The Hollywood Reporter has posted their Director Roundtable video. It’s 2 weeks to Christmas. It’s a Friday afternoon. So, you know, if you have time to f-ck around before you hit the weekend, this is worth your time.
Mike Leigh, Angelina Jolie, Richard Linklater, Bennett Miller, Christopher Nolan, and Morten Tyldum are gathered around the table talking about their work and their inspiration. I’m focusing on the Jolie here because she’s the woman, the rookie, if you will, among men, in an industry driven and controlled by men.
She holds her own. She’s comfortable. She’s not defensive. She’s not trying too hard. She’s secure in her place, even while acknowledging that she was intimidated when she was shooting Unbroken, even after admitting that there was so much she had to learn on the spot. Interesting, at least to me, it’s not that she earns their respect while she’s there, it actually feels like she has their respect already when we join them.
Does it bite your ass a little that the first person the moderator turns to when “deviant” comes up is her? She handles it well. And I probably have to call myself out here on my hypocrisy because I probably would have done the same thing. But that’s what she’s carrying into this roundtable that the others aren’t.
I like the part where she talks about a director who shaped them. Angie jumps in with Sidney Lumet. And there’s an exchange with Christopher Nolan that’s pretty cute. And you’ll note that she’s not just answering questions, she’s also engaging on the other side, prompting others with her own responses, doesn’t seem terribly self-conscious the way actors can be when they’re participating in these roundtables. You watched them. You know how it becomes a sort of competition about who’s suffered the most, who gets inside their own heads the most. Or maybe this is because she IS an actor and she knows what face to put on in this company. But that only makes me think of Scott Rudin and his criticism about her being “minimally talented”. Do you think he talks to and about men the same way?
Click here to read the transcript but, really, if you have the time, watch the full video below.