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LINK to NY TImes articlewrote:How difficult was it to get HBO to let you borrow Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman?
We really did have a fight on our hands with HBO to release Gwendoline to our series, because they were quite jealous, you know. These aren’t actors, these are slaves. They’re not to go anywhere else! They can’t have a life outside of “Game of Thrones”!
I wrote a big, sobbing, begging letter to them saying, “I don’t think my letter is going to do much, but ...” and I told Gwendoline, “You better begin your campaign.” And she did. She told them that she needed this role to evolve as an actress, and if they didn’t release her, she was coming to Los Angeles to sit outside their offices. And if that didn’t work, she would sit outside their houses. I think they just went, “O.K.” Nicole didn’t have that same problem. And I can’t claim that Nicole needed the help to evolve, although the role is a reminder of her extraordinary comedic capacity. We tried to make her look as bad as possible, which was pretty hard. We gave her a bump on the nose, teeth that stuck out, freckles, and she still looked NIK GLEEFULLY WEARING HIS TINY HAT.
This is great, also very funny to find out about Victor Svyatski, the "feminist" behind Pussy Riot and Femen whose reason for getting involved was primarily to meet women.Currawong wrote:Fun, tongue-in-cheek comments from Jane Campion about getting Gwen from HBO. SO very Jane and Gwen!!!
LINK to NY TImes article
wrote:If Jane Campion’s first season of the crime drama “Top of the Lake” seemed remote and somber to some, the second season, “Top of the Lake: China Girl” has more of a sense of humor, even when delving into the darker recesses of life. (In this case, migrant sex workers, institutionalized misogyny, mental illness and more.) In the second season, which begins Sunday on Sundance, Elisabeth Moss’s detective Robin Griffin, who returns home to Australia after time in New Zealand, is assigned an overeager assistant, played by “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie.
Over the phone earlier this month, Ms. Christie spoke about becoming Robin’s reluctant partner, her own reluctance to take a stand on the issues the show raises and her meltdown on set. Following are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Jane Campion wrote the character of Miranda with you in mind?
I really wanted to be in this series, so I wrote to Jane, and I was lucky enough to have her write this part for me. It touches on aspects that I don’t always feel particularly comfortable with, but I think it’s important to highlight, and so we see Miranda being marginalized at work, the victim of misogyny. It’s not always comfortable to play those things. Yes, you’re at work, and yes, you’re just playing a part, but it’s so personal.
And yet at the same time, Miranda provides some of the comic relief.
I think the series is quite hilarious! It has a very, very dark sense of humor, but it’s extremely funny. Miranda is like an enthusiastic puppy. Miranda desperately wants to be friends, and she’s really governed by emotion in a way that Brienne of Tarth from “Game of Thrones” is not. Miranda is the complete opposite of Brienne. Brienne has a reflective thought process, and works things through with sustained thought. She takes her time. She pauses. And Miranda is totally impetuous. She’s also incredibly gauche. She’s gawky. She’s awkward. She’s too much. That’s a note that Jane gave me to constantly remember: “You’re too much.”
There’s a moment when Miranda tries to make someone laugh by pretending to be a space traveler, “Captain Miranda on Andromeda West.” Was that scene improv?
Yeah. [Laughs] Jane told me that she likes to wear a space helmet that belongs to a friend of hers, to relax, and they pretend to be on a spaceship, so we included that. It seemed to be the only way to give that scene the life it deserves, to go about it with abandon, to try to be as impetuous as Miranda. That’s who Miranda is. She’s a loon. She’s bizarre. She’s a fairly illogical person.
The case Robin and Miranda are investigating involves both prostitution and surrogacy – but it’s the prostitution that’s mostly legal, and the commercial surrogacy that’s illegal, which raises all sorts of interesting questions about the ownership of female bodies.
Jane Campion is a provocateur, and she wants that conversation to take place. I think it’s no secret that we live in a patriarchal society, but as we are also apparently civilized human beings, we are, I hope, continuing to experience more equality between the sexes. So I think these sorts of conversations are incredibly worthwhile and fascinating, and necessary, too. Jane has this unique way of delivering a story that is just filled with these machinations of womanhood and femininity. She’s described it as being positively ovarian. And so the idea of the right to choose and whose right is it to choose what happens to a woman’s body is a discussion that is essential.
So what’s your take on some of those issues? Do you have an opinion on whether or not prostitution should be legalized, from working on the series?
