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Diane Keaton on Sarah Paulson in ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

SAG Preview 2011: Actors on Actors

“Sarah is the real thing in terms of being an actress. I see myself as one of those people who’s played variations of myself. With her, she can do anything. She’s an extremely gifted actress, but I’ve never seen her do a part like this. It’s not an easy role, and it’s complicated by the intensity of the movie. She’s trying to offer a way of seeing the world that we would like to think of as being the way the world really is. She’s just trying to live her life. And she has no idea of what has happened to her sister. And how could she? Sarah could never imagine that her sister was in such an insane situation where people are killing people. The movie forces us to take a longer look at the people we love and not be so determined to make everything better than it is.

I like to watch fight scenes in movies because they really tell you what kind of an actress or actor you are. Sarah had to put a lid on it a little here, but be mortified at the same time. That’s not easy to do. Sarah didn’t choose to just go head on into it, which is, of course, what my instincts would have been. Which would have been wrong! I just want to ‘Oh yeah! I need to have a fight. Get the artillery! I’m going to blow ’em down!’ That’s the way I like to do it. But that’s why I think that this movie is very interesting because it isn’t doing that and because it forces you to think more as an audience member. The movie was constantly pushing me around and that’s always good.”

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