|at the NYC premiere|
of All Good Things.
There was, however, a close-up. We shook hands and exchanged a few pleasantries. Then she was whisked off, not by a sharp edit, jump cut or a quick pan, but by her people taking her to the next reporter. Imagine it!
I remind her of the busy luncheon a few days later over the phone. She's already thousands of miles away. This time, she's a disembodied voice which is surprisingly more familiar, like a movie image. "You were so in demand," I say, reminding her of the crowd and well-wishers.
"You know...," she says, and I do having been there, "A lot of babies to kiss. A lot of hands to shake."
|Katie (Kirsten) fixes her husband's bow tie in All Good Things.|
It's good to hear the smile in her voice and remember her amiable presence in the room that day. Especially considering the sadness that lingers from her fine work in All Good Things. People have won Oscar nominations for giving much less to their films than she does here, in one of her finest performances. She starts out sunny and delightful, the girlish woman we sort of recognize from numerous other films but she's soon torn apart by her husband's (Ryan Gosling) dark almost alien soul. The film is based on a true story, the unsolved mystery of the disappearance of Katie Marks (Kirsten), the bride of the heir to a wealthy New York family. I've followed her career enthusiastically for many years, once even referring to her as "the future of the movies" but naturally we start with the present and the subject at hand.
It's not the first time she's played a real life character but how did she tackle someone who isn't easy to research, someone who went missing? Here Kirsten cedes most of the credit to her director, who knew the case inside and out.
Kirsten: Everything that we knew about [Katie] is in the script. She's not a public figure. Yes, she's a real person but not someone that we know her mannerisms. It was really about making her feel like a whole person that was unravelling, as he was in a way, someone with her own strong motives so it wouldn't just be The Victim of this crime.
Kirsten: That was so important. You have to believe these people were completely in love with each other in order for her to stay and to excuse the behavior.
Nathaniel: Did anything change a lot from filming to the finished movie? You're acting piecemeal and the movie takes place over a really long span. Did anything surprise you about the finished product?
Kirsten: With every movie you kind of never know how exactly it's going to come together. I had an idea but obviously I wasn't there for the last half of the movie. [She pauses briefly, considering] ...I only saw Ryan in drag once on the set so I wasn't sure how all that was going to come together.
While we were working we played things very differently; we improvised a lot. The scene where he asked me to marry him was very different in the script. We got to play around a lot which was exciting. But you never know what it's going to end up being.
Nathaniel: I thought it was interesting that this movie opened so close to Blue Valentine, another unravelling Ryan Gosling marriage, and then I remembered that you've worked with Michelle Williams before on Dick. Hollywood is a small world.
[more on All Good Things, Eternal Sunshine, and her favorite films after the jump]