Saturday, February 26, 2011

NEW/old HQ pictures added - Kristen & Eddie's 'The Yellow Handkerchief' Roundtable Interview (Pictures/Audio/Print)

NOUVELLES/anciennes photos en HQ ajoutées - Interview table-ronde de Kristen & Eddie pour 'The Yellow Handkerchief' (Photos/Audio/Écrits)

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The interview is awesome! :)

• Have either of you experienced a roadtrip that's led to a profound self-discovery?
When you go on road trips, do you find them to be profound journeys of self-discovery?

KRISTEN: [laughs] The only roadtrip that I've ever taken was back from Portland. When I was up there doing Twilight, I bought a little truck and drove home. It wasn't the most transformative experience, but it was fun. It gave me a sense of freedom. And [I was] going away from something that was a rather intense experience. [to Eddie] Have you ever had any roadtrip experience?

EDDIE: On this job, actually, prior to going down to start rehearsal, before we had met, I went and did a two week roadtrip from Northern Oklahoma down through into Louisiana and down into New Orleans, having started on a reservation--basically to get a sense of it, because quite rightly, the producers thought I should probably get some sense of the [country]. [laughs] And I went with a guy called Terence, and we had the most amazing time and met wonderful people. And we'd turn up at these motels, this massive guy and then this skinny English dude, with like a Crown Royal bag filled with money, which we would pay at these motels to spend the night. And they thought we were drug dealers, I think. So it was a great experience.

• How long did you spend at the reservation, and what did you come across there?

EDDIE: I was there for about four days, and I went to the museums there. I spoke to this old man who was trying to keep together the idea of the indigenous language. Because it's a dying language, really, and the only way they can keep it alive is by persuading young kids to do it as an extracurricular thing. And it was sad, actually, in some ways, to see that it was a dying part of their culture. But geographically, it was a beautiful, beautiful part of the world, and I had an amazing time.

• When you spend an extended period of time shooting on location, do you try to recreate your home, or do you prefer to immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle?

KRISTEN: I try to do that. I know people, actors who go on location and make their trailers their homes--like they literally put pictures up and stuff. I don't do that. I really like being where I am.

EDDIE: One of our great benefits and bonuses of being on actor, particularly on Yellow Handkerchief--I found it more so than any other job I've done--is that...You know when you go and visit a town or a city, you're staying in a hotel, you're there for a couple of weeks or whatever? You get to scratch the surface of the city. [But] as an actor going to work in Louisiana, the entire crew were from New Orleans, so you have a whole group of people who you're introduced to and meet, and become your friends, who instantly give you access to the soul [of] a city they've grown up and lived in.

KRISTEN: Totally.

EDDIE: So rather than just turning up and getting the tourist opinion on it, you actually get this amazing access...It's one of the great upsides of our job.

KRISTEN: And you're like made to pretend that you actually live there. So it's like, "Yeah, this is where I live now!" You have to actually sort of, I mean more so on the other movie that I did in New Orleans, but yeah.

• What were some distinctly local things you enjoyed in New Orleans?

EDDIE: Beignets! Oh, God! I remember the first time I went to Cafe Du Monde. Someone had been talking about beignets. They showed me this thing, and it was like deep fried, and they'd pour more icing sugar on it than I had ever...

KRISTEN: "Powdered sugar." [laughs]

EDDIE: "Powdered sugar." [to Kristen] Thanks, translator! [laughs] But I sat there going, "It's impossible to eat that much sugar, are you insane?" And afterwards, I had one, and I remember going back the next day and saying, "Powder more! Powder more! Give me more!" That was my favorite memory. [laughs]

• And Kristen?

KRISTEN: I liked petting the mules that walked around Jackson Street. [laughs] And they were like, "Come on, take a ride!" I was like, "No way! I just want to go pet them. I'm not going to be dragged around by this thing." [laughs]

• You shot The Yellow Handkerchief before the whole Twilight franchise really took off. In retrospect, do you think you would have done this movie if it had come to you post-Twilight?
You did this film before the Twilight films. Would you have approached things differently, now that you have this international profile?

