99 Homes – Oscar Buzz

9 09 2014

It was one of the most thrilling experiences I ever had on set.  Working with Ramin Bahrani – the mastermind behind films that really matter.  As we were called up to set, we passed by him, sitting in a rental car with the door open, his feet out of the door on the curb, brushing his teeth.  He used one small amount of water form his water bottle only.

As we walked by he stopped us and chatted, as he finished brushing his teeth.  Asking me questions about the scene.  Telling me about the rewrites.  That I seemed like the “Take charge person” in the relationship, so he rewrote the scene to fit me.  Extraordinary.

We shot our scenes in under 6 hours – all of them – and Andrew Garfield was a sublime acting partner.  We didn’t talk to each other during lunch.  We needed all that animosity saved up for the set.

Once we were there, after a first take – Ramin gave me some pacing direction and an idea of the overall scene emotional arch…. and then he let me go.

And you know what I felt?  That Ramin TRUSTED me.  He TRUSTED my talent.  What a gift.  He BELIEVED in my ability to stay real and truthful to the circumstances.  To capture one of the many stories of the people victimized by the subprime mortgage crisis.  My “husband” JD Evermore and I put it all out there, in every nuanced, fully blown out, raw, emotional, terrifying, despair-ridden way we could.  And Ramin let us go. 

He ordered cameras around us, including one camera man whose strength and steadiness amazed me as he whipped around up with a huge camera on his shoulder.

At the end of the day, we were spent – Andrew Garfield walked up to me and the kids, and thanked us, complimented us on the intensity and rawness and reality of the work.  He asked me if I was from LA.  I told him, yes, I am from Louisiana.  

I wrote to the director last week to congratulate him on the film festivals, and he wrote me back a wonderfully touching email about how touching my work was.  It came at a much needed time, when I was very much feeling down about where I am with my career – wanting it to move forward in faster, bigger ways.  He spoke also about editing the movie, and how my scenes were so difficult to watch – heart breaking – boy, it was good to do good work about important topics.

And maybe this Oscar buzz the movie is getting is just what I need to get to the next level –

Telluride: Eviction Stunner ’99 Homes’ Electrifies Fest, Igniting Hot Distribution, Oscar Buzz

 


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