Dana Vespoli & Brandi Love Inaugurate ‘The Candidate’

“Politics is a lot like sex — if you want something, you have to ask for it, if they’re not doing it right you’ve got to speak up and show them, and if you still don’t get what you want, then there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself,” Jennifer Beals said. In Dana Vespoli‘s latest directorial effort, The Candidate, politics isn’t just a lot like sex, it is sex, and the movie’s parallels with the political situation of 2016-17 give it an additional resonance.

“It’s a political thriller, following up on Lefty [Vespoli’s boxing drama], which is the first episodic feature we shot for Sweetheart,” Vespoli told AVN. “We were brainstorming another episodic type of thing that would resonate with viewers. We talked about the election and how we were bombarded with stuff in the news — you couldn’t get away from it — so we discussed doing a political thriller. We have Brandi Love under contract and she’s this very elegant, sophisticated woman. I came up with a treatment for something that could sort of mirror our election — there’s a female candidate who’s a Democrat and a male candidate who’s a Republican. They’re coming up against each other and there’s quite a bit of intrigue.”

Love, who has found a great deal of success working with Vespoli on other Sweetheart projects, was the ideal choice for the ambitious politician at the center of the story. “I was instantly intrigued and thankful I was chosen to be a part of The Candidate,” Love said. “Dana doesn’t hold back in this film, and the end result shows her skills as a director. This was several days of intense shooting with some of the finest talent in the business. Each and every role was depicted brilliantly. Julia Ann and I have fabulous chemistry and it is always a sheer pleasure being paired up with her. I am proud to be a part of such a great movie. I hope fans enjoy this first look at the brilliant ladies and I; it’s just a glimpse at the passion and intense performances in the film.”

Appropriately, the movie’s release roughly coincides with the inauguration of President Trump, although the storyline, with its “woman in the White House?” premise, was probably developed when Hillary Clinton still seemed likely to win. The movie also shares a title with a similarly themed 1970s political thriller starring Robert Redford. Some of the movie’s plot points — including the revelation of a college sex tape — draw inspiration from twists in 2000’s Oscar-nominated presidential drama The Contender.

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