KRISTEN: I really follow--to put it absolutely lamely--"my heart." I don't think I would have made a different [decision]. I mean, it would be a shame if just one movie--and I know it's four or five or whatever, but it is one story, it's one project for me, it's like the same character, it's not like that changes--would then affect choices [going forward]. I don't have this scheme of how people are going to receive my movies in the order that I do them, and why I do scary movies, and why I do movies about "disaffected teens," which I get all the time. They're just people that I really wanted to play. [jokes] I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm just playing parts that speak to me.
I guess because I don't hold the reins, I really follow my heart. It would really be a shame that just because I did one movie, and I know it's four or five films, but it's one story and one project for me because it's the same character, it would affect choices that I make. I don't have this scheme for how people are going to receive my movies, in the order that I do them, and why I do scary movies or movies about disaffected teens, which I get all the time. They're just people that I really wanted to play. I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm just playing parts that speak to me.

• So what was it about Martine that spoke to you?

KRISTEN: I felt like she was – I could relate to her in that she's so sort of the typical girl that really wants to be "out there" and smiling and like totally in the middle of whatever's going on, but has been sort of embarrassed one too many times and has just gone, "I can't do that anymore." And I feel like she's also isolated herself in terms of, like, she's put herself above everyone else. It's like she can't talk to people because they've let her down too many times, and so she's suddenly, in reacting to that, [made herself like she's] better than them. And she realizes through this journey...I mean, it's a cool thing to see such a young person go through, to sort of go like, "Oh God, I never looked at you, and now I'm opening my eyes and I can see you, and I was wrong." So I liked that.

• You both had to tackle unfamiliar accents for your roles. Did that require a lot of studying of the local dialect and its sounds?

EDDIE: For sure. I think some people you meet are those guys who can tell anecdotes and suddenly burst into a broad Scottish accent. And I wish I had been born with that gene, but I don't have it. And in fact, when I got this job, I said to Arthur Cohn, the producer, "We will need a dialect coach." And he was like, "Why would you need one of those?" I'm like, "Have you seen the part I'm playing?!" Because you can generalize anything, you know? You can try and give something that will sell as being of an area, but it's important that when you're playing someone that you respect the characters you're playing and you try and play them as truthfully as you can. So we had a guy called Michael Buster, who literally records voices--they go around the country and the area recording voices and work with you specifically on those vowel sounds.

KRISTEN: I think they go to school for it too. I sound like I know nothing about it obviously but it’s like they break it down in such a – - there’s like 15 accents just within Louisiana. And then you can fall back on it and be like, “No, no, really, I have my accent.” It would be like me doing an English accent and watching Mary Poppins and going, “Okay.”

EDDIE: And the technical thing is a cool thing to start with, actually.

KRISTEN: Yeah, and then you can fall back on it and be like, "No, really, I have my accent!" [laughs] [Otherwise] it would be like me doing an English accent and just watching Mary Poppins and going like, "Okay!"

• Do you act by following your heart? As opposed to William who is meticulous.?
What was it like for you, as young actors working with cool, experienced actor William Hurt?

KS: Totally, those two are interesting to see act. Yeah, we were talking about it because we’ve been talking about William all day. We’ve been saying how you get hired on a job and you know, I had had roles in movies before that I took really seriously that I really liked. I guess I learned that I was a fairly impulsive actor that didn’t really necessarily need to.. [laughs, pauses] Sorry. I wasn’t aware of the fact that if I felt something, I didn’t need to sit down and go, “Okay, this is why, this is why, this is why.” And it helps so much. Like I understand the story so much more because of William. And the thing is, like the whole rehearsal process... it’s not like we stood up and did the scenes and tried to get them right. It was just about understanding.

He’s absolutely the most attentive hardworking actor I’ve ever worked with. I say that a lot about actors that I Iike to work with. I say, "Oh, they're really hard-working, I really appreciate them," about a lot of people, but you don't know more than him about basically everything. Regarding the story, he just makes you work so much harder to understand things. I wouldn't understand this movie as I do, if it wasn't for him. I would have a completely different impression, I'm sure.

EDDIE: And also, what moved us both when we read it [was that] there's so much space in it that it's about the actors fleshing out to make them real. Now, in a story like that, you can't just fly by the seat of your pants. You have to work out a grade at what stage what intimacies are going to grow. And so that was why this film, maybe more so than other films, really needed that time of us being with each other.

