a bucket of water on her, causing a rainbow of expletives to flow from her mouth.

“What are your intentions?” the frizzy-haired cult member asked coldly. At some point he may have offered her a towel.

Russell, who looked like Sophie Marceau’s sister, is a New Yorker by way of Miami.

I asked the director how Raeven is dealing with the grueling physical demands of the low-budget shoot.

“She’s been through hell already. All of yesterday we shot way back up in the marshes,” Russell said, gesturing toward the trails in Tarrywile Park. “I made sure that I cast an actor who was athletic. I wouldn’t have chosen an actress who was frail. I knew Susanna is a tough cookie and she’s really in shape. She rides horses, she’s a runner and she’s a karate expert. We’ve worked together as actresses many times before.”

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