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Taylor Russell on Being Offered ‘Bones and All’ Role With No Audition Needed and Her Love of Watching Timothée Chalamet ‘Do His Thing’

Awards Circuit Podcast: Also, the Roundtable on Emmy rule changes, the greatest movies of all time and what to catch up on over the holidays.

Taylor Russell Variety Cover Story
Jason Hetherington for Variety

Taylor Russell devours every morsel of her time on screen in “Bones and All,” the new film from director Luca Guadagnino about teen cannibals. Russell plays the young, flesh-hungry Maren, and in a key scene where co-star Timothée Chalamet (as Maren’s love interest) makes a stunning confession about his past, the two unlock a vulnerability that was Russell’s favorite part of filming. “That scene had a lot of weight to it,” Russell recalls. “There was a levity there that was really beautiful, and I love watching Timmy [Chalamet] do his thing. You can only control so much and then you must let go and allow everything else to influence you.”

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we talk to Russell about her role in “Bones and All,” as she discusses what it was like to work alongside Chalamet and Mark Rylance, as well as her journey to Hollywood since breaking out in 2019 with “Waves” and the movie that influenced her career as Variety names the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. Listen below:

“Bones and All” stars Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell (Yannis Drakoulidis / MGM / Everett Collection) ©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

You’d think the reunion of Academy Award nominee Chalamet and his “Call Me by Your Name” director Guadagnino in “Bones and All” would be all anyone could talk about regarding the film. Instead, it’s the vivacious Taylor Russell, who first gained prominence in “Waves” (2019). Based on the book by Camille DeAngelis, writer David Kajganich (who penned the divisive “Suspiria”) is on board to tell the story of Maren (Russell), a young woman who learns how to survive on the margins of society as a cannibal while searching for her mother. Along the way, she meets Lee (Chalamet), a young man drifting through the midwest, and Sully (Mark Rylance), an older gentleman who is harbors both sweet and terrifying tendencies.

This marked the first time Russell was offered a role without an audition — unsurprising, given her emotionally charged and fearless portrayal. She’s not the only worthy acting nod the Academy should pay attention to. Oscar winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”), considered one of the greatest living actors, delivers what may be the greatest performance of his film career.

Also on this episode, the Awards Circuit Roundtable discusses the newest Emmy rule changes and how they could affect the upcoming television awards season, plus the opening of Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon,” our favorite films of all time and tips on what to watch over the holidays.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races, industry headlines, and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.