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PRESENTS

NOVEMBER 28, 2018 OSCAR PREVIEW

H UG H G R AN T On devilry, ego, and finding his footing in his second act ANDRE A RISEB OROUG H Nancy’s heroine on the films that shaped her D I A L O GU E : ACT R E S S E S Cynthia Erivo Carey Mulligan Melissa McCarthy Yalitza Aparicio Natalie Portman Keira Knightley

An

Ac to r ’s

Re s o lve DEADLINE.COM/AWARDSLINE

A year after his Oscar breakthrough, Timothée Chalamet returns with Beautiful Boy, determined to rewrite stereotypes

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F O R

Y O U R

C O N S I D E R A T I O N

BEST PICTURE BEST ACTRESS YALITZA APARICIO

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS MARINA DE TAVIRA

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THE BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR.

YALITZA APARICIO GIVES THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.” STEPHANIE ZACHAREK, TIME

“+++++ MARINA DE TAVIRA IS TERRIFIC.” TOMRIS LAFFLY, TIME OUT

WINNER BEST FILM VENICE FILM FESTIVAL GOLDEN LION

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D EAD L I NE .CO M

Breaking News

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11/23/18 11:25 AM


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8-26

FIRST TAKE Hugh Grant makes a career of torturing Ben Whishaw On My Screen: Andrea Riseborough shares her desert island movies What to expect from the SAG/Globe and Foreign races

28

COVER STORY Timothée Chalamet returns with Beautiful Boy, cementing his once-in-a-generation rise to stardom

38

THE DIALOGUE: ACTRESSES Cynthia Erivo Carey Mulligan Melissa McCarthy Yalitza Aparicio Natalie Portman Keira Knightley

50

FLASH MOB Deadline presents the AwardsLine Screening Series

ON THE COVER Timothée Chalamet photographed for Deadline by Gabriel Goldberg ON THIS PAGE Carey Mulligan photographed for Deadline by Chris Chapman

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F O R

Y O U R

C O N S I D E R A T I O N

I N

A L L

C A T E G O R I E S

I N C L U D I N G

B E S T P IC T UR E IAIN CANNING,

p.g.a.,

P R O D U C E D BY

E M I LE S H E R M A N ,

p.g.a.,

STEVE MCQUEEN,

p.g.a.,

A R N O N M I LC H A N ,

p.g.a.

B E ST D I R E C TO R STEVE MCQUEEN

B E ST AC T R E S S V I O L A DAV I S

O U T STA N D I N G P E R F O R M A N C E BY A C A ST I N A M OT I O N P I C T U R E

+++++

TOM SHONE | THE SUNDAY TIMES

+++++

JOSHUA ROTHKOPF | TIME OUT

+++++

MARK KERMODE | THE OBSERVER

+++++

CHARLOTTE O’SULLIVAN | EVENING STANDARD

+++++

NIGEL ANDREWS | FINANCIAL TIMES

“A MASTERFUL THRILLER PACKED WITH SUPERB PERFORMANCES, STEVE MCQUEEN DAZZLES.” BENJAMIN LEE | THE GUARDIAN

F O R O P E N S C R E E N I N G S V I S I T: W W W. F OXS C R E E N I N G S .CO M

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Art of Craft: Isle of Dogs

p. 18

| The shape of SAG/Globe races

p. 20

| Foreign Language favorites

p. 24

Sympathy

For The Devils Hugh Grant is reveling in his renaissance this year with two roles seeped in narcissism and insecurity. But do they strike close to home? BY JOE U TI CHI

8

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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PHOTOGRAPH BY

Mark Mann

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THREATENING THESPIAN Hugh Grant as the larger-than-life Phoenix Buchanan.

HUGH GRANT REALLY, REALLY DOES NOT LIKE BEN WHISHAW. “I want him dead,” he says, softly, as he sips on a cup of tea at the Ritz hotel in London. “He was my wife and I’ve clearly done terrible things to my wife. Then I put him in prison. I tried to kill him on a train. I seduced him, raped him, and tried to have him murdered. He’s been very nice about it.”

It’s in these kind of characters that Grant is building the second chapter of his career. It began with another Stephen Frears joint, Florence Foster Jenkins, “And she was a freak show, but such a loving one,” Grant says. “Isn’t it amazing that a woman could be so talentless and

It might be the kind of confession

when it transpired that Thorpe had

Scott continued to threaten his life,

yet so determined? It’s a celebration

he would be best advised to keep to

plotted to murder Scott to keep him

or his position, he was also threaten-

of the weirdness of human nature,

himself, if it hadn’t all happened on

from revealing their dalliance.

ing those people he really loves.”

and I think Stephen is drawn to that.”

screen. Grant’s homicidal leanings

“From one perspective, he was a

The British establishment is not

So, too, is Grant, whose lauded

are just part of the job. First there

monster of narcissism and entitle-

unused to scandal, but the Thorpe/

turn in Florence Foster Jenkins seemed

was Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis’

ment,” Grant says of Thorpe. He

Scott affair is on the absurdly ex-

to mark a return to acting. “It’s true, I

wonder which cast Whishaw and

wrote torrents of love letters to the

treme side. The tabloid press of the

wasn’t very enthusiastic for a number

Grant in multiple roles, including one

naïve small town boy, who was taken

time had a veritable field day when

of years,” he says. After a run in the

pairing as husband and wife. Then,

in by the power and celebrity of the

the plot to murder Scott became

1990s and early 2000s as one of the

this year, Paddington 2 and A Very

Member of Parliament—and later

public knowledge. Grant remembers

most in-demand British actors on the

English Scandal; two polar opposite

leader of the Liberal Party. But when

hearing about it as a schoolboy,

planet, Grant seemed to take a con-

projects that nonetheless both

he cooled on their relationship, he

when the story first broke, “and we

scious backseat. “I think it started as

pitted the two actors against each

cut Scott off, and the younger man

loved it. Everyone loved it. It was like

my decision, because I was still quite

other once again.

began to threaten exposure. In 1960s

Monty Python.”

bankable when I decided, ‘Ugh, I can’t

All three are creative ways in

Britain, homosexuality wasn’t just

The show’s scripts find that tone,

really face this.’” He credits the “oddi-

which to antagonize, but only A Very

taboo, it was a criminal act. “I think it

blending the absurdity of the crime

ties” that came along, like Cloud Atlas,

English Scandal is based in truth. In

was torture for him to be born gay in

with a particularly British glee that

or the Aardman animation The Pirates!

Stephen Frears’ four-part retell-

a world that didn’t accept being gay.

comes from catching the great and

Band of Misfits, with keeping his toes

ing of the Jeremy Thorpe scandal

It was obviously a source of great

good with their pants around their

in the water, but the drive wasn’t there

on Amazon, adapted by Russell T.

pain and discomfort for him.”

ankles. It comes from Preston’s

for him as it once had been.

Davies from John Preston’s book of

Indeed, Thorpe married, “for

book, notes Grant, “And Russell T.

“The digestive system of Hol-

the same name, Grant plays Thorpe,

politically-expedient reasons,” Grant

Davies’ genius is that every charac-

lywood is pretty fast,” Grant notes. In

the British politician whose affair

notes. But he came to love his first

ter, even minor ones, are celebrated.

2009 he made Did You Hear About the

with a stable boy, Norman Scott

wife and the child they had together

He’s saying, ‘Isn’t life wonderful, that

Morgans?, which failed to hit the rom-

(Whishaw), caused a sensation

before her death. “So when Norman

you have all these oddities?’”

com heights he’d achieved in films like

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D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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“ AN IMPECCABLE ACTOR,

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

BRINGS THE QUALITY OF BELIEF HE’S BROUGHT TO PLAYING REAL PEOPLE LIKE JACKIE ROBINSON, JAMES BROWN AND THURGOOD MARSHALL TO THE ROLE OF KING T’CHALLA.

CAN EFFORTLESSLY ALTERNATE BETWEEN TERRIFYING POWER AND BREAKING YOUR HEART — SOMETIMES WITHIN THE SAME SCENE.

K E N N E T H

MICHAEL B. JORDAN J E N E L L E

R I L E Y

T U R A N

‘BLACK PANTHER’

HAS A KILLER CAST AND DEEP BOWS TO THE WOMEN OF WAKANDA PLAYED BY LUPITA NYONG’O, DANAI GURIRA, LETITIA WRIGHT AND ANGELA BASSETT.

P E T E R

T R A V E R S

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION IN ALL CATEGORIES INCLUDING

BEST PICTURE AND BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

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POWER PLAY As Jeremy Thorpe in Stephen Frears’ A Very English Scandal.

About a Boy, Notting Hill and Four Wed-

love for acting, only the detritus that

share one or two elements with the

while A Very English Scandal champi-

dings and a Funeral. “I had a big failure

came with his time as a star. When

character, it comes alive. The camera

ons the oddities of human nature, in

in the genre in which I was supposed to

an actor complains about his privacy

picks it up. And anyone who has ever

Paddington 2 it’s the power of positiv-

always be successful in, and suddenly

being invaded, it’s easy for eyes to

acted, it can only be narcissism really,

ity. “Positive is perilous stuff, and it’s

I didn’t have the career I used to have.

roll, but it’s precisely the notion of

even if nobody admits it. It’s always,

something Richard Curtis has had to

I didn’t really mind, because I was so

drowning in somebody else’s life that

‘I’m really impassioned about my craft.’

wrestle his entire career, because his

interested in doing other stuff.”

so attracts Grant. “Letting go is always

Such a wanker. There’s another side

basic message is always positive too. If

difficult,” he says. “To think less and

of me that has always wanted to run

you can bring it off, triple points I think.

a political activist. In 2011, he began

That included a continuing spell as

actually do it. When you do, self-

away from that.”

But the spirit of Paddington is very

campaigning in Britain against the

consciousness goes out the window

excesses of its tabloid press, becoming

and you stop worrying about yourself.

