×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Frances McDormand in ‘Promised Land’

Eye on the Oscars: The Actress - Supporting Actress Contenders

Prior to any producer coming on board, before the film’s premise was even in its finished form, Frances McDormand was all in with “Promised Land.”

Matt Damon says he and co-writer John Krasinski sent her the earliest draft of the script, back when it was a movie about windmill farm prospecting in upstate New York and not about natural gas drilling in rural Middle America.

McDormand plays Sue Thomason, a slick-tongued, no frills gas company land buyer who opts for playful punches over an encouraging hug when her colleague, Damon’s Steve Butler, gets a promotion.

While she’s grateful for the work, her time on the road keeps her away from her son, and that becomes an an internal struggle that McDormand masterfully keeps simmering just beneath the surface.

“Her performance as Sue is so layered and nuanced,” says Damon about his co-star with whom they often share the screen. “Many times I’d be playing a scene with Fran and sense something strong happening. Then, watching the dailies, I could take the opportunity to see the distinctions in every single take she did.”

And as for preparing for the role, McDormand didn’t have to step too far out of her own shoes to get into Sue’s. Issues central to the film are ones she is all too familiar with.

“I went to high school in a steel town in Pennsylvania,” McDormand says. “Now the town is suffering a lot, although I have friends that are still living there happily because it’s their community.”

Thus she lends a lot of heart to her role as the proxy for heartless corporate America.

| HOME

More Scene

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content