Ac­tor Q&A “I deeply care what peo­ple think... All I care about is be­ing un­der­stood”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Q&A - In­ter­view by JAMES MOTTRAM

Af­ter find­ing fame in the 2008 teen smash hit Twi­light, you have moved on to some very adult roles. Was that de­lib­er­ate? I was psy­chi­cally drawn to the projects. That’s when it feels the best: when there’s some­thing gutwrench­ing that needs to be ex­plored. I’ve wanted to make movies since I was nine years old and you just know when there’s a through-line. You recog­nise that in other peo­ple and if you find the right story to tell, that’s what I’m drawn to. Is there any com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor be­tween your roles? Er… yeah, me! I’m re­ally not a char­ac­ter ac­tor. I know a lot of ac­tors say they can hide be­hind char­ac­ters and they can re­ally step out­side of them­selves. I feel when I’m do­ing re­ally stim­u­lat­ing, soul-ful­fill­ing work is when I’m find­ing my­self and not hid­ing. So I would say that there is prob­a­bly a through-line… but I don’t usu­ally step out­side and an­a­lyse my ca­reer as a whole. Café So­ci­ety is your third film with ac­tor Jesse Eisen­berg, who has said in the past he was in­tim­i­dated by you. Did you feel that? Jesse is so smart. He used to in­tim­i­date me. But now there’s a warmth we share that al­lows me to keep up with him. It used to be de­bil­i­tat­ing. I used to be like, “I’m not go­ing to try to be on your level,” and now we can re­ally run to­gether. But I don’t know… hon­estly, life re­ally over­whelms him be­cause of his in­tel­li­gence. Sit­u­a­tions are re­ally over-stim­u­lat­ing for him. I think he’s one of those spe­cial minds. I have a na­ture that is re­ally in stark con­trast to his, so I think it trips him out. Eisen­berg also says you don’t care what oth­ers think of you. Is that true? No! I deeply care what peo­ple think. I’m an ac­tor: all I care about is be­ing un­der­stood. All I want to do is con­vey my­self. When I feel like I haven’t, it drives me crazy. If I feel like I haven’t done a good job – or if I’ve pro­jected a weird, tainted ver­sion of my­self be­cause I feel in­se­cure – I walk away from those sit­u­a­tions be­ing re­ally re­gret­ful. So as I’ve got­ten older I think, “You’re not go­ing to be happy un­less you breathe through this and stay com­pletely your­self.” At the end of the day, you can own that; but what you don’t want to own is say­ing things you don’t mean and try­ing to be some­thing you’re not. What made you want to play Von­nie in Café So­ci­ety? I love Von­nie be­cause she also func­tions from an in­cred­i­bly pure, sort of shame­less place. Es­pe­cially within that era [the film is set in the 1930s], Von­nie does things that are un­con­ven­tional. There is some­thing so present about her and some­thing gen­uinely happy. She re­ally en­joys life and that is con­ta­gious as hell. You worked with writer and di­rec­tor Woody Allen on this film. What is your favourite movie of his? An­nie Hall. I know it’s ob­vi­ous, but it is my favourite. The first time I saw

An­nie Hall, it was on an air­plane, which is re­ally messed up. It was Air France, and they have good movies on there. I said, “Wow, I’ve never seen that.” And my pub­li­cist – who is one of my best friends, I’ve known her for years and years – said, “Watch it now!” So what’s next – a block­bust­ing su­per­hero movie? I didn’t re­ally grow up on comic books but I love big movies, I like the ef­fect of them. I like shar­ing things on that level. Do you en­joy the glam­orous side of the in­dus­try, such as hav­ing a stylist and walk­ing the red car­pet? No­body can style them­selves be­cause we have jobs to do. We’re work­ing on other things. I have a re­ally open and in­volved col­lab­o­ra­tion with my stylist. I’m not re­motely dressed by some­one. But she’s known me for so many years. I’ve been work­ing with her since I was 13, so she can high­light who I am, rather than make me some­thing else. So you’ve never stepped out wear­ing some­thing you don’t like? I feel like I dress my­self, but there’s no way I could do that alone, be­cause I don’t have time to scour the world for the pieces. There’s a lot of ma­te­rial and clothes out there. Also, I’m into it. I fall into the cat­e­gory of some­one who is gen­uinely at­tracted to fash­ion be­cause it is the shiny thing… I’m like a moth to a flame. And that’s purely an­i­mal­is­tic. It’s not at­ten­tion-seek­ing. I find it pretty. Do you have a mas­sive wardrobe at home? I have a lot of sneak­ers! I’m re­ally sneaker-ob­sessed. But, no, not re­ally. All this stuff we wear is be­ing lent to us. I try to keep lit­tle pieces that feel like mine, but I don’t have that much stuff. Café So­ci­ety is in cin­e­mas now.

``i have a lot of sneak­ers. I´m re­ally ob­sessed´´

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