Paddington 2—safely ensconced in

active in the Hacked Off movement

I remember Emma Thompson had

a sound booth to record his lines as

Part of the appeal of playing an

which called for tighter regulation of a

this crying scene in Love, Actually, and

Paddington (a CG bear) away from

outré actor came from his early days,

media that had been accused of hack-

I asked her, ‘Is that something sad

his chief antagonist. Instead, Grant

at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1983,

ing the voicemail of celebrities and

you dug out of your life?’ She said,

was faced with a choice between an

where Grant cut his teeth on the

victims of crime in order to generate

‘No, no. I’m the character and the

actress of Paddington’s height who

stage. But he demurs when I ask about

stories. “It was two things. It was the

character would cry, so I cried.’ That’s

could fill in on set, or a bear’s head

the co-stars he might have based

indecency of using someone who’s just

her brilliance. But the older I get, the

on a stick. “It was terrifying. I couldn’t

Buchanan on. “I don’t think I should

lost a kid in a fire or a terrorist incident

more I realize I want to be possessed.

even look at it. Though, in the end, I

name them, but it was full of marvel-

to sell their papers, and the fact that

Once you’re possessed by a character,

found it was least complicated just

ous old thesps from a bygone era,” he

the newspaper barons were running

everything else just fits.”

to use the stick. I ended up becoming

recalls. “We all still wore grease paint in

rather fond of the stick. And at least

those days. These old boys, with barrel

the country. You don’t want a state run

He has faced a barrage of obvious

Whishaw kept his distance on

positive, and [director] Paul King really picked up on that.”

media. That’s terrifying. That’s Russia.

questions this year about his character

it couldn’t do anything bad. You do

voices, doing their warmups. They

And you have not been able to be a

in Paddington 2, a luvvie actor named

sometimes work with people, particu-

were very gently sexually predatory. I’ve

Prime Minister or a senior politician in

Phoenix Buchanan, whose ego is so

larly in the earlier part of your career,

always loved those guys.”

Britain without obeying the diktats of

oversized that he can’t even bear to

where you’re like, ‘Fuck me. Are you

Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers,

share a stage with a co-star. “There’s

really going to do it like that?’”

Richard Desmond or Paul Dacre.”

plenty of narcissism within me, for

But Grant never seemed to lose his

12

sure,” he admits. “If you happen to

He sees both projects, villainous as his roles might be, as celebrations;

He affects a deep, British baritone to quote them. “‘Oh hello, Hugh. Have I caught you in your underpants again? Forgive me.’” ★

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM • OFFICIAL SELECTION • ITALY FESTIVAL DE CANNES

4

BEST ACTOR

MARCELLO FONTE

EUROPEAN FILM AWARD NOMINATIONS

★★★★★ “One of the

BEST FILM • BEST DIRECTOR BEST ACTOR • BEST SCREENPLAY

★★★★★ ★★★★ “A movie with “A well crafted gem...the kind

best Italian films of recent times.”

of Aesop’s fable Scorsese would tell his kids.” - Phil de Semlyen, TIME OUT

- Geoffrey Macnab, THE INDEPENDENT

incomparable bite and strength.” - Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

“Marcello Fonte gives an expert performance.” - Owen Gleiberman, VARIETY

PLEASE JOIN US AT THE FOLLOWING SCREENINGS NEW YORK

LOS ANGELES WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH • 7:30PM

MONDAY, DECEMBER 3RD • 7:30PM

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11/20/18 1:09 PM


CHARTED TERRITORY

Gold Derby’s Oscar Odds At press time, here is how Gold Derby’s experts ranked the Oscar chances in the Lead and Supporting Actress races. Get up-to-date rankings and make your own predictions at GoldDerby.com ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

ODDS

Lunar Eclipse

1

Lady Gaga A Star Is Born

39/10

2

Glenn Close The Wife

4/1

Editor Tom Cross examines a make-or-break moment from the cut of First Man

3

Olivia Colman The Favourite

9/2

4

Melissa McCarthy Can You Ever Forgive Me?

5/1

5

Viola Davis Widows

10/1

6

Yalitza Aparicio Roma

14/1

7

Julia Roberts Ben Is Back

52/1

8

Nicole Kidman Destroyer

75/1

TOM CROSS HAS BEEN DAMIEN CHAZELLE’S GO-TO EDITOR SINCE WHIPLASH’S SHORT FILM origins. First Man, though, demanded a radically different cutting style befitting a new genre, best exemplified by a climactic moment on the Gemini VIII. The sixth spaceflight undertaken by NASA’s Neil Armstrong before he stepped foot on the moon, this moment was captured in electrifying “fly-on-the-wall” photography by Linus Sandgren, to be shaped in Cross’s beautifully jagged cuts, the product of his early experiences in the documentary field. “That sequence was really the centerpiece of the film,” Cross explains. “A lot of people are aware of the Apollo 11 mission, but most people aren’t aware of the Gemini VIII mission, and how unique that was; how dangerous it was. How they almost died. We knew that if we didn’t pull that off, the movie was not going to work.” The big difference between First Man and Chazelle’s earlier work was the increased volume of moving parts involved. In the sequence on Gemini VIII, there was the “immersive, subjective launch,” demonstrating the real danger involved in what Armstrong was taking on; the “docking ballet,” a nod to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a lighter touch; and the Gemini VIII spin, which needed to make the audience feel “like they were going to die”. All of this was intercut with mission control, and scenes from the Armstrong home, contrasting his achievement with its emotional cost. —Matt Grobar

THE SCOTTISH PLAYER

Composer Max Richter finds a symbolic instrument to voice Mary Queen of Scots TO SCORE HER FEMALECENTRIC DIRECTORIAL debut, Mary Queen of Scots, Josie Rourke needed a composer who would honor its central voices. Calling on his passion for Renaissance music, Max Richter elevated

14

this historical tale of two rivals—Queen Elizabeth I and her indomitable cousin Mary, who challenged her claim to the throne—by placing female voices at the center of his score. Embodied in abstract wordless choral

work, the women’s voices stand in stark contrast to the sounds Richter chose to represent men: war drums, and heavy orchestral tones. Seeking a melodic voice for Mary Stuart, who was an unyielding force of

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

ODDS

1

Regina King If Beale Street Could Talk

19/5

2

Amy Adams Vice

11/2

3

Emma Stone The Favourite

11/2

4

Claire Foy First Man

13/2

5

Rachel Weisz The Favourite

6

Michelle Yeoh Crazy Rich Asians

25/1

7

Nicole Kidman Boy Erased

25/1

8

Linda Cardellini Green Book

33/1

nature, Richter selected the cors anglais, a woodwind instrument with a rich, expressive tone, which he felt was perfect in its name alone. “Mary was brought up in France, and then came to Britain,” he says. “I liked the idea of having this instrument with a French name playing her melody.” —Matt Grobar

7/1

QUEEN OF HEARTS Margot Robbie suits up as Elizabeth I.

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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11/23/18 12:54 PM


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OFFICIAL SELECTION • COLOMBIA

FEW FILMS HAVE CAPTURED QUITE SO POWERFULLY THE TENSION BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW WORLDS.” PETER DEBRUGE,

AN ABSOLUTELY EXTRAORDINARY FILM ... REMINDS US THAT NO MATTER HOW MODERN “

FASCINATINGLY LAYERED ... MOVING TO THE DRAMATIC AND FOLKLORIC

RHYTHMS OF A CULTURE WE RARELY SEE, BIRDS OF PASSAGE MORE OR LESS PICKS UP WHERE EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT LEFT OFF.”

WE ARE, THERE ARE ANCIENT SONGS OUR FOREBEARS KNEW WHOSE MELODIES STILL RUSH IN OUR BLOOD.” JESSICA KIANG,

JUSTIN CHANG,

A FILM BY

CRISTINA GALLEGO AND CIRO GUERRA

FROM THE FILMMAKERS OF THE OSCAR®-NOMINATED EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT

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THE ROLE I’D KILL FOR I wouldn’t kill for any role. I just want to say that on the record. Something that really affected me when I was young was Carol Burnett playing Miss Hannigan in Annie. She is just incredible. That was something that I got in the suburbs. I got it on video, and I could watch it on a regular basis. The thing I would kill for is this: on films with less women, and a less diverse crew involved, I often get that sense of people doing something as a stepping stone to another thing, rather than really being present with a project and creating something that will be timeless. There’s nothing I detest more than working with a producer, a director, or a writer who is using the project that we’re currently shooting as a stepping stone to Star Wars. I would kill people because of that. Not for a role, but yes for that.

On My Screen:

Andrea Riseborough BY JOE UTICHI

IT’S BEEN A BUSY TIME FOR ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, as she rides high on the success of Mandy, in which she stars alongside Nicolas Cage, and The Death of Stalin, which casts her as the titular dictator’s nerve-wracked daughter. Then there’s Nancy, the first film from Riseborough’s production company Mother Sucker, which aims to put women and other underrepresented groups first. The film, in which she delivers a haunting performance as a woman struggling to find her place in the world, is directed by Christina Choe and comes from a crew comprising 50% people of color and 80% women. “We need to absolutely not rest on our laurels in this area,” she says. “We need to continue to imagine telling female, gay, transsexual, black, white, Asian stories, and more. Surely we can spread the love.”

MY FIRST FILM LESSON My first film scene was with Peter O’Toole [in Venus]. I came on, cried, and that was it. My second was with Mike Leigh on Happy-Go-Lucky. After that, I thought there was always going to be a precious handling of the material, and that things were going to be filmed sequentially. You work with him for seven months before you actually film. I think back to it now and I almost don’t even recognize it as the filmmaking that I’ve come to know, which is sad. It was a very odd introduction. Firstly because I was so overwhelmed to be working with Mike, and I so wanted to do a good job and gave off all this fake confidence that I just didn’t have at all. I was shitting myself. But for it to be all about the motivations of the characters, and very actor-driven. It was union, there was equal pay—that was my first real experience of film. It was very confusing to start from there and then find myself battling to hurdle over other people’s large egos. It wasn’t like that with Mike, it was so much more about the work.

16

CHARACTERS I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE I think it was always somebody with agency, which as a woman came as a little bit of an arresting blow. Shakespeare is a perfect example of this, because at the time it was all played by one sex. In a sense it feels genderless, and it feels like it doesn’t come from any one angle of sexuality. I went to an all-girls high school, so to play those roles, and to have agency, was so liberating. The way that Rosalind, Helena, Imogen, or Viola go about their mission is with agency. Of course, because women are now in theater, there are a lot of strong female roles. In film, I tire of women being almost caught in the headlights of victimhood. When you look at the bigger picture, for the last 100 years in terms of cinema, there have been a lot of women running from a lot of shit. Birds, axes, scary things in forests. I really, really would love to see more female characters with just total agency.

