While everyone is betting on actress Brie Larson at the Academy Awards, she talks about putting other actors before herself
AMERICAN actress Brie Larson is in the spotlight. Besides drawing attention in a shimmery halter-neck Calvin Klein gown at the recent Golden Globes—receiving the Best Actress in Drama award—the Trainwreck star is also being touted as the best actress hopeful at the Oscars. And why not? The 26 year-old blew minds with her role as Joy “Ma” Newsome in Room. By Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, she portrays an anguished mother, who escapes along with her son, after being held captive by an abusive husband for seven years. She speaks about the new recognition and her next.
On how Ma’s character in the book is different from her character in the film
The character of Ma (in the book) is not a complete one. It’s told from her five-year-old son’s perspective. Everything about Room has a sort of dreamy innocence to it, and you don’t get to see the complexity of his Ma. The movie became a great opportunity to make Ma three-dimensional and to show all the complexities and all of the ways the room is wearing her down.
How does this new recognition feel?
The moments that I feel a huge sense of accomplishment are actually the smaller ones, not really the bigger ones. There are times I’ve spoken to people after the screening — seeing their reaction and hearing how the movie moved them, and being reminded of its importance and power.
Lenny Abrahamson said you had to work overtime because you were coaching (child actor) Jacob.
When I agreed to do this movie, I agreed to take responsibility for this child. Building a real relationship and a deep friendship with Jacob was incredibly important to the experience of making the movie. Some of my own performance had to be put aside in order to be there for him.
Do you feel Room has a European sensibility, as it puts artistry before traditional-format storytelling?
Absolutely. I remember the first time I watched playback on some of the footage. I told him, ‘Oh my gosh, I see it looks just like a European film. My dreams are coming true.’ And then Lenny was laughing and going, ‘Oh jeez, and here I thought I was making my first American film.’ I do think it has a sort of rawness to it that we don’t see in most American cinema. Also, we’ve got a Canadian production designer, an Irish director and screenwriter, a British DP, and I’m an American — a group of different backgrounds, but looking at the same thing together.
How’s the shoot for Kong: Skull Island going?
It’s been amazing. We’re shooting in gorgeous locations, and it’s all outside — just so different from most things I have done. And it’s very physical. I find it really exciting to try and learn more about this medium. I think bigger movies like this give you an opportunity to retell the same old stories in an accessible way.
Room releases on January 29.
— Team Indulge