‘Imaginary Order’ Cast and Writer-Director Debra Eisenstadt on Sundance and Suburbia

     February 6, 2019

One of the many films to world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Debra Eisenstadt’s (The Limbo Room, Before the Sun Explodes) Imaginary Order. The film is about the sexual, psychological, and moral unraveling of an obsessive-compulsive suburban mom played by Wendi McLendon-Covey. Steve Little (Eastbound & Down) plays her husband and Max Burkholder (Parenthood) plays the neighbor’s teenage son that becomes very interested in Wendi’s character.


Image via Sundance

Shortly before seeing the film I sat down with Max Burkholder, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Debra Eisenstadt at the Collider studio at the Kia Supper Suite in Park City. They talked about being at Sundance, Wendi having a crisis of confidence because of the challenging role, how the cast came together, what they learned from early screenings, how the film is a kind of “female American Beauty”, and more.

In addition, they played “Get To Know Your Sundance Attendee” which includes a number of questions like what TV show they’d like to guest-star on, what’s their favorite fantasy or sci-fi movie, what film scared them as a kid, their first movie or TV show crush, if they prefer Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, what got them interested in the entertainment industry, and a lot of other fun stuff.


Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations flowing at the Collider studio and parties were provided by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the evening parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort helmed by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners also active during the day-part include mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first ‘virtual reserve’.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.


Image via Sundance

Max Burkholder, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Debra Eisenstadt:

  • 0:45 – Eisenstadt on presenting her first film at Sundance.
  • 1:33 – The film as a kind of “female American Beauty.”
  • 3:45 – How the casting came together.
  • 6:56 – What they learned from friends and family screenings, and making tough edits.
  • 8:45 – They play “Get to Know Your Sundance Attendee,” answering what TV show they would like to guest star on (or guest write/direct), what film scared them as a kid, what they collect, first celebrity crush, and more.

Here’s the Imaginary Order synopsis:

Cathy (Wendi McLendon-Covey) struggles to maintain control and significance amidst fears that her husband’s having an affair and her thirteen-year-old daughter is becoming estranged. She retreats to her sister’s home where she cat-sits, compulsively cleans and spies on a neighboring family. One by one these bizarre neighbors — Mom, Dad & teenage son — lure Cathy into their lives and ignite her rebellion. When Cathy becomes the object of the teenage son’s obsession, he threatens to unravel everything, from her precarious marriage to her daughter’s innocence to her own wavering sanity.

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