MY TOUGHEST ROLE YET Nancy was so difficult, because of course I was producing it as well. I’d developed it. I’d been with the project for four and-a-half years before we started to shoot. But there was also a great sense of ease to it—and this is why I ended up producing it—because I’ve often felt unsupported. So there was a sense of relief that the buck stopped with me. I wasn’t making it with people who were in it for the wrong reasons, because the only reason to make it was for the love of it. I’ve also been adapting an all-female version of Hamlet for the screen with my company, which has been so wonderful because in those past moments on the set when I felt so disheartened and disenchanted and disenfranchised, it’s been really soothing to just go back to where it all started for me personally.

MY GUILTY TV PLEASURES Anything reality-based. I think probably because my job is basically based on reflecting reality, or at least that’s how I like to approach it. I find we’re in this weird age between reality and fantasy with reality TV. I love it all. When I say ‘love’, it’s more like when you eat six packets of crisps, then you’re like, “Ow, that really hurt.” There’s guilt and shame, and then the pain. Often after watching Four in a Bed, I don’t feel fantastic. Actually no, that’s a bad example. I do feel quite good after Four in a Bed. After watching the Kardashians, I don’t necessarily feel fantastic. But it’s no new concept, this idolizing of real-life beings who are then elevated to a different state of life that none of us can attain. I find that really fascinating, how we see them, and how on every level it trickles through and affects us, so you can then walk into Target and literally Kim’s shoes are on the shelf. I find that so surreal and frightening, and compulsive. Almost like watching a horror movie, but I can’t watch horror movies. Even though I’m in one this year. THE FILMS THAT MAKE ME CRY All of Tarkovsky. when I’m watching Tarkovsky, I feel almost like I’m in this jellified human fetal state. Just simultaneously crying, laughing and being totally silent. Some of the things that make me cry are childhood animations. James Woods’ performance in Hercules as Hades. I was introduced to so many wonderful performers through animated film when I was a child. And that was what was in the video shop. There’s a sort of nostalgia with all of the films for children. I think those are the things that move me the most. Japanese animation especially. All the things that I grew up watching. I just need an entire box of tissues with Studio Ghibli films. It’s a nightmare. ★

RE X /S H U T T ERSTO CK

With standout roles in The Death of Stalin and Nancy this year, the actor-producer dips into her film and TV faves

DESERT ISLAND MOVIES Barbara Loden’s Wanda, one of the great pieces of cinema. Then An Unfinished Piece For Mechanical Piano, which is a bananas thing that Mikhalkov directed. It’s in Russian, and it reminds me of being a kid in a theater and being part of a troupe. Something that I recently judged at the London Film Festival was [Sudabeh Mortezai’s] Joy. That would be a desert island one, but one that I’d have to watch sparingly, because it’s so painful. Anwulika Alphonsus’s performance is just phenomenal. I can’t think of any performance that I’ve seen for so long that’s so generous and honest and felt through so much pain. Can I have the entire canon of Tarkovsky? No? Maybe Antonioni’s L’Eclisse then. It would be that or Bergman’s Wild Strawberries.

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The Art of Craft

Inside the Isle of Dogs Sake Bar with production designer Paul Harrod BY MATT GROBAR • ILLUSTRATIONS BY PAUL HARROD

“WHAT I REALLY LIKED ABOUT WORKING WITH WES IS THAT HE DOESN’T LOOK AT IT AS A CARTOON. He looks at it as cinema. He treats this with the same respect that any film should be treated. I certainly would always prefer to look at it that way.” –Paul Harrod

Wes Anderson worked together with artist Jay Clark to design the film’s storyboards, which are packed with meticulous attention to detail. The Sake Bar, where the freckled Tracy (Greta Gerwig) confronts Yoko Ono (playing ‘Assistant-Scientist Yoko-ono’), was conceived as a bar

Numbered

especially for scientists, where, earlier in the film, Professor Watanabe and his team toasted their success in finding a cure for the dog flu. Visual inspiration was taken from Tokyo’s famed Golden Gai bars, which are often plastered with photos, newspaper articles and art.

Isle of Dogs’ Audacious Puppet Plans

Micro Atari Puppet

20mm tall

Small Atari Puppet

92mm tall

Only 1 expression

Medium Atari Puppet

184mm tall

36 face replacements

24 mouth plugs

864 facial expressions

Large Atari Puppet

321mm tall

53 face replacements

48 mouth plugs

2544 facial expressions

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Assistant art director Kevin Hill drew up a detailed rendering of the space,

Given that it’s such an incredibly narrow, enclosed space, jam-packed

from which Harrod and his team constructed a full-size foam core maquette.

with props and intricate little details, the Sake Bar was very challenging for

This helped to determine exactly how the set would be built and lit, and gave

the team to arrange, adjust and shoot, while maintaining continuity from

insight into camera placement and—importantly—animator access.

shot to shot.

Key contributors in bringing the space to

Cinematographer Tristan Oliver worked to

The bottles on the bar’s shelves are all

life, graphic designer Erica Dorn and her team

create the illusion that all the light in the space

hand-blown scientific-style glass. To create the

covered the bar’s walls with original artwork, all

was coming from practicals embedded within

illusion of liquid within the flasks, a translucent

with a science-oriented theme.

it; the paper lamps and the shelves’ backlight.

pigment was painted on.

Numbered Largest Set vs. Smallest Set Film’s Smallest Interior Set: Interpreter’s Booth, the Municipal Dome

378mm or 14.9 inches wide

Film’s Largest Interior Set: Animal Testing Plant

14,925mm or 49ft long

Composed of 6 different rooms in multiple scales, constructed as a single set

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GREEN BOOK

Tea Leaves

Divining the continuing path to Oscar as precursor awards start showing their hands BY PETE HAMMOND

THE SEASON IS STARTING TO SHIFT, as usual, into that phase that separates the wheat from the chaff. It is that moment, after Thanksgiving, when everyone who thought they still had a shot gets a sober assessment as critics groups, and particularly the big televised precursor shows like the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, start anointing their favorites and announcing their noms.

20

Few awards are as sought after

Choice Awards that nearly ran the

as the Golden Globe, due to a 70-

table, agreeing with the Academy in

year history and the show’s wide ex-

Best Picture, Director, Acting, Writing,

posure thanks to its NBC broadcast.

Music, Song, and most of the craft

But it also has a mixed record when

categories, solidifying the critics’

it comes to predicting the Oscar

group’s reputation as a reliable seer

winds. Like everyone else last year, it

of all things Oscar.

awarded all four eventual Oscar act-

But every year presents its chal-

ing winners—Frances McDormand,

lenges, and you can never really

Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell and

depend on these early voting states

Alison Janney. But it went big-time

to be 100% accurate, even if they’re

for Three Billboards Outside Ebb-

collectively influential. When just

ing, Missouri and Lady Bird, giving

about every group picks the same

them its drama and comedy prizes

acting winners, as happened last

respectively, and while both were

year, it lessens the suspense of

nominated for Best Picture, they lost

Oscar night because you can pretty

out to The Shape of Water. Guillermo

much bet that the Academy will fol-

del Toro did, however, pick up Best

low suit. When winners start making

Director from both the Hollywood

acceptance speech after accep-

Foreign Press and the Academy.

tance speech, the odds increase on

SAG threw its lot in with the same four acting winners, but they also

watching them repeat themselves at the Dolby Theatre in February.

gave their top trophy—Outstand-

Perhaps this endless parade of

ing Performance by a Cast, their

the same winners is why AMPAS got

equivalent of Best Picture—to Three

fed up and blamed their ratings dive

Billboards. The Shape of Water wasn’t

in 2018 on the fact that there are

even nominated for that award,

just too many imitators stealing their

usually a sure sign that a movie

thunder. To curb this, the Academy’s

doesn’t have a chance at Oscar’s

Board of Governors voted to move up

Best Picture. It was only the Critics’

their 2020 broadcast by two weeks

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the Dick Cheney movie from Adam McKay, Vice, too. While the spotlight is always on the film competition at these THE FAVOURITE

A STAR IS BORN

shows, lots of networks and studios look to them to make an early impact on eventual Emmy races as well, even if those don’t heat up until the Spring at the earliest. Just look to the overwhelming success of Comedy Series Emmy winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Before it swept the Emmys, it scored big time at the Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, not to mention several guild shows. That had to have a positive impact on its Emmy campaign, and at the

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

very least it put the series right to the top of TV Academy voters’ to February 9 , a continuing pattern

screener stacks. SAG is usually a

of creeping earlier in order to keep

beat behind in honoring newbies,

th

but you can bet they will be adding

it fresh. But if this is a move meant to intimidate the precursors, don’t

MARY POPPINS RETURNS

Maisel to their list of nominees this time around.

count on it working. All of them—

Barry, Atlanta, Glow and The

including BAFTA, which currently claims the Sunday the Oscars will

film could still have a good night.

greatest opportunity for the pre-

Good Place are also good bets to

be stealing—will just crowd together,

And despite standing ovations at

cursors to chart a path and make

show up in Comedy categories,

along with all the other guild shows,

its SAG Nominating Committee

Oscar success seem inevitable.

along with possible new en-

making the parade of the same win-

screenings, it will be interesting

Things can get a little messy

ners seem all the more intense.

to see how the actors handle it,

with the Globes, since there is a

Method, and Jim Carrey’s Kid-

considering many in its key cast are

lot of jockeying among studios

ding. Reboots like Will & Grace,

proceeds as normal? It’s a wide

non-professionals delivering per-

to place their films strategically

Murphy Brown, and The Conners

open field, and disagreements are

formances heavily crafted by the

in the Drama or Comedy/Musi-

are more of a question mark. For

likely. The Netflix factor on Roma

strong input of the film’s director.

cal categories; wherever they feel

Drama series, newcomers like

seems to be the biggest question

Can they score the much-desired

they have the best shot, despite

Pose, Homecoming and Killing Eve

mark for the precursors. It’s widely

Cast nomination, or will the union’s

questions about whether they re-

could be building momentum for

considered a frontrunner for Best

voters look to more experience in

ally belong. This year, Warner Bros.

Emmy out of these races, along

Picture, but since it’s a black-and-

the craft when they choose their

placed their musical remake of A

with more established names like

white Spanish language movie with

favorites?