What I find as I get older is that I don’t always have a definitive opinion, and I think the process of my life is going to be consumed with trying to consolidate what it is that I think. I don’t know how I feel about it as a whole. I really don’t. I think Jane’s reason for choosing this subject matter, and choosing Australia as the background, because it is different than other places in the world, is that when you’re presented with a different representation of the world as you know it, it causes you to question everything. What are the reasons, for any behavior?
On a lighter note, how did you survive shooting for long stretches on Bondi Beach?
I have very sensitive skin, which I obviously installed in the character of Miranda, that she has very sensitive skin. [Laughs] I was scuttling into the shade every single moment I could get and begging for SPF. Absolutely begging for it! My goodness, the heat was so intense. At one point, my eyes started burning really intensely and I couldn’t see. Elisabeth Moss said to me, “Are you O.K.? Are you having a stroke?” [Laughs] And I didn’t know! I didn’t know! I said, “Let’s just keep going! As long as I can feel your presence, I’ll be able to follow you.”
How do these interviewers keep it together during this kind of encounter with Gwen? I would just die of a laughter overdose.wrote:During Variety’s interview with Moss and Christie, the latter tenderly holds Moss’ foot in her hands. Unlike the rest of the “China Girl” team, the two actresses did not have a prior relationship. But they’re making up for lost time. In addition to their on-screen chemistry — which at times takes on a hilarious, odd-couple bent — the two are smitten with each other. So when Moss wanted to show Christie her sparkly new Tom Ford stilettos, Christie accepted her foot and cradled it as if it were a precious gift.
“I think in a previous life I was one of Lizzie’s charwomen,” she explains. Adds Moss, her foot still in Christie’s hands: “The most beloved one. A personal favorite.”
An hour after Moss and Christie first met, they improvised a scene between their characters that went in unexpected directions and left them both in tears. “We did the best acting of our life within an hour,” Moss says.
Ugh, I guess not, I've only got an hour left and I'll finish it tonight. Damn my inability to stay up past 9:30.Quinn wrote:Do you really want the answer?
Yay, ToTL is scheduled for Groupwatch! Will be so great to discuss it together.Aerest wrote:Concerning the end (and probably the whole show) I am seriously and honestly looking forward to groupwatch to discuss this in real time!
Hrm, no not really, Aerest! Those frustrations are mostly in a totally different league. Except that perhaps after Season 1 you will have a better sense of Robin's story, relationships and personality. You'll also go into Season 2 expecting a different kind of storytelling to the normal detective series.Aerest wrote:Marion, does it explain anything of the points that were the most irritating / felt the most incomplete / frustrating?
That's definitely true, Curra. Campion is telling us that we are asking the wrong questions. The story is not just about identifying deviance and restoring the status quo (the usual "whodunnit?" or even "who is bad and who is good?") but asking "why are they like this?" and reserving judgement about a whole range of characters who deviate from the "norm".Currawong wrote:for Jane Campion, exploring personal issues and relationships here was always much more important than the detecting part. The crime is merely the setting as it were, not the core of the story.
For me, everyone is incredibly frustrating because they behave like complete idiots, Mary? Pyke, Nicole Kidman's character whose name I didn't bother to remember are the core of my frustration. As a parent, i found their entire dynamic, negligent seems too soft a word, but it's the best I can come up with right now. The entire family made me want to commit violence.Quinn wrote:Curra, for me, my reaction are not based on wishing this were a "normal" detective story. I knew what to expect from season 1 and Campion in general, and I do tend to enjoy unusual ways of storytelling. My frustrations stem entirely from some aspects specific to this series and mostly the wrap-ups, so yes let's definitely return to this when you've finished!
It finally hit me this morning why I ended up disliking the storyline this season, it was right in front of my face but I was too frustrated to see it properly. Now I'm no longer puzzled.Currawong wrote:Isola, I gather we are going to do a groupwatch and full discussion of the show in a few weeks time, so we can all channel our views and frustrations then. I will only say that I don't think Jane Campion "does" nice normal families!!
Isola I'm also really looking forward to discussing this more after the groupwatch. For now I'll just say that I freaked out a lot. As a divorced mom I did NOT enjoy having to confront so much of myself in Julia (thankfully not the totally bonkers stuff, touch wood and pray to the seven).IsolaCaramella wrote: As a parent, i found their entire dynamic, negligent seems too soft a word, but it's the best I can come up with right now. The entire family made me want to commit violence.