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Interview: Chloe Feller

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Feller has more to boast about than her Instagram presence. This former party princess by trade organized the first SlutWalk in Orange County, started a feminist nonprofit in high school, and was nominated for the Feminist

Majority Foundation’s “Feminists You Should Know in 2013” campaign. She’s worked on music videos, directed her own short films, and talked politics with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova from Pussy Riot. And here we were thinking she just looked remarkably good in cow print.

Immediately after graduating high school, Feller moved to Los Angeles, California, which had always been part of the master scheme for her life. Her intention was to pursue a career in a profession she describes as her biggest passion, acting.

Though she never expected the transition to be easy, her move to Los Angeles brought with it a myriad of struggles.

“When you grow up in acting school,” Feller says, “Something that teachers really impart on you is, ‘This can be your only thing.’ They have a very monolithic idea.”

With this idea in mind, Feller arrived in Los Angeles with the intention of doing absolutely nothing besides acting. There was no way that she would sacrifice her reputation as an actor to pursue other endeavors.

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Ironically, Feller has branched out farther into the film industry than she ever thought she would. “I’m producing, I’m directing, I’m doing film making in general,” Feller says.

“That’s the overarching thing. I’ve been able to diversify and grow with it and expand my skillset.”

Her most notable accomplishment has been co-founding Red Lighter Films, a production company focused on inclusivity and showcasing underrepresented groups within film.

“It’s all about producing intersectional content,” Feller explains. “We hire all diverse teams. It’s usually all, pretty much, all women and queer people and femme-presenting people and people of color. We really try to keep things as diverse as possible.”

Besides just creating quality content, Red Lighter Films is a departure from the typical heteronormative, misogynistic context that dominates the world of cinema.

“People who are just marginalized in the film industry, we want to uplift those voices and focus our collaborative efforts on getting the right kinds of stories, that don’t get the same screen time,” Feller explains.

She attributes part of her success in the industry to her proximity to Los Angeles.

“There’s no way I could do anything film related if I weren’t in LA,” Feller says. “To be 100 percent honest, here, because of where the industry is located, there’s so much access, just educationally and resource wise.”There’s also a certain level of comfort that Feller feels in being so close to Los Angeles.

“I’ve always been in California in general, and always been at least closely Los Angeles adjacent,” Feller says.

“That makes me feel like I’m able to create more, to create better.”
Feller has a strong sense of intention when it comes to her work. This aspect of her personality branches over into her social media life, particularly on Instagram.

“I definitely have the purpose of being vulnerable and being like, visibly mentally ill,” Feller says. “Being emotionally vulnerable. Being visibly queer is something very important to me. Being visible in all of my identities that are marginalized, because I think visibility is a form of resistance.”

Though she believes that Instagram as a whole is insidious, she makes the conscious decision to take the good with the bad.

“The greatest thing for me was being able to see people who I identify with, and people who have the courage to be visible and vulnerable in the ways that they are,”Feller says. “I want to be able to emulate that.”
Despite this purpose, Feller still sees Instagram as too contrived to be taken seriously.

“I am constantly, 100 percentof the time, gently parodying myself,” Feller admits. “I’m playing this game. It’s like Farmville, where you just get sucked into it. You know it’s dumb, but you’ve got to water your crops.”

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Fortunately for Feller, her “crops” are other like-minded females. She promotes body positivity, political activism, and the destigmatization of mental illness on her account.

Regardless, it can’t be denied that a portion of her followers follow Feller for a completely different reason: her wardrobe.

“I really like the concept of being trailer trash. I like being like Erin Brockovich, where she’s kind of trashy, but she’s also a lawyer,” Feller says. “She’s going to wear the cheetah print and she’s taking care of business.”
Feller’s inspiration doesn’t end with trailer chic. Her muses bounce around, from 80’s and 90’s porn stars to what she describes as “minimalist honey and juice cleanse lesbian.” (We can’t explain it, but we know you know.)

To those who may be hesitant about switching up their look, Feller has a few wise words to share.

“Do what makes you comfortable. Just because you wear something once doesn’t mean it’s going to define you forever. Even if you take a risk and even if you’re criticized for it, nobody remembers that much,” Feller says. “Nobody is Claire from Lizzy McGuire, calling you an ‘outfit repeater’ at your graduation, I promise. No one is going to remember.”

As for her future, Feller hopes to take Red Lighter Films to the next level in the near future.
“We’re in the process of developing our first feature, which is fucking crazy,” Feller says. “I want to get it made and start that part of my career.”

And, as expected, “Being recognized as an actor. Because that is the ultimate goal.”

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