Star is Born in Drama, despite the

Ozark, Better Call Saul, House of

honors granted the 1976 and 1954

Cards, Westworld, The Handmaid’s

But what of this year, as business

no one you have ever heard of in

Likely Cast nominations from

trants like Forever, The Kominsky

the cast, it will be interesting to see

SAG will go to A Star is Born, Black

versions in the Comedy/Musical

Tale, The Americans, and This is

what kind of momentum it can build

Panther, The Favourite, Green Book,

category. Fox will similarly compete

Us. It wouldn’t be surprising to

on the early awards circuit. It’ll be

and a possible wildcard nod for

Bohemian Rhapsody in Drama, while

see other titles out of leftfield

eligible for the Globes’ acting and

Crazy Rich Asians, in a nod to diver-

Universal places dramedy Green

make their mark in some of these

directing categories, but it won’t

sity and recognition for a smash

Book—arguably a movie that tilts

races as well, particularly from

qualify for Best Picture Drama, be-

hit featuring the first all-Asian en-

to more dramatic moments than

Critics’ Choice, which tends to be

cause HFPA’s rules won’t allow Best

semble in a studio picture in nearly

comedic ones—in the Comedy/

a little more adventurous than the

Foreign Language Film candidates to

a quarter century. Black Panther is a

Musical category also; presumably

others when it comes to the vast

play outside that sandbox. It’s pos-

similar breakthrough, offering SAG,

to compete with the likes of Mary

universe of TV offerings.

sible first-time actor Yalitza Aparicio

Globe and Critics’ Choice voters an

Poppins Returns and Mamma Mia:

You can bet, for both movies

could turn up in Best Actress Drama,

opportunity to reward a superhero

Here We Go Again!. That category

and TV, getting noticed at these

and certainly Alfonso Cuarón in

movie with rare Best Picture rec-

will likely find room for The Favourite

shows is crucial, and crunch time

directing and screenplay, so the

ognition. These two films mark the

and Crazy Rich Asians, and perhaps

is upon us to make it happen. ★

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11/20/18 1:16 PM


DOGMAN

International Velvet The Best Foreign Language Film race is a tight sprint between quality frontrunners, but will promising outliers sneak in? BY NANCY TARTAGLIONE

AY NE VE R LO OK AW

THERE ARE 87 TITLES VYING FOR THE BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM ACADEMY AWARD THIS YEAR, in what

This year, however, new Com-

gary); The Lives of Others’ Florian

mittee heads Larry Karaszewski and

Henckel von Donnersmarck with

Diane Weyermann, who replace the

Never Look Away (Germany); and

long-serving Mark Johnson, have

Ida’s Pawel Pawlikowski with Cold

continues to be a robust lineup of talent, with

sought to make it easier on mem-

War (Poland). Alfonso Cuarón’s

bers to screen the films. In a bid for

Roma, which many think will be

greater participation, the incoming

the one to beat, puts the director

ber of previous winners and nominees returning

chiefs have made some tweaks

in the Foreign Language field for

for another go-round, and some movies with a

that will allow members to attend

the first time, although his 2002

strong shot at nominations in other races, this has

and vote for movies whenever it’s

breakout Y Tu Mamá También was

convenient for them to make it to

nominated for an Original Screen-

a screening, rather than using the

play Oscar at the 75th awards.

rich tales to tell from faraway lands. With a num-

shaped up to be one of the richest rosters of Oscar contenders in recent memory. At this early stage, there appear to be some clear frontrunners, but as always, there are discoveries yet to be made, and the Foreign Language Committee faces the seriously daunting task of carving out a shortlist of nine films before the official nominations. 24

specific color-coded group they had

Cuarón, of course, went on to

in the past. They nevertheless have

score a Best Director trophy for

their work cut out for them this

2012’s Gravity, and shared the Ed-

year, with so much quality work to

iting prize with Mark Sanger. Roma

choose from.

is one of the titles that’s strongly

Among the eligible filmmakers

expected to break out into other

who’ve taken a statue in this cate-

categories, potentially even Best

gory before are Son of Saul helmer

Picture, after the very personal

László Nemes with Sunset (Hun-

reflection on the filmmaker’s

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harrowing family crisis. High on lists is Hirokazu Koreeda’s Shoplifters. The Cannes Palme d’Or winner from Japan is about a dysfunctional band of outsiders united by fierce loyalty and a penchant for petty theft who take in a little girl they meet on the streets. Japan has not had a nomination in 10 years and Kore-eda is overdue. Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum (Lebanon) is another to watch. Hot in its Cannes debut, it focuses DOGMAN

on a 12-year-old boy who sues his parents for bringing him into a world of such suffering. Likewise,

memories of growing up in Mexico

female helmer Rungano Nyoni’s I

City stunned the fall festival circuit

Am Not a Witch (UK), the winner

and won the Golden Lion in Venice.

of last year’s Outstanding Debut

Participant, which co-produced

BAFTA, brings a female helmer to

and financed Roma, has the wind

the fore with the story of a young

at its back going into the next

girl accused of witchcraft. Further notable titles to keep an

Oscars after A Fantastic Woman, which it also produced, scooped

eye on include Sergei Loznitsa’s Don-

the statue last year.

bass (Ukraine); Ofir Raul Graizer’s The Cakemaker (Israel); Javier Fes-

A Netflix title, Roma is expected to receive a select-city domestic

ser’s Champions (Spain); The Guilty

theatrical run two weeks prior to

by Gustav Moller (Denmark); Lee

its December streaming date. Such

Chang-dong’s Burning (Korea); and

a move would be unprecedented

AB Shawky’s Yomeddine (Egypt). Previous nominees who should

for the streamer, which up to now has released its awards caliber

not be counted out include Cam-

fare day-and-date on the online

bodia’s Rithy Panh with Graves

platform and in some cinemas. The

Without a Name and Colombia’s

company had a nominee last year

SUNSET

in Ildiko Enyedi’s Hungarian drama

Ciro Guerra who co-directed Birds of Passage with Cristina Gallego. There are any number of other

On Body and Soul. Also from a major platform

missed out on the Golden Globe to

ter took the Camera d’Or for best

titles that will be discovered as we

and seeking possible recognition

that year’s Leviathan. Roma, much

first film, and also scored the Best

roll along. As per norm, the Phase 1

outside Foreign Language is Paw-

like last year’s A Fantastic Woman,

Performance nod in the Un Certain

Committee’s top six choices, along

likowski’s Cold War, which won the

is not eligible for these prizes.

Regard section for lead actor Vic-

with three titles agreed by the For-

tor Polster. A Netflix pick-up, it’s

eign Language Executive Commit-

May. Ida in 2014 nabbed a Cinema-

a handful of other movies that

about a 15-year-old committed to

tee, advance to the shortlist, which

tography nomination, and Cold

began their trajectories at Cannes.

becoming a professional ballerina,

will be revealed on December 17

War, a 1950s-set romance drama

Along with Cold War, the Best Film

although she was born a boy.

this year. The Phase 2 Foreign Lan-

is eyeing the same for Lukasz Zal,

category at the EFAs is populated

who also shot Ida.

by Sweden’s wild Border from Ali

women’s stories are significant in

views the pics that made the field

Abassi, written by John Ajvide

the myriad tales told by foreign

of nine and votes by secret ballot to

a leading five nominations from

Lindqvist (Let the Right One In),

filmmakers this year. Along with

determine the race’s five nominees.

the European Film Academy which

which won the Un Certain Regard

Roma, whose protagonists are

Then the final voting for the Foreign

hands out its awards on Decem-

prize this year; Italy’s Dogman from

strong young women, Marcelo

Language Film award is restricted

ber 15. This is the same body that

Matteo Garrone which was a Best

Martinessi’s The Heiresses from

to active and life Academy mem-

gave Ida its top prize before the

Actor laureate in Cannes; and Bel-

Paraguay tells the story of a woman

bers who have of course viewed all

film went on to win the Oscar, but

gium’s Girl by Lukas Dhont. The lat-

who breaks out of her shell after a

five movies. ★

Best Director prize in Cannes last

Cold War has already received

26

Also scoring with the EFA are

Themes of fitting in, family and

guage Film Award Committee then

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THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE

Si n c e b e c o m i n g t h e yo u n g e s t B e s t Ac to r O s c a r n o m i n e e i n ove r 60 ye a r s , T i m o t h é e C h a l a m e t h a s e s t a b l i s h e d h i m s e l f a s o n e o f t h e b r i g h te s t s p a r k s o f h i s g e n e r a t i o n . H e’s b a c k i n t h e c o n ve r s a t i o n o n c e m o re t h i s ye a r w i t h h i s t u r n i n B e a u t i f u l B oy, a u t h o r i n g t h e ro l e o f a d r u g a d d i c te d te e n a g e r w i t h t h e k i n d o f n u a n c e t h a t wo u l d e l u d e m u c h m o re ex p e r i e n c e d p e r f o r m e r s . A s f i l m m a ke r s l i n e u p to c a s t C h a l a m e t , c o - s t a r s r u s h to p r a i s e h i m a n d f a n s f a l l ove r t h e m s e l ve s to g e t a g l i m p s e o f h i m , J o e U t i c h i m e e t s t h e r i s i n g s t a r w h o s e f o c u s re m a i n s eve r o n h i s c r a f t . PH OTO G R APHS BY GABRIEL GOLDBERG

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hough he’s turning 23 in a month, Timothée Chalamet might be fated to play teenagers on screen for years still to come. He just has one of those faces; big, doe eyes, and a mop of unmanageable hair. The eyes light up and he animates when the conversation turns to his favorite rappers (Lil B and Kid Cudi), where to find the best bagels in New York City (Tompkins Square Bagels), or what he felt when he saw Moonlight at the Angelika. And yet there is an old soul lurking within. It was obvious to co-star Armie Hammer when the two worked together on Call Me by Your Name, in which Chalamet played the pleasures and pains of a 17-year-old’s first love with the wisdom of one who lived it long ago, and who understands it enough to relive it on camera. “I was asking him for advice,” Hammer says of the depth he found opposite him. “I was like, ‘How did you do that? What is that thing? The emotional vulnerability and the rawness; what’s the secret behind that?’”

