Tag Archives: Patricia Arquette

Oscars 2015, Backstage Interview Notebook

oscar winners 2015Eddie Redmayne enjoyed being in a weird dream, Julianne Moore gushed about her husband, and Patricia Arquette honored Meryl Streep in backstage interviews at the 87th Academy Awards.

“It just felt like a euphoria really, an extraordinary euphoria,” said best actor winner Redmayne, describing the feeling of hearing his name called and accepting his Oscar. Adding to the thrill for Redmayne was the fact he was presented with the award by Cate Blanchett, a friend from when they made “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” together. “I was recovering from that excitement of seeing her, and then just trying to bury all this frenzy of nerves and white noise and trying to speak articulately and, of course, you then forget everything,” he said.

Redmayne plans to go back to Cambridge at some point and show his Oscar to Stephen Hawking, his ex-wife Jane and her husband Jonathan and the Hawking children. “They have been so kind to us the whole way through this process. …Their support has been amazing.”

Amazing is an appropriate word for Redmayne’s staggering performance as the ALS-stricken genius. He provided a little insight into his process when asked about his physical preparation for the role: “When I was approaching the film, we knew we weren’t going to be out of shoot chronologically. So we were going to have to jump into different stages in Stephen’s life and within the same day. And so I didn’t want for Stephen — the illness was of very little interest to him after he was diagnosed. He’s someone that lives forward and lives passionately. And so, similarly, I didn’t want the film to be about the physicality. So I wanted to have the physicality so embedded in me that we could play the human story, the love story. And so I went to ALS clinics in London for about four months with a choreographer, wonderful Alex Reynolds, and she helped to sort of train my muscles to sustain those positions for long periods of time.”

The remarkably gifted Redmayne, who sang live on the Oscar show three years ago when he was part of the “Les Miserables” team, is currently making “The Danish Girl” with Tom Hooper, with whom he worked on the great musical. “The Danish Girl,” he said, is “an incredibly beautiful and passionate love story about authenticity and bravery, and so I’m really in the middle of that project at the moment and it just I was filming on Friday night, got on a plane yesterday and I go back tomorrow and I arrive on Tuesday morning, go straight onto set, so this feels like a wild, weird dream that I’ll wake up in a few days, and go, did that happen? I’ll pinch myself, but it’s amazing. I’m having fun.”

“Still Alice” best actress winner Julianne Moore expanded on her thanks to her husband, Bart Freundlich, backstage. “This is the first time I’ve told anybody this, and I’ll tell you guys in this room. He was the first person to see the movie. The first time I saw the cut, he came with me. And I told the story about how I heard him crying, and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ When we walked out of there, he said, ‘You’re going to win an Oscar.’ And I was like, ‘Come on.’ I swear to God, that’s what he said to me. And I just couldn’t believe he said that. But anyway, that’s how much he supported me from the very, very beginning.”

The win was a long time coming for the dependably superb Moore, who’s been nominated five times. But the actress made it clear she didn’t feel particularly deprived up till now because she’s been able to do work that she loves and that is meaningful to her.

“I believe in hard work, actually, you know. And I think — and I like stories about — mostly I like stories about people. I like stories about real people and real relationships and real families, and that’s what I respond to. And this movie had all of those things in it,” she said, speaking of the story of a brilliant linguistics professor stricken with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. “It was about a, you know, it’s about a real issue and relationships and who we love and what we value. And so that’s important to me, too. But I mean, I think just, at the end of the day, it’s the work.”

Oscars 2015 will go down as a year thick with causes and comparatively thin when it comes to frivolity. (Who else noticed the complete lack of response to some pretty funny Neil Patrick Harris material?) Best supporting actress Patricia Arquette’s impassioned call for pay parity for women when she accepted her “Boyhood” honors set the stage for more political statements throughout the night. Backstage, Arquette said that she didn’t see Meryl Streep’s standing, fist-in-the-air reaction to her speech, but “I heard about it, and I hugged her afterwards. And she’s the queen of all actresses, patron saint of actresses.”

She continued, “The truth is, the older women get, the less money they make. The more children the highest percentage of children living in poverty are female-headed households. And it’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t — one of those Superior Court justices said two years ago in a — in a law speech at a university, we don’t have equal rights for women in America and we don’t because when they wrote the Constitution, they didn’t intend it for women. So, the truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women. And it’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

It’s not surprising that Arquette used her Oscar moment as a platform. She is passionate about her beliefs, and it may be noted, she also suits her actions to her words. For example, she was down in the grit and disease of post-earthquake Haiti, arranging housing for the homeless with ingenious converted shipping containers and bringing eco-sanitation to camps on the stricken island.

