I was a ballet dancer. I did other kinds of dance but ballet was my great love. But then it became clear, when I was 12, that my body wasn't going to be right. That's always a heartbreaking moment because there's nothing you can do about that. Your body is just not right. You don't have enough turnout. You're not built properly.
It's so hard for people to give up their cell phones or their ideas of being connected to everything all the time in order to get an immersive experience. That's the best way to make art. It's almost like you have to treat it like you're going into a submarine, and Noah Baumbach totally agrees with that. There's not a real other life that happens outside of the movie while it's being shot, which I like.
I love just seeing shots of New York inside of a fictional movie that are not controlled. I do not like shots with extras, I have to say. I don't mind extras in other scenes, but I love New York City streets just as they look. I don't even care if someone looks at the camera. It doesn't bother me.
I'm not someone who's an immigrant who's struggling in that way, but between New York and L.A., I had someone tell me very early on, "If you're going to be broke anywhere, it's better to be broke in L.A. At least the weather is nice." I was like, "You're right." I didn't take them up on that.
There's an economy in sports that I always think is a useful metaphor for acting. You have an objective. You're trying to win, and of course, you want to do well. You want to use good techniques so you enforce it, but also you don't do things you don't have to do. It's very economical, and I think that in acting the most economical way through a scene is always the best. It's active. There is the sense of the fight and you want to win.
I love New York, but it's a rough city. It's not dangerous now the way it was in the 70's or the 80's, but it's still a rough city. It's hard to hack it there. Life is harder than it is on the West Coast. To be able to deal with that, you have to have a lot of aspirational feelings pinned on being there.
I think any break-up from a long relationship has this accompanying feeling of who am I without this person. You feel like a half-person because you've integrated yourself into an idea of a couple for so long, and then teasing that out and finding out who you are without them, it just takes a while. It feels like an amputation.
Noah Baumbach does more takes than any director I've ever worked with. He runs a very quiet set and he runs a very hard working set. He has such an intense level of dedication to what's happening that he cultivates a group of people around him who have an equal level of dedication. Nobody asks, "When is lunch?" That's just not part of our sets. It's complete immersion. He has a 'no cell phone' rule. Nobody checks their cell phone. Nobody reads on set. It's like, "If you're there, you're there. If you're not on board with that, don't work... Read more »
When I did plays in high school and college, I never remember memorizing my lines, but once I had blocking, I had all my lines memorized. Once I had movement associated with words, it was fine. Before I had blocking, it was just text on a page. Once it became embodied, it was much easier.