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NIC & DAVID SHEFF

The true story behind the father and son of Beautiful Boy NOW 62, DAVID SHEFF IS A California-based freelance writer whose work has been published in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired and Fortune, including interviews with such celebrities and media figures as Steve Jobs, John Lennon and Jack Nicholson. Nic, now 36, is his son, whose struggle with drug addiction was chronicled in his father’s memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, and his own, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines. By his own admission, Nic first encountered pot at the age of 11. “Up until that point,” he later said, “I had felt so insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin. I just didn’t fit in anywhere. Smoking pot for the first time felt like the first real answer that I had ever found.” At 14 he was suspended from school for a day for possession but was allowed to return. At 16 he went back to smoking pot. By 17 he was smoking every day. He later tried ecstasy, and at the age of 18 was introduced to crystal meth by a friend in San Francisco. “There was a feeling like, ‘My god, this is what I’ve been missing my entire life,’” he later wrote. “It completed me. I felt whole for the first time.” Nic was sent to his first treatment center at the age of 18, six months after IN TREATMENT Chalamet with Steve Carell as Nic & David Sheff in Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.

trying crystal meth for the first time. Thirty days of sobriety ensued, but Nic immediately relapsed. Another 30-day program followed, as did another relapse. The following summer, after stealing eight dollars from his kid brother, Nic left home. By this time Nic had begun injecting drugs intravenously, and even using heroin when crystal meth was

Chalamet and I meet for breakfast at a West Hollywood hotel, and after his bounding arrival, and some fast-paced small talk, the

ingénue naïveté of a young boy. Those two

unavailable. (“By the time I got around

things together were incredible.”

to doing heroin, I really didn’t see what

Contradictions like this lie at the heart of

the big deal was.”) For the best part of a

tone changes when the topic turns to his cho-

Timothée Chalamet. Since Call Me by Your

decade, Nic lived on the streets, where he

sen profession. As he speaks about his journey

Name, celebrity has come to claim him.

ate from dumpsters and made a living by

so far, and the responsibility he feels inherent

The 200-strong army of young fans that

dealing drugs and prostituting himself

within his career choices, Chalamet chooses

camped outside Deadline’s The Contenders

his words with care and sincerity.

London event in October around the time

That care hasn’t gone unnoticed by his col-

of his arrival are proof of that. He doesn’t

laborators. “We met and it was instant rec-

appear to be all that afraid of it, still grateful

ognition,” remembers Luca Guadagnino, who

for the latitude it gives him to design his

directed Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name.

next steps. His priority, though, is on the

“The guy I was talking with had this brooding,

steak, not the sizzle. Where can acting take

unbiased determination and ambition to be

him? What can it offer? Which questions

a great actor, and yet he had this kind of soft,

can it pose and answer? D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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tiles. “I remember seeing him astride a quarter-

to men. “Of course, I’m straight,” he said,

speak cavalierly,” Chalamet says. He will offer

“I’m no authority on this, and I don’t want to

horse for the first time, certain it was not part

“so I would’ve preferred to be wanted by

self-deprecating qualifiers like this throughout

of the syllabus at LaGuardia Performing Arts

women for sure. But, hell, I’d take what I

our time together, before saying something

School,” he says. “He was as fear-stricken as his

could get. And men did seem to like me.”

perfectly authoritative, like, “The types of roles

character would have been, a fish out of water

Nic overdosed at least once, and almost

I hope to do are things where I’ll hopefully

wholly unprepared for the journey ahead. But

lost an arm when a needle puncture

have to shapeshift. It’s important not to feel

we all appreciated his feverish exuberance.”

became infected. “There was just this

the work of someone onscreen, and instead

Chalamet “is really intelligent and open to all of

idea that I was just going to shoot drugs

to feel the urgency or the reality of the story

the stimuli the world offers”.

until I killed myself,” he said.

being told; and that doesn’t mean it has to be immediately relatable.”

Chalamet remembers his time at LaGuardia

In 2008, David published Beautiful

as the first time he felt he had an outlet, “and a

Boy—the title was taken from a John

way to learn about myself.” It was there that he

Lennon song—about his struggles with

standing the foibles of different time periods.

first started to take acting seriously. His sister

his son’s addictions. It was a bestseller,

Earlier this year he wrapped on David Michôd’s

Pauline was already enrolled, and he went “a

and Nic read it. “I got to read in detail,”

The King, playing the British monarch Henry V

little naïve to what it was going to be. I had an

he said, “about how my addiction had

alongside Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and

idea that it was like grid-style rows in a class-

nearly destroyed [my father’s] life and his

Robert Pattinson. As we meet, he’s in Los Ange-

room, learning about drama.” But they put him

marriage, and the lives of my little brother

les on a weekend break from Boston, where he’s

on stage. “It made it more of an experience. It

and sister. I got to read, along with a lot of

playing Laurie in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of

feels like there’s honor in how, for so long, peo-

other people, just how much my actions

Little Women. “It’s been so satiating to be able

ple have been in playhouses doing these things.”

really did affect the people that loved

to work on something where we have to learn

But Chalamet is also among the first stars

He mentions his current mission: under-

me.” The experience was so intense that

the manners of the period. It’s challenging. It

of the post-social media generation. Where

he could only read the book three pages

incorporates the madness of this all.” Both films

many his age seek fame through Instagram

at a time. The following year, Nic went

have been, he says, a “deep dive” into another

or YouTube accounts (and he has dabbled in

back to rehab for the fifth time, and has

way of life. His chance to shapeshift.

both), Chalamet also looks to the history of

mostly stayed clean since. His journey is

Director Scott Cooper gave Chalamet his

his form and the greats that came before him,

covered in Tweak, published in 2009 and

first real taste of period work, casting him as a

voraciously consuming cinema. And yet the di-

based on his own journals.

French private of Christian Bale’s army in Hos-

chotomy of his youth means thinks deeply, too,

It’s important not to feel the work of someone onscreen, and instead to feel the urgency or the reality of the story being told; and that doesn’t mean it has to be immediately relatable.”

Felix Van Groeningen and Luke Davies

about how technology is changing everything

adapted their film of Beautiful Boy from

about cinema and the arts. Over the course of

both books. Said Nic Sheff, “We always

our conversation, we alight on the collapse of

thought the best idea was to combine

album sales, the streaming subscription model

the two books… You have to realize that

of movie consumption, digital versus film, and

there have been so many movies about

much more. He is determined to bridge the gap

addiction that show the downward spiral

between all that came before him, and all that

of a person as the drugs overtake their life.

is yet to come.

Many of these films show these people

He once did a reading, he remembers, with

hitting bottom, then end with them dying,

Sopranos star Edie Falco, who joked, about a

or getting into rehab and ending on a

play she’d just done, that it had drawn critical

hopeful note. Although there have been

praise because it was only 80 minutes long.

some great movies like that, our idea was

“Like you earn a more favorable review because

to do something different. We wanted to

people can get out quicker,” he laughs. “The

show the effect the addiction has on the

more cynical way to look at it is that people

family, because my dad had written about

have shorter attention spans than they used to.”

it so amazingly in Beautiful Boy. We wanted

But it isn’t true, he insists. While he was in Lon-

to combine the family narrative with the

don he went to see The Inheritance on stage. It’s

addiction narrative.”

a two-part play that runs over six hours, and it’s

David Sheff’s book became a New

one of London theater’s hottest tickets. “The

York Times bestseller, and he has been

audience there was, again, a younger crowd.”

honored by such institutes as The

The forms are being expanded by the likes of

Partnership for Drug-free Kids, The

YouTube, Netflix and Amazon (which produced

College of Problems on Drug Dependence

his new film Beautiful Boy), not replaced. “I see

(CPDD) Media Award, The American

more liberty in whatever those other forms are.”

College of Neuropsychopharmacology

YouTube, also, has become a fertile resource

(ACNP) and The American Society of

for the researching actor. Chalamet turned

Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Nic Sheff

to the site for footage of drug addiction that

is now sober, but always mindful of the

would inform his performance in Beautiful Boy.

power of his addiction. He has since

It was this, along with spending time with ad-

followed his father’s path and become

dicts, that offered the epiphany he sought. “Oh

a writer, serving as co-producer, writer

wait, addiction doesn’t have a face. This isn’t

and story editor on the Netflix show 13

a bridge I have to cross to understand playing

Reasons Why. —Damon Wise D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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this. This is a human illness. Don’t play the ste-

fore Call Me by Your Name put him on the map

Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York—as yet unre-

reotype of a drug addict. Play a human who’s

and charged him toward becoming the young-

leased—to Time’s Up, the LGBT Center in New

addicted to drugs.”

est Best Actor Oscar nominee since Mickey

York and RAINN. “This year has changed the

Rooney in 1940. On stage at our London event,

way I see and feel about so many things,” he

a true story and adapts two memoirs; David

he modestly joked that he was grateful simply

said in a statement.

Sheff’s Beautiful Boy and Nic Sheff’s Tweak. It

for getting the job. But through it, he sees the

splits its time between the two of them: a son—

importance of its resonance. “I feel the pres-

who feel a “lifeline” with the project they’re

Chalamet—confronting his own drug addiction,

sure of wanting to get Beautiful Boy out there.

directing. “I know Greta feels that way about

and his father, grappling with an inability to help.

It’s extremely important, not only for people

Little Women. Luca was trying to get Call Me by

Luke Davies, who earned an Oscar nomination

all across America, but also for people my age.

Your Name made for eight years. Beautiful Boy

for 2016’s Lion, co-wrote the script with Van

We’re going through this, and inherent to that

took 10 years. Denis [Villeneuve] talks about

Groeningen, but nearly didn’t. He had examined

is the difficulty of discussing something that

Dune like that book was one of the loves of his

his own addiction issues in the 2006 film Can-

is really upsetting and devastating to a lot of

childhood. I think it’s important, especially in

dy, based on his novel, and didn’t feel the need

families. But I think that’s the importance of art

the urgent time we’re living in, not to indulge,

to go back there. By chance, as he was readying

and movies.”

but to try to tell stories with people that are

Felix Van Groeningen’s movie is based on

to refuse to the meeting, in the days after Philip

His focus now is on working with directors

coming from the heart.”

Seymour Hoffman’s death, his father emailed

And, as is his nature, he credits the influ-

him, and it was his message of gratitude that

ences that have crossed his path for instilling

his son’s journey had reached a place of hope

that purpose in him. “I feel really grateful, first

rather than despair that inspired the younger

with Armie Hammer, and now with Steve Carell,

man to take the job.

to have worked with good people whose inten-

It’s especially relevant because Beautiful

tions were, creatively, in the right places.”

