Director Alexander Payne speaks to Terry Gross today about how he mixed non-professional, professional, and non-actors on the set of Nebraska, trying to create a believable, real life feel:
All of my films, and [Nebraska] even more so, are a combination of highly seasoned, professional actors who typically live in Los Angeles or New York; local, non-professional actors … [who do] community theater, local commercials, that sort of thing; … and then non-actors, people really off the street or, in this case, off the farm whom John Jackson, my casting director, and I make a point of finding.
For this film, it took over a year of casting to find, for example, those retired farmers who play some of Bruce Dern’s character’s brothers and their wives. And it was a long process of putting out casting notices on, for example, rural radio after the farm report or in small town newspapers. …
That’s how we began to assemble the cast. So there are many people in the film who have never even been in a high school play. … At the same time we’re trying to find non-actors who can reliably present an unselfconscious version of themselves when the camera is running, I also have to ensure that the professionals coming from the coasts are believable in that setting.
image via LA Times
From left, Dennis McCoig as Uncle Verne, June Squibb as Kate Grant and Bruce Dern as Woody Grant in a scene from the film “Nebraska, ”
Here’s what I think. Skimming is just smiling and waving. Planting is looking someone in the eye and asking the hard questions. Skimming is talking. Planting is listening. Skimming is scratching the surface. Planting is having people in your home for dinner. Skimming is pat answers. Planting is sharing the burden. Skimming is quick judgments. Planting is understanding and grace. Skimming is stagnant. Planting is growth.
Skimming is the natural tendency. It’s the easy way out. And I have to confess that there are many times when I feel the urge to skim. To listen and nod, but not really hear. To turn inward and think about myself instead of looking around me and getting involved in the lives and stories of others.
Planting deep roots is full of risk and has powerful implications. You might get hurt. You might get left behind. Your faults and things you try to cover up could be exposed. But you might also be changed for the better."
― William G.T. Shedd"
Still, always, absolutely stunning.
Say what you will about Millennials, but this is just right.
For Allen Ginsberg
BY DOROTHEA GROSSMAN
Among other things,
thanks for explaining
how the generous death
of old trees
the red powdered floor
of the forest.
Urg. Half size too big for me. If they weren’t on hold, I’d totally consider finding a way to make these lil’ dudes work for me… (via ON HOLD for DP size 8 vintage kilim print by violetcrownvintage)