Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Olivia Thirlby Talks Loving Her "Flawed" Character In 'Nobody Walks,' More 'Dredd' & Her 5 Favorite Performances

The Playlist By Jen Vineyard | The Playlist October 18, 2012 at 2:05PM

After a long spate of supporting performances in films such as "Juno," "The Darkest Hour," "Being Flynn," and most recently "Dredd," the talented but under-utilized Olivia Thirlby is finally getting leading roles in which she can truly shine, starting with this week's "Nobody Walks" (read our review here). Playing an artist/film director who nobody seems to be able to resist, the actress displays an inner magnetism that should get her cast in more projects to come. (On the wish list: potentially portraying Carole King in "Girls Like Us.")
0
Nobody Walks, poster crop

After a long spate of supporting performances in films such as "Juno," "The Darkest Hour," "Being Flynn," and most recently "Dredd," the talented but under-utilized Olivia Thirlby is finally getting leading roles in which she can truly shine, starting with this week's "Nobody Walks" (read our review here). Playing an artist/film director who nobody seems to be able to resist, the actress displays an inner magnetism that should get her cast in more projects to come. (On the wish list: potentially portraying Carole King in "Girls Like Us.")

"It's so mysterious that you even know about that one!" she teased when The Playlist asked about her recent audition. "I'm actually not comfortable talking about parts before they become real. I don't want to jinx it."

Thirlby admitted that she's "pretty picky" about the parts she goes after, but her selectivity isn't about the size of the role or the genre of the film. "I want something I haven't seen or done before," she said. "Something different, something challenging, something fun. I'm open to anything. I go where the material is, and I feel like I'm looking for really strong directors. That's the key ingredient. There are some directors I would move the sun and earth for, or stop the rotation of the planets, just to work with them."

On that wish list: Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Quentin Tarantino. "And now that they know that, they'll hire me!" she laughed. "They'll go, 'Oh, I only wasn't hiring Olivia because I didn't know that she wanted to work with me. Now that I know, I will cast her in all my films. Not just one, but all!'"

She doesn't feel she's "compiled enough empirical field evidence" to differentiate between male and female directors just yet, since "Nobody Walks" from Ry Russo-Young was one of the first of the latter for her. "I can say I love working with women," Thirlby said. "Film is a man's world, and I really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with women, especially young women. It's really exciting to be a young woman and be in a position where the director cares about your point of view."

Nobody Walks

Being in sync with Russo-Young (as well as the film's co-writer, Lena Dunham, whom Thirlby has known since kindergarten), helped the actress find the core of her contentious "Nobody Walks" character, Martine, who gets involved with a slew of suitors, including a married man (played by John Krasinski) with whom she's working and at whose house she's staying.

"I love her," Thirlby said of Martine. "I think she definitely makes a big mistake, which is kind of tragic, but really, I think her mistake was to be too naive and inexperienced to pick up on all the red flags that go up. It's interesting that people blame her, that they find her culpable [for the affair], when it's more ambiguous than that. If you really want to break down what happens, John's character Peter is the one who makes more questionable choices. His wife says, 'Don't embarrass me,' and he twists that to give himself permission to succumb to his lusty urges. Martine, she's used to the notion of just having sex with friends and still being just friends afterwards, so she's too naive to pick up on the fact that this man is having a slightly illicit affair and is falling in love with her and no longer has control over his urges. He can't even control himself in front of his family. And once she sees that, she tries to pull back, but it's too late."

Thirlby said it's "much more interesting" to play flawed characters like Martine who make "bad decisions [in] complicated situations." "There's nothing interesting about doing the right thing and being perfect all the time!" she laughed.

Will she get to play someone as interesting as Martine in her next project? The actress said she hasn't been in contact -- yet -- with Amy Berg, the new director of the upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic "Mystery White Boy" in which she has a role. "That one might be on hold, I don't know," Thirlby said. "Maybe they don't want to compete [with Penn Badgley's take on Jeff Buckley in "Greetings From Tim Buckley"], because Penn is a total genius. I'm sure he kills it. I've seen him sing around the campfire and everything, and I definitely cannot sing as well as him."

This article is related to: Olivia Thirlby, Nobody Walks, Dredd


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates