7 Contenders (but soon there’ll be 5)
The Hollywood Reporter has posted its video/transcript of the 2012 Actress Roundtable – 7 women were invited (Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams, Sally Field, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Helen Hunt and Marion Cotillard), but as we know only 5 will be nominated, and there’s no guarantee it will be 5 exclusively from this group.
Everyone looks amazing, there is talk of craft, years of auditions (that continue today), what happens when you are stuck on the set of a movie you know is going to be sh-t, and also the dream parts that make it all worthwhile. They all speak, but some more than others (ahem, Anne Hathaway). Everyone is game to play. Great.
When I read it, I was eye-rolling Annie hard just because she is jazz hands personified (watching the video of the interview, she comes off much more centered). But the jazz hands are part of the package; Hathaway is incredibly talented, not just as an actress but also at choosing films (which I think is a talent in itself), so at least her artistic temperament has weight, as opposed to her Oscar cohost, actor/Yale doctoral candidate James Franco, who is just pretentious, period.
She was asked about the Oscars, and she acknowledges that they were perceived as a failure and then says (to Amy Adams) "from this wonderful media that buys pictures of your daughter." It's not the same thing though, is it? She says she knew that it didn't go well, but that it's the "media" that writes the narrative, and it's the same media that hounds children. So how is that media separated from the outlets she sits down with to promote her movies? Yes, there’s a difference between Vogue and Radar Online, but to imply she doesn't participate in it all is very convenient (if a touch delusional).
Also, can I say I was a little embarrassed for her when she blurted out that she wanted kids? That's like being in a meeting with 10 coworkers and talking about your birth control method. If you want privacy don't blurt out that you want kids. I know she would say she's just living her life and won't be stopped by the terrible media, but I think James McAvoy lives his life. And so does Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson (I just watched Love, Actually), Liam Neeson (who was dropped out of Lincoln but has never been more in demand) - they all live, work, and have kids. I could not tell you the name of any of their children off the top of my head.
Amy Adams and Naomi Watts both spoke about the long hustle, Rachel Weisz is feisty, Marion Cotillard is French and (to steal a phrase from Lainey) enigmatic. Helen Hunt is supportive and graceful, but there is a quiet intensity to her. Not someone who has to be the center of attention, but her presence is known. She strikes me as someone who would be extremely tactile in person. And she has a statue (which isn’t to say she doesn’t want another), but she’s also done a long-running sitcom and is particular about her roles – she is not filming back-to-back movies that she thinks will be Oscar bait. She will be one to watch come awards season.
But for me, Sally Field was the real standout. When she talked about selling out, making a buck, having to raise kids on her own - sacrificing years of her career for her family - that is something I think a lot of women (and men) can relate to. At 66, she still had the fight to put herself up for a role she was told she wasn’t right for any longer (translation: too old). But she didn't give up and she never once says anything came easy -- she seems as proud of the fight as she is of the movie.
And because I know Lainey is going to post that video, let me confess that I’ve never seen any version of Les Misérables (I don’t even know the major plot points). If you never hear from me again, it’s likely that I have been expelled from the Faculty of Celebrity Studies.
(Lainey: why is there a pole in this picture???)
The Hollywood Reporter Actress Roundtable video and transcript.