He would have us in his trailer reading a book of short stories about the South. It was so important to him that a fifth character in the piece was Louisiana about getting under the skin of what that place was about. It was never-ending, his commitment to it. A lot of people including myself, when I started doing films, see people turning up at premieres in fancy dresses and say ‘oh, these actors swan from one thing to another’ but I’ve never seen someone work with such continual commitment that, for both of us, it raised our game, no question.

KRISTEN: He never stops. He never stops trying to acquire more knowledge. So much is not said. I mean, it’s not like there are a whole lot of events happening within the plot. The really dynamic changes in the story happen [subtly] with – - a lot of people might not be into that type of movie but this is just that movie. It is very much within the glances and not really screen direction.

• Any particular example of how he helped you guys?

EDDIE: Not only would he help us, but there were three of us in a car and in one scene, just after a fight has broken out at this store, William drives off the car quickly and it’s the first time that Gordy breaks and says ‘I can’t deal with this’ and Kristen and I sat in the back of the car having this conversation and William is driving, he kept giving us ideas.

KRISTEN: And he didn’t look back, he just kept driving (she indicates him holding the steering wheel staring straight ahead) (laughter).

EDDIE: And there’s also a risk on film, you feel like you have to underplay things and he was like ‘go for it’. He gave us the balls to go for it and to lose fear. Yeah, we learned a lot.

• Eddie, you've had numerous roles in period pieces. Was there a certain comfort in getting to play a contemporary character?

EDDIE: Absolutely there is. And it's a bit like what Kristen was saying about playing disaffected teenagers--for some reason, the way you look, the way you speak, something about your personality, pulls you to doing [certain types]. And I have a sort of bipolar career of either playing incestuous Americans with parental issues or British period dramas. [laughs] And it was wonderful for me. One of the greatest things about this script was that when I read it, I thought they were insane to even ask me to audition for it. And that stayed the whole way through--I thought, "I'm so far from this character, let's have some fun with it and see what happens." And it was a joy. An absolute joy. And the contemporary side if it was also wonderful.

• What is your upcoming Broadway production about, and what are your thoughts on bringing your stage performance stateside?

EDDIE: Well certainly, it's a dream. It's a play about [New York artist Mark] Rothko, it's called Red, and it's with Alfred Molina, who's an actor I absolutely admire. It's just the two of us in the play. And we've had a great run in London. It's gone fantastically well. So it's nice to know that you're going with something that people appreciate. How do I control my excitement? Kristen's already had to spend all morning dealing with my excitement. [laughs] But no, it's great. She came to London recently and I forced her to see it.

KRISTEN: The show is amazing. I've seen it. He's incredible in it.

EDDIE: She has to say that. [laughs]

KRISTEN: He's going to Broadway! I mean, that never happens. They would [usually] just recast, you know what I mean?

EDDIE: It's exciting. Although that being said, this is playing Rothko, who is a New Yorker, and the character I play, the assistant, is a New Yorker. And you sit there going, "Is there something a bit cocky about two British actors bringing an American play by an American playwright to New York, where it's set?" And the answer is yes. Will I be working with Michael Buster, our dialect coach? You're sure as hell I will! [laughs]

• Kristen, did you enjoy taking your movie The Runaways to the festival circuit via Sundance?
The Runaways is getting a lot of buzz now too. How has that been, and what has the experience of the festival circuit been like?

KRISTEN: I mean, I think it’s so exciting that it became – we all knew if it did well that it would be like a Sundance movie. But now it's being released, and it became a bigger deal than we thought, which is always just very exciting... I haven’t been getting like different attention. You just do interviews about your movie. I don’t know, Sundance was awesome though. I love Sundance. It’s one of the only places that you can go and show your movie and then talk to 300 people who just saw it and they’re actually just sitting there honest, like “Yeah, we just saw it.” It’s just a different experience.

EDDIE: There's an immediacy.

KRISTEN: Yeah, exactly.

• Are you still collaborating on K-11 with your mom? Is it a simple matter of her just saying to you, "I'm going to direct a film and I'd like you to be in it"?
What's it like when your mom calls you and says, "I'm going to direct a film and I'd like you to be in it"?

