Inside the First Oscars of the Season – Vanity Fair

Posted: November 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

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We actually just had Tracy Letts in here earlier in the day and he kind of said something similar where he was like, I dont have any plan, I dont know.

Thats great to hear because Im a big fan of his, so Im glad hes working the same angle. But yeah, I think that, if you think too much about it, youll end up kind of putting yourself in a box that you dont need to be in. I never thought that I would be on West Wing when I was 17, that was not my plan. And there was, and it was an incredible experience. I never thought that Id be on Mad Men for seven years, like this show about advertising in the 60s than I never thought that was going to be what it was. Yeah. So I kinda have this thing of like, Well, you didnt plan that and that worked out, so maybe, you know, dont worry about it too much.

How much in your workthis is obviously a really intense up-close emotional piece. Not that Handmaids isnt, but him, he is also has all the broader weight of like politics kind of on its shoulders and stuff like that. When you approach something youre doing, how much of the outside world are you bringing to bear? I mean, do you feel like youre processing the world through your work. Do you think of it in those kinds of therapeutic terms?

Yeah, sometimes. Not all the time. Handmaids is so literal sometimes. That would be probably my biggest experience with some things going on in the world outside that everyone is experiencing and in all walks of life and Im doing something that I feel like is very parallel to that, and exercising my own feelings about it. And you know, my own opinions and emotions and that would be like the closest Ive gotten to that. Other than that, and this happens even on Handmaids too, I try to approach it from personal, not political. With Peggy, you know, I never thought of her as a girl in the 60s. I thought of her as a woman of any time, of any age who was dealing with the situation that she was dealing with. And that was my sort of way into her and to make her relatable. Same with June, you know, shes a mother and a wife and a woman and shes dealing with the situations the way that I think that this person would deal with them. And so I kind of try to make it a little bit more intimate, I guess, than thinking, Oh, Im going to tie in, you know, the world's problems into this character.

Watching Her Smell again, and I think the first time too, I kept thinking about a movie Id seen not too long before that, which was a movie called Madelines Madeline, a Josephine Decker film. And then I looked at your IMDb and I was like, Oh, shes working with her. That makes total sense. Can you talk a little bit about Shirley, where you play Shirley Jackson?

Yeah. Yeah. Thats also a really interesting different kind of movie. Its a brilliant script by writer named Sarah Gubbins, she just wrote this like the one of the best scripts Ive ever read. And then Josephine came in and kinda like turned it into her own sort of strange, magical film. Its one sort of a section of Shirleys life. We didnt want it to be a biopic. Theres stuff that weve kind of fudged and fictionalized that isnt exactly accurate. But what we did was try to follow the emotion of it, try to represent who Shirley is. And Stanley, her husband whos played by Michael Stuhlbarg, its really just as much about him as it is her. And just show this slice of their life, this slice of this marriage and this slice of what it was like to be that writer. She had a lot going on in her head. She was an addict. She was a very difficult person in a very difficult marriage. Stanley was the same. She was a very complicated artist. What Sarah did so brilliantly I think was just sort of make you feel like what it wouldve been to be like to be in Shirleys head for a little while. And it follows the parallel of her writing a book called Hangsaman, which was after The Lottery came out. So shes dealing with a lot of the press from that, a lot of blowback from that. People were very upset about that story.

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Inside the First Oscars of the Season - Vanity Fair

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November 1st, 2019 at 10:46 am