Actress Roundtable: Zendaya, Kate Winslet, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby, Andra Day and Glenn Close on “Supporting Other Women Without Judgment”
The six actresses also candidly discuss what outsiders get wrong about acting, juggling work and family and how #MeToo has changed the culture for the next generation: “We’re getting all the bad stuff out of the way.”
And find some quotes validated by THR site:
Let’s dive in. What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
VANESSA KIRBY I learned a lot about silence. I hadn’t realized quite how much “doing” I was doing. Somehow I hadn’t quite realized that, when you’re still, it’s just as present, you know what I mean? And I think it’s taught me to do less. I don’t think anything else would have taught me that in the way this year has done.
Vanessa, you have a harrowing, more than 20-minute childbirth sequence in your film. Can you talk about what that was like to shoot and how you prepared for that?
KIRBY It was kind of terrifying, because I haven’t given birth or been pregnant before. We have seen so many deaths onscreen, we’ve rarely seen birth … I ended up writing to a lot of obstetricians asking if they’d let me come in and shadow them. One said yes, so I went to a hospital in North London and was on the labor ward for many days, which was quite unbelievable for me. I learned a lot from the midwives about what the whole birthing experience is like. One afternoon, my very last afternoon at hospital, one of the midwives came round and said, “Oh, a woman’s just come in and she’s 9 centimeters dilated. And I’m going to ask if she’d mind you watching.” I just thought, “There’s no way in hell she’s ever going to agree to have some random person sit in and watch this really sacred moment of her life.” But she did, she said yes, and so I got to sit with her and watch her go through six hours of … I mean, it was just probably the most profound afternoon of my life. I never, ever could have acted it without watching her, because I saw her go on this unbelievable journey, and I saw the animal in her take over. And it was only because of that, really, that I then felt like maybe I had a chance at attempting it. When we came to it … it was so physical and it was such a primal body thing. We did four takes the first day, two the second, and I think the fourth one is the one in the movie. It was a bit like doing a play, really, where once you’re on, you’re on, and you can’t stop. And there was something magic about that, because you couldn’t spend any time doubting yourself, you just have to do it.
Vanessa, you’ve been shooting the Mission: Impossible sequel. Is there a lot of pressure to maintain safety on these big sets? How does it feel different?
KIRBY My sister’s an AD. She started on a movie in the summer, so I kind of learned from her what the new parameters would be and how to navigate. And I was so hopeful when she went back, actually, because it was a funny feeling, I think, for everybody suddenly seeing cinemas closed. All the people that you love and you work with are unable to work in so many different capacities, including my sister. It gave me a lot of faith. But, I mean, you get used to it. There are obviously many guidelines, there are masks and lots of testing and things like that. But it gives me faith in the resilience, actually. And I feel like we will get through it — I can’t wait for the day when cinemas are going to open again.