KRISTEN: I wish it was like that. We're trying to get it off the ground. I mean, if she called me right now and said we're making the movie, I would be really excited...I mean, we're really close, and then at the same time, we're creatively very, very different. And so I feel like it would be cool. I think that we could actually leave the family thing at the [door]. I feel like we both like what we do so much that we could actually work on something and do something pretty cool.

EDDIE: And you respect each other...

KRISTEN: Yeah, that too!

• Now that you presumably have a lot of job offers in the wake of Twilight's success, what do you currently look for in a role?
Since you have your pick right now, what attracts you to a role? What do you look for when you get a script these days?

KRISTEN: Ummm...As much as you can say, "Well, I'd like to do this because it's different from what I've done before," I can't really plan things out like that. Because despite whether or not a character fits my description and the script is good, what actually drives me to do something--which is a really bizarre thing if you think about it, to play a part in a film for more reason than just to be in a movie, [to] want to live out [a character's] life...It has to speak to me in some way, and that's always hard to describe. So I don't know what I want to do. And this is the first time I haven't had one of my next jobs lined up. So I have a totally clean horizon, and that's actually pretty exciting.
I mean, as much as you can say I’d like to do this because it’s different from what I’ve done before, I can’t really plan things out like that because despite whether or not a character sort of fits my description and the script is good, what actually drives me to do something like this, which is a really bizarre thing if you think about it: to play a part in a film and for more reason than just “Oh, I get to be in a movie.” It’s like no, I want to live out this life. It’s like, why? So it has to speak to me in some way and that’s always hard to describe, so I don’t know what I want to do. This is the first time I haven’t had one of my next jobs lined up so I have a totally clean horizon. That’s actually pretty exciting.

• Are there types of projects you, perhaps, look to avoid?
Is that a scary place to be, not knowing what you're going to do next, in a business that's so unpredictable?
Is that a great place to be? What kind of offers are you getting?


KRISTEN: It's such a weird thing to talk about in this capacity. You know, you sort of don't look at scripts that are very clearly just framework, and they just want to put a dollar sign in the picture frame. I only want to do work that I find to be moving, and that's something that I can't be specific about. So I'm totally lucky. And I'm not saying that I can do anything, but I definitely have more opportunity than I've ever had. So you know...It's awesome.
Kristen: To be honest, you don't look at scripts that are very clearly just framework and they just want to put a dollar sign in the picture frame, but that's so obvious. I only want to do work that I find to be moving, and that's something that I can't be specific about. I'm totally lucky and I can't believe that I have more opportunity than I've ever had. It's awesome.
I mean, it’s not like I’m getting – - it’s not like everyone’s like, “Oooh.” To be honest, it’s such a weird thing to talk about in this capacity. I’ve been getting – - you always sort of don’t look at scripts that are very clearly just framework and they just want to put a dollar sign in the picture frame. It’s so obvious. I only want to do work that I find to be moving and that’s something that I can’t be specific about. So I’m totally lucky and I can’t believe that I am. I’m not saying that I can do anything but I definitely have more opportunity than I’ve ever had so it’s awesome.


• Do you know when you might be starting on Breaking Dawn?
Do you not expect Breaking Dawn to tie up your schedule? Will it be two?

KRISTEN: Probably in November, but I don't know if it's going to be one or two [films].

• Why wouldn’t they?

KRISTEN: Yeah, sure, that would be a..

• It seems like a no-brainer for the studio to split the story into two movies. Are they contractually restricted from doing that?
Are you contracted for two movies, or are you contracted for one? Maybe they can't make two.

KRISTEN: I don't know. I don't know, actually. [laughs] I can't imagine that they wouldn't want [to]. I mean, the story so completely warrants two films, and it would suck to have to - it would be really disappointing to have to just go, "Okay, we have to lose this sequence, and this scene, and this sequence, and this scene..." So I would like to do two movies. But I really--to be perfectly honest--don't know what they're going to do.

• What was it like to play this character, when you hadn't done too many major roles, at the time you did this film?
This was probably your first big lead role in a film. Was that an adjustment to play the lead at that time?

KRISTEN: Anytime you have to play a person who is not yourself, you're stepping out of a comfort zone, but that's what we do. If the role is bigger, that's just more to chew on, and that's always good.

