CinÉireann Issue 9 - Page 47

CinÉireann / Issue 9 47

was still like "Holy shit I get to work with this amazing director again" because you know that he makes you better. There are a few people in my life that I know that working with has made me better and Lenny is one of them. I would do it for the rest of my life if I could.

Did you have to learn any of the medical jargon to play the role?

There were a couple of jargony words, but that was okay. I'd done loads of research. I'd read loads of stuff and had gone into these old libraries that store old memoirs of people and their notes from when they had consulted with patients. So I was well-versed in it enough. But it's great because you get to say it and not have to have done any of the training. Somebody else has done all of the research and you can pretend you are a doctor. That's amazing.

Would you think that you'd like to direct a feature like Lenny?

If I knew how Lenny did it then maybe I could be a great director, but I'm not there. I don't know how he does it. He talks to you with an openness, and understanding, with compassion and empathy, and is hilarious and he makes you feel at ease and he makes you feel like you are part of something special. And that you can bring something special to it. I don't know what it is, but it's amazing and addictive and it makes me want to do it more.

How important is that rapport for actors?

It's a funny thing. You read all the time about actors and directors not getting on and sometimes there are great performances in there. For me, the best performances reveal something of yourself. No matter how many accents or character stuff is going on, or no much you change the way you look, there will be something of yourself in there. And if you're not finding it then Lenny finds it. I'm happy and I would much rather work with somebody that I go into work ready to say "Here's everything that I have and if you ask me to do anything then I will because I trust you", rather than guarding yourself from somebody, which I'm fortunate has not been an experience I've been in.

How much of you then is in Dr. Faraday?

Definitely some. We've all been sad. We've all been lonely. We've all wanted people to love us. We've all been in love and had people who've loved us back. We've all felt that there are things that we wanted that we can't have and we've all felt that we deserve things that maybe we don't. So the best and the worst of myself is in there somewhere, and it's all mixed up with something I hope is a bit darker.

Does inhabiting a character like this mess with the psyche?

It's all very uninteresting for a lot of people generally. I had a great time making the film. And then at the end of it, I just didn't work for a very very long time. I just couldn't. I don't know. Obviously, you carry something of the person. You spend more time being the person than yourself as there are 12 hour shooting days. He has a lot of loathing. He hates himself and he hates other people. But I also liked him and that confuses you too. By the end of filming, I just wasn't able to work again. It was the only time that I've ever taken time off because I've needed it. It felt like the well was dry. So I don't know what we did or how Lenny worked me but I am proud of my work on the film and even more to be able to do this.

Are there other roles that you're interested in exploring?

So much of it depends on the person who is calling. Trust is such a huge thing. If somebody interesting calls with something that I feel that I connect to...because you never know what you are going to connect to and what you are not...if you really connect and the person is right then I'm there.

What is your hope for the film?

I just hope that we can get people to see it. It has been marketed a little bit as a ghost story over yonder and that hasn't really worked. I hope that people understand that it is a drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson, and for me, that's all I need to know. That gets me to the cinema.