Oscar-winning actor Marcia Gay Harden joined the “Variety After-Show” presented by National Geographic with Variety senior editor Marc Malkin to discuss her new show “Barkskins” and working with Amy Poehler on the upcoming film “Moxie.”
National Geographic’s “Barkskins,” based off of the novel by Annie Proulx, follows early settlers in the area of Canada once called “New France.” Though most of the women sent to live in New France were valued solely for their ability to have children, Harden’s character, Mathilde, is an older woman who is forced to find her place in the community after her husband’s death.
Harden called Mathilde a “real ball-buster,” although she becomes quite the role model to other women in the village.
“She becomes kind of a nurturer for this little village,” Harden said. “And what I love about her is she was given these scenes where she would say, ‘I don’t want a man’…She’s like this early voice of a working woman, saying women have their power by being working women, by working and being valuable to the community.”
Harden also has a role in Poehler’s forthcoming movie “Moxie,” which she described as a story about “high school girls who are sick of sexism.” Harden plays the school principal who learns an important lesson through the girls’ mini-revolution.
“It’s never too late for all of us to look in the mirror and go, ‘My politics have been on the wrong side. They’ve been on the side of commerce instead of on the side of growth,'” Harden said.
As for working with Poehler, Harden simply said: “She’s just a goddess, isn’t she? I mean, she can do anything and she’s funny but she’s real.”