In star Aubrey Plaza and director Jeff Baena’s new indie comedy, The Little Hours, nymphomaniac nuns run wild in a modern take on medieval times.
Baena pulled direct inspiration from The Decameron, a 14th century Italian classic about young people who hole up in a villa to avoid the bubonic plague. He came across the collection of novellas while studying sexual transgression in the Middle Ages while at New York University.
The name of the movie, however, was born out of Plaza’s research for her role as a foul-mouthed nun named Fernanda.
“Nuns back in that time or nuns at any time I guess, they follow a kind of program throughout the day, where they pray at certain hours and they’re called different names,” Plaza explained. “I found that the name for … just the program of the day was called ‘the little hours.’” When she told Baena, he thought the name would make a good title. “And I said, ‘I know,’’ Plaza recalled.
In VICE News’ Storyboard series, creators explain the inspiration and process behind making films. This segment originally aired July 12, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.