After honing her skills in front of the camera, actress Jodie Markell ("Big Love") chose to make her directorial debut with a rather daunting project that began, long before she was born, as a rare and long-forgotten film script by A Streetcar Named Desire playwright Tennessee Williams. Years after Williams' death, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond – conceived to be directed by Elia Kazan decades ago – marks the return of Southern Gothic romance to the big screen, full of Tennessee Williams's signature melodramatic flavor. (Read Jenni Miller's review here.)

The films alights on Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard), a spoiled Southern belle who returns from abroad on the eve of the Great Depression and bristles against the social ranks of Memphis high society, even as she attempts to re-enter it. The script has the markings of a Tennessee Williams story -- a mad heroine, romantic longing galore, and plenty of cruel, fickle moments between Fisher and the object of her affection, the enigmatic Jimmy (Chris Evans).

Cinematical spoke with Jodie Markell about the road she traveled to bring The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond to the big screen.