EDDIE: There is more of a sense of responsibility. What was great about this film is that it’s an ensemble piece in the sense that it really is about the four of us, I’m certain Kristen and I felt in incredibly safe hands having William (Hurt) and Maria (Bello) around us and because of the intensity of the film, having three of us in a car for three months shooting, we ended up being close as a trio which is wonderful because any fears or problems you have, you have the other two to turn to.

• Did you know this film was based on a Japanese film, and did you see that original film?

KRISTEN: I knew it was based on a Japanese original, but didn't watch it because apparently it was just starkly different. It was just a different movie completely.

• What was producer Arthur Cohn's involvement with the film?

KRISTEN: He had such a faith in the material. He has a very old school sense of, "I'm the producer and I'm going to take care of everybody, and the most important thing here is the movie, the performances, and chocolate and watches."

• Your character doesn't have any luck with guys, from her father who leaves to the guy who dumps her at the beginning of the film. What was it about Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) that you think appealed to Martine?
Kristen, your character Martine has bad luck with guys. Her dad has a new girlfriend and is sort of ignoring her and a guy at the first of the film kind of dumps her. So, what do you think it was about Eddie’s character Gordy than finally won her over?

KRISTEN: She probably wouldn't have needed to be won over, had she just opened her eyes and not been so affected by the other guys who had hurt her. She's the type of girl who really wants to let herself hang out. Every time she does that or puts herself out there, she gets embarrassed or disappointed by people. The journey that they take, a lot of revelatory things happen. For me, what made Martine re-evaluate Gordy was how Brett (William Hurt) looked at him. And then, there's this thing that happens when we hit a deer with the car and he had this really emotional reaction to the deer.

EDDIE: Emotional reaction to it.

KRISTEN: Yeah. There you go. And, he helps me earlier as well. It’s about a girl who is dropping prejudices as well that she really didn’t know she had. She’s becoming more open to people. She was very closed off in the beginning and realizes ‘I don’t want to be like that actually at all’.

EDDIE: A lot of the film is about prejudice, pre-judgment.

KRISTEN: Yeah.

EDDIE: And that’s what I love about it. Even though these characters have been prejudiced against, they also have their own prejudices and that’s what’s kind of overwhelming about all of it.

It’s about everyone dropping their guard and seeing people for who they really are beneath the veneer. Whether it’s the eccentric quality of Gordy or the self-guardedness of Martine or just the holding back of the Brett character, it’s about seeing through that translucency and finding something real.

• Were there any particular scenes in this that stood out for you?
Did either of you have a particularly challenging scene or one that you were either not looking forward to or wanted to get to so badly that you couldn’t wait?

EDDIE: I had one scene when we’re in the motel and it’s pouring with rain outside and we kiss. I got to kiss her for the first time and (I say), ‘If I kiss you, then all the temptation will go away’ and she’s like ‘really?’

KRISTEN: And she’s like, ‘really’? (laughter)

EDDIE: It’ll go away? But it was only because the producer kept saying ‘this is the scene’ and I’m like ‘This is the scene? How much can my eyes do in this scene to make it work?’

KRISTEN: That scene where we first kiss was THE scene. It was a really big deal, especially the way it was written. My character was so explosive and so sensitive. You would never expect so much from this tiny little thing. It was like, "What is wrong with you?" And, her problems are so completely far away from anything Gordy could ever understand. You have these two things like opposite sides of a magnet that just ‘flip them over!’ You know what I mean? I can't even watch that scene.
Kristen: That really was ‘the scene’ too. It was really a big deal, especially the way it was written. My character was so explosive and so sensitive and just like (frustrated breath). You would never expect from this tiny little thing, so much. Like (her saying) ‘what is wrong with you?’

EDDIE: On stage you could have an hour to build up to that explosion whereas when you’re filming on set, Kristen has to wipe away the tears. ‘Cut! Sorry the focus was wrong. Cut! And go again, ‘stop!’ It completely cools her freaking out and it’s tricky. It’s just different.

KRISTEN: And even watching this, I’d already seen the movie once but I’m like ‘bluh (negative?) okay’.

• So that would be your scene too?