With four wins for his “Birdman,” including best picture, Alejandro Inarritu became the second Mexican filmmaker in a row to be named best director (after Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity.”) Backstage, he was asked about that several times, then talked about the internationality of the Oscar and the art form. “Look at this room. I don’t know how many nationalities are in this room, but I don’t feel different [from] anybody here. … I as an artist, as a human, as a filmmaker, I cannot have these stupid borders, flags, and passports. Those are a concept that were invented by a human society. But, honestly, naked, in tighty whities we will be the same. And I have never felt that different. So for me to make films in United States, or in Africa, or in Spain, or in Mexico, I’m talking about human beings and emotions. And — and I think that’s the beauty of art. Art doesn’t have those stiff ideological borders that @#$! the world so much.”

Though this year’s nominations launched a cacophony of criticisms in the media and #oscarsowhite comments in the Twittersphere, the Academy Awards ceremony itself certainly proved a moving night for people of color — particularly in the dynamic performance of, and win for, “Glory,” from the film “Selma.”

In his acceptance speech, John Legend bemoaned the number of African-Americans under correctional control in America today and the compromising of the Voting Rights Act those in Selma in the Civil Rights Movement fought so hard to achieve. He expanded on that when interviewed in the pressroom, saying, “I think there still is a lot to be done. Some of the things I spoke about today, about the rolling back of some of the Voting Rights Act, is real. … What I spoke about regarding incarceration is real and it’s destroying communities and it’s a waste of our national resources to put so many people in prison, and it disproportionately affects black and brown communities. And so when we think about equality and freedom and justice, we know we’ve got more work to do … and we hope that our song is inspiration for those who want to do that work as well.”

Common, who shares the best song Oscar with Legend, told press he would have liked to have thanked director Ava DuVernay as well as actor David Oyelowo onstage. “He was the beginning of this film,” he said of Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King. “He had the heart and wanted to make this film and he knew it in his heart. And he made sure that Ava DuVernay got on board, he got Oprah to get it moving, and it’s the reason why the film happened.”

J.K. Simmons, who won Best Supporting Actor honors for his portrayal of a domineering music teacher in “Whiplash,” was a victor to be taken to heart as one who is finally getting well-deserved recognition. The Farmers Insurance spokesman self-effacingly noted backstage that “maybe more people saw me tonight than see me in the commercials for the first time, because I know those are seen by more people than the films.”

Arquette, Lark Tackle ‘Medium’ Body Swap Premise

Patricia Arquette Photo by Michael Yarish

Patricia Arquette and the middle of her “Medium” daughters, Maria Lark, have been having a lark filming the season-opening episode of the CBS series that returns Sept. 24.  She tells us, “It’s kind of a ‘Freaky Friday’ episode.  It’s really cute.”

The Emmy-winning actress says she’s been nervous about the demands of the mother-daughter body swap story that puts her in a 13-year-old’s skin, “but that’s a good sign.

Maria Lark

“Maria is such a good actress.  To see her taking on my character’s personality, it’s funny,” she adds.  “It’s really cool to hear her talk about it: ‘Arquette has a quiet voice.  She’s kind of stable…’  You know, how she’s working at breaking down my character.   She’s really blossomed.  They all have,” she says of her onscreen offspring – Sofia Vassilieva, Lark and Madison and Miranda Carabello.  “They’re such beautiful little flowers, these girls.”

Watching the girls grow has been one of the pleasures of making the series for Arquette, she says.  She’s glad be back as psychic Allison DuBois for the seventh season of the show that’s maintained a devoted following through timeslot and network changes.

Meanwhile, she’s continuing her difficult, sometimes even dangerous, side occupation – working to bring innovative housing and sanitation solutions to Haiti through the Give Love foundation she started with Rosetta Getty earlier this year.   The actress, whose divorce from Thomas Jane was confirmed a few days ago, has been on several trips to the beleaguered island nation.

“It really helps you keep things in perspective, and makes you feel really grateful for the fate you’ve been dealt and your great opportunities,” she says.

Patricia Arquette Ready for More ‘Medium’ — or Not

Patricia Arquette "Medium"

Pundits have had a hard time predicting whether this will be the final season for Patricia Arquette’s five-year-old “Medium” – or not.  Arquette herself seems ready for either a yea or nay.

“You never know as an actor what the future holds.  I’ll always be grateful for this a great time in my life,” she tells us.  “I’ve been able to play really interesting things the writers have written – different time periods, different personalities, all kinds of amazing things.”

