SAG Preview 2011: Actors on Actors

“Ellen’s character, Lynn, is incredibly wounded, tremendously vulnerable and needy. She’s infuriating, but she also really grabs at your heart. You really feel for her. You think, ‘Oh my gosh, this poor woman never feels satisfied with what she has in a family.’ It’s that innate childishness in Ellen’s performance that is absolutely fascinating. This is a character who has every great intention in the world to be a good parent and who believes herself to be a good parent. But she makes mistakes absolutely everywhere. Ellen manages to be incredibly moving and, at the same time, she is very, very funny.

There’s a really compelling scene where Ezra Miller gets angry at her. Ellen collapses emotionally. But then you see her take it. In a weird sort of way, she ends up being sympathetic as a terrible mother. You watch her parent this child in a way that seems outrageous. When he acts out, she doesn’t get angry with him.

I know Ellen’s work pretty thoroughly. For a lot of people, to see a performance where she is that vulnerable, that needy, that childish, it’s a huge departure from who she is.”

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