KRISTEN: That was what I was most intimidated by, technically speaking. She's so explosive and emotional in that scene, and so raw in that moment, and you don't know her very well yet. It was a very defining moment for her, so I was nervous about doing that wrong and having it seem out of nowhere. I didn't want her to seem like an arbitrarily weird, emotional girl, for no reason.
If you do that wrong, if it seems out of nowhere, if I seem like an explosive, weird, emotional girl for no reason arbitrarily, that’s what I was nervous about.

The characters were drawn so wholly and completely that, if we didn't play them that way, they wouldn't have made sense. It would have been a bit of a random story because it's so quaint. It's not like all these plot events happen. So, all these little character things are unspoken.

EDDIE: What's unspoken.

KRISTEN: Yeah, yeah. So I was nervous about that but the last scene of the movie is what I really was putting everything in. It was written differently as well. We were in a car and they went further. They drove away and wanted to come back and see something.

We got there and we didn't have a whole lot of time to shoot. It was raining and they were like, "Okay, we have 10 minutes to get this." The way it was written, she was so emotional. Everything affects her. She has such thin skin and feels everything so much. That moment where everything comes to fruition, it needs to be effective, she’s deeply affected.

EDDIE: And there is an ambiguity to that. It’s not ‘oh, they lived happily ever after’. I think it worked in the film where we are there and we watch them (Hurt and Bello) together but we’re not comfortable yet together.

KRISTEN: At all! It’s not we’re together now and they’re together. It’s like we’re parents looking at our kids (kissing and) going ‘awww’.

EDDIE: You’re right. It’s so much in the script. We both read the script and reacted incredibly emotionally to it. But, there is so much on the set. That’s why it’s both a dream for actors and a challenge for actors, this film, because it’s about filling in the spaces and making the people who are idiosyncratic people feel real.

That last moment, if we had played it slightly close together (he pulls her closer), it would have told a completely different story for the ending.

• What was it like to shoot in so many different locations?
How big a challenge was 43 different locations?

EDDIE: We were all over the place.

KRISTEN: Yeah. We were everywhere. But, it was cool though because it's a road trip movie, so we felt like we were on that a little bit. The set just went around everywhere.

EDDIE: And the continuity was the car so we had this thing that did become part of us.

KRISTEN: That’s such a cool idea.

EDDIE: And what’s lovely is often, on film, you have hundreds of different people coming in doing various things and camera angles but because there were three of us geographically confined by the space of the car it meant that people had to kind of stay out. It was the actors so we could work together.

• Did you get to have any fun in New Orleans at all, or where you working too much?

KRISTEN: We shot in the summer, so I had just turned 17. I love New Orleans. I've worked there since, also underage. I'm still underage. New Orleans is such a going-out town, but just walking around is awesome. It's an amazing place to be. I can go see music, but I have to stand outside the club and be like, "That's really great."
I think I was 17 but, if I was, I was freshly 17. I’d just turned 17 so I didn’t really go out. I love New Orleans and I’ve worked there since…also underage. I’m sooo underage and New Orleans is such a ‘going out’ town that just walking around is awesome. It’s an amazing place to be. You can go see music but you have to stand outside the club and be like (she looks sad), oh great. (laughter).

EDDIE: Awwww.

• You were awesome in the movie. So believable.

KRISTEN: (smiles) Oh, thank you!

• Eddie, how much a fish out of water did you feel when you started this movie and when did it click in and you felt a part of the movie and America?

EDDIE: That’s a wonderful question. The truth of the matter is, when I got sent the script and asked to audition for it, I thought it was madness, I thought it was absurd and I said ‘really? Go to New York and audition for this? Guys, it’s never gonna happen’ (Kristen is laughing). ‘It’s playing an adopted Native American from northern Oklahoma. Do you really think it’s gonna happen?’ (laughter). I’d never gone to an audition caring less because I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in Hell and I went in five minutes, threw this ridiculous audition down, left the room not caring what was going on ‘I’ll never hear back from that’. And, when it did happen, Udayan (Prasad) the director, coaxed me into it. On set one of our first days, I was terrified. I’d done lots of work with a dialect coach and done some research but it was like ‘right, f**k it! Here goes!’ (laughter) It was a deep breath and I was well aware that I could end up with egg on my face. But ‘why not give it a shot’. (we think he was wonderful in the movie).
L'interview est géniale! :)


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