She’s also enjoyed her on-camera family, series hubby Jake Weber and daughters Sofia Vassilieva, Maria Lark, and twins Madison and Miranda Carabello (who share the role of Marie).  “It’s so great to watch these girls grow up into such incredible young women.  All the girls are taking on more and more and expressing their voices as actresses.  Me and Jake love acting.  We have great respect for it.  They literally at us down and asked, ‘How do you prepare for a part?  What do you do first?  How do you break down a scene, a script?’  It’s impressive.”

Patricia Arquette’s Labor of Passion — Building a Village in Haiti

Patricia Arquette, "Medium"

Patricia Arquette has two more weeks of production on “Medium” for the season, and then she’ll be returning to Haiti and the labor of passion she’s thrown herself into – transforming a squalid, violent, displaced persons’ camp into a village with sustainable housing and sanitation.

“Ever since the earthquake, it’s completely consumed all my excess time.  I’m glad to say my kids are on board, and they’re okay with that,” notes the mother of a 20-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter.

Patricia says she initially simply donated money to big charities after the devastating 7-point quake that hit the impoverished island nation in January.  But then, a combination of seeing news stories detailing the ongoing misery in Haiti and hearing about it from a nurse friend of hers made her feel compelled to do more.

“She was among the first responders to rush down.  She was so shaken.  She’d been to India, to a lot of different locations – she’d seen a lot of poverty, but nothing like this.  And she said, ‘You have to do something.  Everybody’s got to do something.’”

The actress had heard about how massive shipping containers could be quickly converted into clean, safe housing and wondered about bringing that idea to Haiti.  The fact that she didn’t know how to go about it, or how to fundraise, hasn’t stood in Patricia’s way.  “My friend said, ‘Just start moving forward and don’t look back,’” she explains.

Since then, Patricia has found collaborators, including veteran relief project coordinator Cosmo Pfell, and Christopher Robertson of Houston’s Inhabitat, who has successfully built container homes.  Last week, she says, the army came in to grade the land being used, and this week, their architect will be at the site.  Plans for sustainable sanitation have also been worked out.  The hope is that this village will serve as a prototype for more – and, of course, the methodology could then be repeated in Haiti and elsewhere.  To make donations or find out more, see her  GiveLove.org website.

MEANWHILE: Fans of “Medium” are getting quite bent out of shape – to judge by comments on the internet – over the leaked news that the six-year-old Patricia Arquette series will have her character dying at season’s end.  Is this really the end?

“We’re never certain if we’re going to get picked up,” says the star.  “I just feel like it’s going to be a very good show.  Our writers are doing things in a very interesting way.  It’s not going to be a straightforward show.  Viewers will like it.  That’s not saying about whether it’s the end.  We won’t know that until the upfronts in May.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  The CW’s “Life Unexpected” is on the bubble, and the show’s stars have been pulling out all stops in hopes of drawing interest to tonight’s (4/12) season finale.  “Whatever we can do for the show we love, we’ll do,” says Britt Robertson, who plays the central character, a 15-year-old product of the foster care system, who sought out her birth parents trying to get herself legally emancipated, and wound up in their custody.

With Shiri Appleby as her mother, Kerr Smith as Shiri’s fiancé, Ryan, and Kristoffer Polaha as Shiri’s slacker ex-boyfriend of high school years, Baze – a.ka. the birth dad — the show has become more and more interesting as it has evolved.  Not only is there the growing tension of the triangle between the three adults, there’s also the ongoing revelation of  Britt’s character’s anger and other emotional damage from her years in the system.

She tells us that in real life, the two guys get along just fine.  “They’re great.  They’re buddies.  We’re the only friends each other has, since we’re shooting far away from home (in Vancouver),” she notes.

“Only once have I seen any competition thing between them,” she adds.  “When people ask me which team I’m on, I say that as Brittney I’m on team Ryan – because he’s a down-to-earth guy who’s got his act together and he’s a go-getter, where Baze is still trying to find himself…But as my character Lux, I love Baze.  He’s her biological parent, and whether he’s right for her mother or not, every child has the fantasy of wanting their parents to be together.  Once I did an interview and they neglected to use the second part of my explanation.  Kristoffer saw it and sent it to me with a note that said, ‘What’s up, Britt?’  But he knows what’s going on.  I gave him my whole disclaimer thing and we’re fine.”

SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT:  With “Scream 4” on track for a June production start – remember, this one will have Wes Craven back directing, in addition to Courteney Cox and David Arquette and Neve Campbell – word is going out that the team is working on lining up well-known faces for cameo appearances.  Meanwhile, they’re rounding out subsidiary roles of lawmen and kids for the flick set to roll in Michigan.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster