THR – A fiesta grandmother. A persecuted jazz icon. A grieving mother. A sexual assault avenger. A pioneering scientist. A girlfriend scorned.
On a mid-December morning, six actresses behind some of the year’s most dynamic performances came together for The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable: Hillbilly Elegy’s Glenn Close, The United States vs. Billie Holiday’s Andra Day, Pieces of a Woman’s Vanessa Kirby, Promising Young Woman’s Carey Mulligan, Ammonite’s Kate Winslet and Malcolm & Marie’s Zendaya. The group, who gathered via video conference from homes and sets in L.A., Montana, Atlanta and the U.K., discussed the business side of acting, their weirdest pandemic habits, the dangerous Hollywood misconception about creative genius — and the fact that “how women’s voices are being received [is] the biggest thing that has shifted.”
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2021 > Session 07 [+01]
What is something people often get wrong about acting?
There’s a bit of an idea, and maybe more even within the industry, that to make something great, people have permission to behave badly, the idea of someone being a creative genius … that they are so inspired, there’s a required level of darkness or unpleasantness that goes along with that, that you need to put up with. And I think people get away with bad behavior because of those reasons. In my experience, some of the most incredible people I’ve worked with have just been also the most delightful. So that’s kind of a common misconception, that there are people who have to behave badly to psych themselves up at work, or that the process is just sort of utterly miserable. I think you can work really hard, but ultimately … the attitude on set should be one of warmth.
What will you do differently in 2021?
The first thing that came into my mind was that I’m going to go to the theater as much as I can, and the cinema. As soon as we can, I’m going to sit around people and watch something together with them. It just shocked me how much I missed that. I watched a medley of musical theater on television a couple of weeks ago, and it just made me cry. I just want to be a part of that. So it sounds quite trivial, but I think that is something I’m looking most forward to.