Boy, both in memoir form and onscreen, does

“I had an amazing dance partner,” Hammer

an extraordinary job of tackling the ways ad-

counters. “I don’t know that I’ve ever had a

diction affects so many more lives than just

scene partner who’s given so much, and given

those addicted. “It’s really an anti-glorification

you the luxury of all of his emotional vulner-

of drug use,” notes Chalamet. “If films with

ability, just right on the surface, in a totally

this subject matter lean into tragedy tonally,

unguarded and unprotected way.”

you’re almost prepared for it. Or they lean the

“Like the best actors, and those more sea-

other way, into a kind of celebratory, upbeat,

soned than Timmy, he arrives well-prepared

tragically cool thing. This is, hopefully, what

and full of ideas,” recalls Cooper. “Once we

the reality of it is. The subject matter is already

began working, it was clear that the talent he

tough, and we want the redemption of it to be

possessed was preternatural, and that he was

in plain sight, but the honesty is in how fucking

likely a once-in-a-generation talent, not unlike

terrifying it is to be using, and also how terrify-

Christian. But because he’s too young to have a

ing it feels to be sober.” “His fearlessness is really his genius,” Van Groeningen says of his decision to cast Chalamet opposite Steve Carell as Nic’s father David. “They had this great vibe together, and it was clear they were the perfect father and son.” The work the young actor put into finding that line between stereotype and humanity cannot be underestimated. In Nic’s sober moments, the pain and struggle to stay clean is authored by Chalamet with meticulous precision. And when he uses, his performance is colored with shame and regret as much as with relief and pleasure. Nic Sheff struggled with methamphetamine addiction, but the

I feel the pressure of wanting to get Beautiful Boy out there. It’s extremely important, not only for people all across America, but also for people my age.”

subtlety of Chalamet’s work will be recogniz-

“What must it be like to have your heart in

is a wonderful combination of talent, bravura, and fearlessness that I hope he never loses.” Chalamet will navigate this Oscar season all the wiser for his time with Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird a year ago. But his mind is also on Little Women, which has reunited him with Lady Bird’s star and director, Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig. He will take the red eye out of LA at the end of this weekend to get back to work. “I’ve talked about it with Saoirse and Greta, but I’ve never been on a set where the first week or so isn’t about establishing a working relationship with everyone,” he says. “I think a lot of the rhythms we’ve had are continuations from the set of Lady Bird, and the awesome

able to anyone who has dealt with addiction in any of its forms.

great deal of technique, what we’re witnessing

time we had on that. Weirdly, there’s another Responsibility, he says, is the first feeling

layer of how much time we spent together last

he must always tackle. “Responsibility to the

year in general [on the awards circuit]. Leaving

one place, your brain in another, and your actual

story, and what the material is all about, and to

school and working on stuff with your friends

hands doing something else?” Chalamet won-

bringing that out in the most human way.” This

has that feel, that you just all speak each

ders. “It’s about the fracturing of the human

matters to him. So too does social responsibil-

other’s language. It’s really weird to have that on

spirit in that way. And how that can still—as a

ity. When allegations of historical sexual abuse

this movie. But it’s really nice to be able to tune

testament to Nic being alive and well today—be

by Woody Allen resurfaced, in the wake of the

into Greta’s and Saoirse’s creative wavelength.”

redeemed and saved.”

reckoning of the Time’s Up movement, Chal-

Chalamet won the role in Beautiful Boy be-

34

amet chose to pledge his salary for his role in

He’s itching to get back. “You learn so much from each job, and not just from the role or what

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CAPTION HEADER Caption lines will go here caption lines will go here here here here here. Caption lines will go here here here here.

THE MAKING OF AN ACTOR The key roles on Timothée Chalamet’s path

Homeland (2012) Chalamet was 17 when he played Finn Walden in the first season of Showtime’s terrorism drama. Finn dated Dana, the daughter of lead Damian Lewis’s Nicholas Brody, and got her mixed up in a hit-and-run that resulted in a woman’s death.

36

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MANY FACES Opposite page, clockwise from top: Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name; with Nic & David Sheff and Steve Carell; with Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird. Above: behind the scenes on Beautiful Boy.

you have to learn, but from where you are in the world. That

Laurie that the book was based on—I think there’s evidence

could be Pittsburgh in the winter, or Budapest in the sum-

that it was one person, and that a lot of people were wrong

mer.” On Little Women, he’s in the Massachusetts heartland

in the assumption that it was them.”

where the book is set. “[Author] Louisa May Alcott is buried

And yet still, within it all, the eternal contradiction of

out there. The book takes place in that setting. We’re im-

Timothée Chalamet means that he also feels it in his

mersed in the legend of the book every day.”

bones. Long before he did that reading with Falco, he re-

He had never read Little Women before the job came

members her showing up at LaGuardia to give his class a

along. “A lot of guys aren’t aware of the importance of it, and

lecture. “Someone was like, ‘What’s your process?’ Which

how impactful it was,” he says. But he’s put the work into

is the greatest softball if an actor wants to meat-up an

getting up to speed, and can speak with confidence now.

answer,” Chalamet laughs. “She said, ‘I don’t know what it

“A lot of Louisa May Alcott’s male friends claimed to be the

is, but I just do it.’ That really made sense to me.” ★

Interstellar (2014)

Prodigal Son (2015)

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Beautiful Boy (2018)

His first big role came as Tom,

He won the Lucille Lortel Award for

Chalamet’s breakthrough year was

Placing him squarely in the awards

the 15-year-old son of Matthew

Lead Actor in this off-Broadway hit,

2017, with roles in both Scott Cooper’s

conversation again, Chalamet’s latest

McConaughey’s astronaut in

written and directed by Pulitzer Prize

Hostiles and Greta Gerwig’s Lady

role is a powerful demonstration of

Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi hit. When

winner John Patrick Shanley. He played

Bird scoring him plaudits. But it was

his range, and proof that last year

the timeline shifts, and Tom ages

a 17-year-old Bronx native dropped

his turn as Elio in Luca Guadagnino’s

wasn’t a one-off. He was cast in

significantly, Chalamet’s role is

into an alienating private school in

adaptation of this Andre Aciman novel

Felix Van Groeningen’s film before

assumed by Casey Affleck.

New Hampshire.

that scored him an Oscar nod.

Call Me by Your Name launched.

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D THE DIALOGUE

OSCAR CONTENDERS/ ACT R ESS

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Cynthia

If you EGOT in the next seven years, you’d still be the youngest person to do so. Any time someone mentions the ‘O’ in the

E R I VO

EGOT, I suppose I freak out just a little bit, because I don’t know that I expected to be that far along already. The idea of it still makes me giggle a little bit. I didn’t know that it was possible. It’s really crazy to think that it might even

happen, even in the next seven years, to be

The Widows breakout on boxing, the Harriet Tubman backlash, and hurtling her way towards EGOT in just two years BY A N T O N I A B LY T H

honest. You never know, if it happens, it would be absolutely wonderful. There will be a musical film adaptation of The Color Purple stage play. If it happened,

STEVE MCQUEEN’S FEMALE-CENTRIC HEIST MOVIE Widows might be packed with familiar and accomplished women like Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki and Michelle Rodriguez, but magnetic breakout Cynthia Erivo still jumped off the screen in her first ever feature. Erivo is a storied stage actress, and has already won an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony for her turn as Celie in the Broadway musical of The Color Purple. With Bad Times at the El Royale also on release this year, and with the lead role in the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet currently shooting, Erivo’s rise shows no sign of slowing.

would you want to reprise your role? To say that the show changed my life is an understatement. I’m so deeply connected to this play that it’s hard to separate it from me. I went to see the tour version, which was really lovely, but it was really odd to watch someone else doing it, because I felt like I had lived it already. I just know Celie inside out, you know? I feel like she’s inside my body. It would be like full circle, being able to show this version of the story has been kept on stage for so many years. You’re currently shooting Harriet. How’s

You shot Widows before Bad Times at

ity. And that’s more due to Steve really be-

that going?

the El Royale. What was it like walking

ing encouraging about the working out and

I mean so far, playing this role, it’s been one of

onto set that first day?

adding things like the boxing. That wasn’t

the toughest I’ve ever done in my life, but I’m

I was definitely nervous because I’d never

in the script before. It was a really good

really grateful for it. From where I am standing,

done it before, and I didn’t know what to

combination of womanhood and power at

from the look on other people’s faces, from

expect. I wanted to make sure I was mak-

the same time—actual physical strength

what people are experiencing, I feel like we’ve

ing a good first impression. I mean you’ve

and femininity combined. I loved being able

got something really, really special.

got Viola Davis there, and I don’t want to

to be the representative for that. You don’t

get it wrong. I was lucky because my very

see that very often in films.

You dealt with negative comments about you being British and playing Harriet Tub-

first scene was just me by myself with the woman who was playing my mother. So

Steve McQueen didn’t consider anyone

man. It had to hurt to see that.

it gave me a little moment to ease in. But

except you for the role of Belle. How

I do understand where some people are coming

that first time we all got together, you sort

did it feel when you found that out?

from, but I think that some of the ways in which

of think, ‘Oh gosh, please, please let me do

Crazy. I just didn’t know that he even knew

people express themselves sort of disregard

this well, please don’t let me embarrass

about me, to be honest. To hear that he

the fact that I’m human, so yes, they do hurt.

myself,’ because it was one thing for us to

had me in mind the whole time was just

It’s not for me to put my focus completely on

come together before we started film-

a real source of validation of the work I’d

that because that would be doing a complete

ing—which was really lovely and very, very

done previous to this point. It meant that

disservice to the reason I’m doing it. I had to let

necessary—but it’s quite another to then

nothing was in the dark. For someone like

it go, and realize the great thing at hand, and

get onto the set and start working. Nerve-

him to want to pay attention to someone

that is to tell the story of Harriet Tubman. In the

wracking, but a really good experience.

like me, it means a lot.

end, it’s more fool me if I come out of this and I

You’re really into fitness–what was it

Your last three years have been busy

story well. I would rather tell this story well, do it

like to incorporate that into a role and

for you. How have you felt, watching

justice, and hopefully some minds will change.

to bring your physicality to it?

people discover your work?

Yes some minds will not, but I can’t focus too

I thought it was really refreshing. I work out

I feels like I feel like I’m on an never-ending

much on that now, whilst I’m in this. I want to

pretty hard, but for that I was trying to be

rollercoaster. It’s one thing after another,

make sure that I’m fully present for it. Genu-

really specific about that character, be-

after another, after another. I’m just trying

inely, I don’t wish bad on anyone, so when I

cause I wanted it to feel like it was a natural

to make sure that I’m present for the good

answer those questions with as much grace as I

everyday thing, that it came from necessity

things, and I’m aware that they are good

possibly can—that’s how it comes across hope-

rather than vanity for this character. I loved

things. I’m happy and I have to remind my-

fully—it’s because I don’t want to hurt anyone,

the idea of being able to do that, but for it

self that I’m happy. I have to remind myself

I don’t ever want to be mean to anyone. That’s

not to take anything away from her feminin-

that dreams are coming true,

just not what I do. ★

haven’t done a good job, and I haven’t told the

PHOTOGRAPH BY

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Chris Chapman

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C a re y

being reminded of her husband. So it’s like a Grand Prix track; she’s trying to take the

MULLIGAN

corners too fast. What your take was on why she brings her son along? In my mind it seems logical from Jeanette’s point of view. This is 1960, she dropped out of college, so she has no higher education or

As the flawed matriarch of Paul Dano’s Wildlife, the Oscar nominee has never been better BY JOE UTICHI

skillset to get a job. The best job she can get is the one she’s already got, as a swimming teacher, which doesn’t pay the rent or put food on the table. So when her husband leaves, I think there’s every reason to believe he’s never coming back. He could either run off with someone else, he could just not come back, or he could die. I think one of the practical steps that she takes is seducing this local millionaire to try

F

EW ACTORS ARE GIFTED the opportunity of a one-two punch quite like Carey Mulligan’s this year. At Sundance in January she premiered Wildlife, Paul Dano’s directorial debut adapted from Richard Ford’s novel by Dano and Zoe Kazan. As Jeanette, the frustrated small-town housewife who makes her own 14-year-old son complicit in her affair when her husband leaves to fight a raging wildfire, Mulligan delivers a performance to rival the Oscar-nominated turn in An Education that launched her career. She followed it up with a bravura one-woman play in Girls & Boys in London and New York.

and secure some kind of future for herself and for her son. I think it seems like such warped logic, but it is logical to her. And if this man is going to take her on, then he’s also going to take on her son, so she’s taking him to dinner essentially to say, “If you’re going to date me, part of the package is my 14-year-old.” Have you had people who’ve seen her as the villain? Loads. Yeah, we had a guy at the New York Film Festival who was horrified by her. He couldn’t deal with her and thought she was reprehensible and unsympathetic, and it

It should be crazy to say in 2018 but it’s

tors who are really instinctive and thought-

was really interesting. And Paul eloquently,

such a revelation to see a female char-

ful about acting, and understand actors

not defended her, but pointed out the

acter who’s actually real onscreen.

really well. Like Steve McQueen, who is

things that he enjoyed about her. I said to

I know, I know. And I felt that reading it. I

incredibly intuitive about performance.

this guy, “I kind of get where you’re coming

also felt, I have no idea how to do this. She

With Paul, my faith in him as a filmmaker

from, because I think there is something jar-

just seemed so complicated, in all the best

was borne from him being such a truthful

ring about seeing a woman behaving realis-

ways. She was messy, and human, and

actor, being so honest, and having such

tically onscreen, because we’re so used to

flawed, and accurate, I felt. And she had a

integrity in all the work he does. Whatever

seeing women being perfect all the time. So

realistic response to being abandoned with

kind of film he’s in, whether it’s an indie

when we see a woman really fucking every-

a 14-year-old. I think we’re just so used to

film or a genre film, he’s always completely

thing up that doesn’t seem right or realistic

seeing the unrealistic response, which is

honest and truthful.

because we just have not been brought up

a dutiful, earnest woman silently weep-

I think the thing that he identified with,

to see women like that.” I haven’t spoken

ing into her pillow but putting on a fake

with me, is that I will always lean towards

to a single person who’s had an issue with

smile and being great and brave. We are all

restraint. He was so good at encourag-

Jerry abandoning a 14-year-old.

capable of that. Women are amazing, and

ing me out of that when it was needed.

women do that all the time. But women

Similarly, with scenes that Jake and I did,

What comes next for you?

also flip out a bit, and react to things, and

he could see when we were falling into our

I’m just going to wait for something else to

have struggles. We just don’t like to see

own traps, and he knew how to get us out

come along. The bar is set so high by Wild-

that side of things. We only like to see the

of them. So I think his understanding of

life and by Girls & Boys and I feel like I’ve

silent weeping. Most versions of this story

acting certainly played into it.

just had the privilege of working with such

follow Jake to the fire. This doesn’t do that.

brilliant people and also with such great That dinner scene can’t have been easy.

writing. So I think that means that the next

There’s a lot going on.

thing has to be on the same level as those

Did Paul’s acting background give him a

Yeah, that was the hardest one. She’s just

jobs and I loved them both so much. I’m

deeper understanding of performance?

changing strategy every two beats, and

reading and waiting and just doing life until

I think so. I mean, I’ve worked with direc-

getting more drunk, and she’s constantly

the next thing comes along. ★

And I love that about it.

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Melissa

The whole market for letters by famous writers seems very sketchy. Lee

MCCARTHY

committed felonies, but did you view her crimes as worthy of jail time? Me? I’d let Lee walk in a minute. In terms of all the terrible, hurtful things you can do in the world, I don’t think this even gets put on the list. I do realize it was wrong, but I still think, god, those letters were good. I’m

Tapping into her criminal side with Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? BY MIKE FLEMING JR.

a little biased because I kind of fell in love with Lee along the way. I wouldn’t have even put her on house arrest. But maybe it’s good that they did, because she probably wrote more because of it. Did you get any of her forgeries? I’m still trying, still looking for one. I want one really badly. I’m still trying to figure out how I find one and where are they and who

M

ELISSA MCCARTHY LANDED AN OSCAR NOMINATION for her breakout turn in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids, which started a string a comedy blockbusters for the pair. Now she’s back in the conversation with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which may be considered one of her first dramatic turns, but only to those who have failed to catch the deftness of her talent on display even in the most outrageous comedies. She plays Lee Israel, a respected biographer struggling to pay the bills who turns to a new form of writing: meticulously forging letters from famous writers like Hemingway, Dorothy Parker and Noel Coward.

has them. I’d love to have one. I haven’t been able to figure out yet who actually has them, and then just as a point of interest, I’m also so curious to know what they’re worth. Wouldn’t Lee get a kick out of this, if her Dorothy Parker is perhaps worth more than a real Dorothy Parker? I just wonder. Didn’t this character—the felon who’s flawed—used to be played by men? Maybe I’m generalizing. I think you’re right. I’ve been lucky. I’ve played challenging women in ways that people are not used to seeing. You’re

You play Lee Israel as an ornery, hard-

She died in 2014. Were you able to

supposed to be cleaned up and perfect

to-like woman with a total lack of van-

find out what drove her?

and pleasant and I don’t really know how

ity. But you make it hard to walk way

I could only conjure what I thought it was

to play pleasant. If they say, “Play blonde,”

without some sympathy for her.

for her. Being so talented, and wanting

I can change my hair color, but I don’t

Well, I just loved her. From probably 20-

to just let her writing stand for her. She

understand the rest. Identity Thief, the

some pages into the script, when I didn’t

didn’t want to become this show pony, a

role was originally written for a man. I was

even exactly have a tangible reason for

celebrity writer.

always reading scripts going, “Well, I don’t

why I liked her so much, I saw myself

know how to play the female part, she has

rooting for her. I realize she hasn’t really

How did you find her?

done anything that I should be rooting

I started by reading everything I could, but

for. It didn’t make things easier for her at

while Lee was a great biography writer

I get asked, “Why are they always so ag-

all, being caustic and tricky, but I thought

who could live through other people, she

gressive or unlikeable?” or whatever the

especially in today’s world where every-

didn’t put herself into her book. She didn’t

adjective may be and I think, well that’s

body needs so much validation from other

want people to know about her. I got very

what real people are. I have no interest

people on social media, I just loved the

lucky with two of our producers, David

in playing beige. It’s not fun to play and

thought of Lee being like, “I don’t need

Yarnell and Anne Carey. Anne knew Lee

I don’t think it’s very fun to watch. If you

you to like me, I don’t even really want

very well for 10 years, and David knew her

want to tell a good story you’ve got to love

you to like me.” It’s an amazing way to go

for 40 years. He’s the big reason she finally

the character at one moment. Sometimes

through the world. And I thought she was

wrote her autobiography. Listening to their

you’re going to hate them, sometimes you

so talented. There were turns of phrase

stories about Lee was incredibly helpful to

root for them. All those complicated things

she would use in some of the letters that I

me. And there was a wonderful character

that make it worthwhile.

just thought, god she’s good and yet she’s

written into that script. Between all of that,

being told she was obsolete, and, we don’t

I felt like I certainly knew how I wanted to

by inch. We’re certainly not over the hump,

need you to do what you do best anymore.

play her and how she cocooned herself, I

but more women are demanding, “Give me

What would any of us do in that situation,

suppose, to protect herself. Which it really

more character, give me something relat-

if you can’t survive?

didn’t; it made her life much more difficult.

able to play.” ★

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no point of view. But this part...” It’s why I write a lot of my own stuff.

But you’re right. And it is changing, inch

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Ya l i t z a

meet Libo, and she also told me more or less the same things as Alfonso, but

A PA R I C I O

From preschool teacher training to taking the lead in Alfonso Cuarón’s stunning epic Roma BY J O E U T I C H I

she added more to her story. She talked about her difficulties, and things that she lacked back then, the reasons that made her come to Mexico City. That made me relate to her, and it made it easier for me to portray her because of that. There are some incredibly hard moments in the film, and some incredibly beautiful moments—the scenes with the baby, when you give birth, and on the beach at the end. How did you react to those scenes? I think the most difficult one was the one on the beach, on all levels. The technical level, because the camera kept falling down. And the weather. There was a

Y

ALITZA APARICIO HAD JUST COMPLETED her teacher training for preschool in her hometown of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca when she was cast to play Cleo in Alfonso Cuarón’s retelling of his own childhood in Mexico City, Roma. She had no aspirations to act—her sister, in fact, was the performer of the family—but on a nationwide search of Mexico, Aparicio’s physical similarity to the Cuaróns’ real-life nanny Liboria “Libo” Rodríguez was undeniable. Libo had cared for Alfonso and his siblings during a difficult time for his parents and his country. And Aparicio’s heartfelt love for children, reflected in her chosen career, was an undeniable point of emotional connection.

storm just before we started shooting, so everything was difficult. And I don’t know how to swim, so I felt a lot of fear even before we were shooting, because I was told I was going to have to go in. But once we started shooting, the only thing I had in my mind was the same instinct any mom would have, that you’d do anything for your children, and that’s how I was able to flow along with the scene. Other difficult scenes were the ones with Nancy [García García] who plays Adela, because they were in Mixtec, and I don’t speak or understand it very well, so she was having to teach me. Sometimes I had in my mind what I had to say, but I was

What made you go to the casting call

You hadn’t heard of Alfonso before.

scared or shy, or I didn’t feel secure on how

for Roma?

Did you watch his other films?

to pronounce the words.

My sister sings, and she asked me to go

Well, actually, he asked me if I had seen

with her. Once we were there she said,

any of his films, and I said no. He asked me

ing birth to my baby was very difficult for

“OK, I’m not going to be able to do it be-

if I knew about his work, or who he was,

me, because I didn’t know what was going

cause I’m pregnant, and you know that I’m

and I said no, and that I had only seen pic-

to happen at all. So my reaction was, of

not feeling very well anyway. So go in there;

tures of him. So he said, “OK, cool. I don’t

course, totally natural. It helped a lot that

I want you to do the casting, I want you to

want you to see anything now until we fin-

the set was very real. The doctors were ac-

answer everything they ask, and I want you

ish shooting. Then you can go ahead and

tual doctors in real life. So that transported

to act if they ask you to act.”

see whatever films you want of mine. But

me to the moment, and made me feel and

I want your mind fresh right now. I don’t

believe I was really giving birth.

My sister thinks that I’m shy and don’t speak that much. So she wanted me to go

Then especially the scene when I’m giv-

want anything to contaminate your mind.” Do you hope to keep acting, or do you

through the experience. And also because she was very curious, as there has never

What did he tell you about Cleo and

see your future back where you were

been a casting before in our hometown. I

who she was? You didn’t have the

initially heading, as a teacher?

didn’t want to do it, but I did.

script, so how did you find her?

Actually, I found a lot of things that I like in

He told me that he was going to do this

this experience. One of them is the hope

Have you gotten over that sense of

story about his mother, and he explained

that through the film, people can make

shyness? Has it helped?

that he had two mothers and that this was

their dreams come true, even if acting

I sometimes ask myself, “How am I doing

going to be about the one who took care

was not always a dream of mine. I believe

all of this?” Sometimes, when I’m sur-

of him and his siblings at all times. Then

acting and teaching are not so far apart. As

rounded by a lot of people, I shake I’m so

he told me her actual name was Libo. He

a teacher, you educate. And films edu-

nervous. But I always remember what my

told me about her and how she got to his

cate too, but they do it in a massive way. I

sister told me, “Don’t stay quiet. Speak, say

home, how she treated them. After some

haven’t been offered another opportunity

things.” And so that’s what I try to do.

time, I had the opportunity to actually

yet, but I would love it if it happens. ★

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Natalie

with; the family members and how they fit in. I picked up on all their small behaviors.

PORTMAN

How did you feel after the midterms, with a record 101 women winning seats in the House of Representatives? I feel excited about the incredible news of the many types of people who are representing more of what America looks like.

With Vox Lux, the Oscar winner navigates the bleeding edge of pop superstardom

The typical make-up of our government is slowly looking more like the make-up of our country.

B Y A N T H O N Y D ’A L E S S A N D R O Being an active member of Time’s Up, do you find that there’s any resistance from the industry in the campaign for 50/50 riders on productions? There is a resistance because I think a lot of people are making the argument that

A

S AN ACTRESS, NATALIE PORTMAN has never been short of audaciousness, from her breakthrough role aged 12 as a precocious assassin in Léon: The Professional, to the role that won her the Oscar, as a masochistic ballerina in Black Swan, to her turn as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie. She builds on this repertoire of complex protagonists with Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, in which she plays Celeste, the survivor of a brutal school shooting who becomes a pop superstar after she writes and records a heartfelt anthem for the victims. The film is a commentary on the loss of innocence, set against the backdrop of our nation’s tragic gun culture and obsession with celebrity.

you’re hiring someone for their talent, not for their gender. Of course, I don’t think that anyone thinks the argument should ignore bias. There’s the great orchestra example which started a few years ago. The top orchestras were entirely male and what they started doing were auditions behind a curtain to judge the listening of the music. Suddenly there was a 50/50 parity in the make-up of their orchestras. They didn’t realize the unconscious bias against women. Most industries can’t do job interviews behind a curtain. It goes to show that we have so much bias in not recognizing talent and allowing it to express itself. Of course, no one wants to get

Did you know Brady Corbet before

Production was delayed due to financ-

a job because of their marginalization, you

this project? Were you looking to do a

ing dropping out. How did that time off

want to get the job because of your talent.

musically-themed movie?

further assist in your preparation?

But there are so many who don’t get the

I watched his film [The Childhood of a

I was on my way to the airport to fly to

opportunity since they are marginalized,

Leader] and was really impressed by

New York when they called me, and I

and there are those who actually appreci-

his work. His writing [in Vox Lux] was so

turned around and went back home. I had

ate others’ values, talent and voices.

specific and great. I would say the words

prepped everything, but had to prep again

as I was reading the screenplay; both the

and I worked on the accent. In preparing

You have increasingly become more

form of how Celeste says words and how

the choreography we had three or four

involved as a producer on the projects

she speaks in a specific manner. And she’s

weeks with Benjamin [Millepied]. He was

you star in. Does it help to have a voice

monologuing all the time. The content that

working with his company at the same

in productions when they become

she’s saying; she’s an incredible charac-

time. He’d teach me and then I’d rehearse

challenged, like Jane Got a Gun?

ter and sometimes says nonsense, and

with movement trainer Raquel Horsford. I

It’s nice to be a part of projects I believe in

sometimes says really insightful things all

also did five or six recording sessions.

and can help shepherd, even if I’m not the

mixed together. It was a childhood dream

director or writer. I’m still learning and I’m

come true to get to sing, like singing with a

What rock musical documentaries did

not one to claim something when I have

brush in front of the mirror, but I wouldn’t

you watch in preparing to play Celeste?

so much to learn. With Jane Got a Gun,

categorize this movie as a musical.

I watched all the top ones, but I don’t really

that started with a lot of genuine inter-

feel that she’s based on a particular per-

est in the creative process, and turned

How does the PTSD from the school

son at all. I learned a lot about the lifestyle

into a harrowing experience for everyone

shooting impact her as she gets older?

of what they’re doing, the rigor of being

involved. I don’t look at that as any sort of

It definitely affects her. Whenever we go

on the road, the taxing shows night after

victory. It was very challenging and hum-

through devastation, it haunts us, but she

night, all the work and preparation, the

bling, an experience where you learn how

picks herself up. People learn to live with

dynamic relationship between all of the

much you can be better and how much

the most extraordinary circumstances.

people a pop star travels, lives and works

you still have to learn. ★

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K e i ra

that I’d played very few women who I find inspiring. I really found her inspiring to play,

KNIGHTLEY

and I hope that people find her inspiring to watch because she was a woman who lived bravely and without shame, and lived her truth. If you go later in her life, she’s definitely not a saint, but I loved the opportunity of playing somebody who is not perfect, who is courageous and who

As Colette, the period perfect performer embodies a French literary icon well ahead of her time BY M AT T G R O B A R

makes a space for herself in a world that actually didn’t want to have any space for her at all. I think we need more characters for women like that, that you can see and go “Ooh, not saintly, not nice necessarily, but utterly inspiring.” I found that very exciting. The way that she lived her life, explored her sexuality, and explored her gender—again, without shame—is super interesting be-

A

FTER EARNING TWO OSCAR NOMINATIONS for period work—in Pride & Prejudice and The Imitation Game—Keira Knightley dons a corset once more for Colette, directed by Wash Westmoreland and written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Westmoreland, and his late husband Richard Glatzer. Knightley plays Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a pillar of French literature whose husband greedily took credit for her own brilliant works in the early days of her career. And Colette tells a powerful story about female creativity as the film industry examines its own role in diminishing women’s voices.

cause I think, still in 2018, that’s something that many people are trying to do, and she actually did. It’s exciting to see the ways in which Colette walks the talk. Rather than approach the historical context too literally, the film incorporates diverse actors—and trans actors—into its company, challenging casting biases that remain prevalent in Hollywood. I love that. When he said that that’s what he wanted to do, he had my 100% full support, and I think it works beautifully well in the film. I think stories are about imagi-

What drew you to Colette? How did

How did you work with Dominic West

nation, about creativity, and everybody

you get involved?

to tease out the unusual dynamic that

should be included in that. It’s important

My agent sent me the script and I loved it.

existed between Colette and Willy?

that you have diversity in casting, and

That was it, really. I knew a little bit of her

What we were both really conscious of

there’s no reason that we shouldn’t. What

writing, but I didn’t really know anything

was that we needed the audience to

was wonderful about this is that he really

about her life, and definitely nothing

understand why they were together. You

showed that that was the case, that you

about the first marriage. I was just sort of

don’t want Willy to be the baddie with

can cast in this very diverse, inclusive way,

amazed that it was all true.

no charm. That would devalue Colette

and it only helps the film.

It amazed me how current it was, what

because you’d constantly be going, “Why

it’s talking about with gender politics and

is she with him if he’s so horrific?” He is

What do you take away from Colette,

sexual politics and feminism. It felt like

horrific in many ways, but I think what was

helping your director to realize his long-

it was everything that was being talked

really important—and what I loved about

time passion project, which he’d con-

about at that point, and everything that I

what Dominic brought to it—was that as

ceived with husband Richard Glatzer,

was interested in. I was really excited that

much as he’s awful, you totally understand

before he passed away?

you could take something that was 100

that he’s the most fun person in any room

It’s an incredible love letter to Richard. I

years ago, and yet it still feels so alive.

that he’s in. You can completely see that

think we were all very aware of that when

they were incredibly mischievous, that they

we were making it. There was a point

Did you spend a fair amount of time

both loved the attention, that they kind

where you just had to put it to one side

diving into Colette’s writings?

of fed off each other. So, I think it was just

and go, “OK, now I’ve got to concentrate

I read the Claudine novels and The Vaga-

about finding why the relationship worked,

on my own thing.” But I think the fact that

bond, which are the novels that the film

and then understanding the reasons that

people are loving it, the fact that it’s come

covers. Then, we all worked from the Judith

it didn’t.

off as well as it has, what a wonderful love

Thurman biography, Secrets of the Flesh. I

story. I just wish that Richard had been

had plans of going to France, and I didn’t

In your mind, why is it important to

around to see it. But it’s absolutely done in

have time for any of that. So I did as much

examine stories like Colette’s?

his name and in his memory, and that’s a

as I possibly could in the time I had.

What I love about her is I suddenly realized

beautiful thing. ★

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