Interview Watch: Michelle Williams Talks Career, Harrison Ford on CGI, Gabriel Byrne on Catholicism

by Sophia Savage
April 26, 2011 7:09 AM
2 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

- In their May issue, Interview Magazine asks Meek's Cutoff star Michelle Williams about her selective and seemingly wise career choices. Williams responds:
"How do I say this? It’s like a mechanism in my life that runs on its own. When other things in my life don’t, and are broken and aren’t going well, for some reason my decision-making mechanism has a little engine of its own, and it’s fine. So I don’t overthink it. I’ve come to learn that the choices I labor over and go back and forth about and ask a million people for their opinions and make lists about...those are always the wrong choices. I’ve definitely made a couple of those, and that’s how I know now that it’s not the best way for me to decide…I don’t think of it as building, or really even a career. It’s just what appeals to me right now, without any real thought about how it’s going to affect my future, or even how it relates to my past work. I have faith in the fact that, as I change, so will the things that I’m interested in, as long as I keep up my own change."

Here are our interviews with Williams and director Kelly Reichardt.

Thompson on Hollywood

- In HeroComplex's interview with Harrison Ford, he says his Cowboys & Aliens experience was "really gratifying." He adds:
“A lot of that is because of [director] Jon [Favreau], who has surprised me with his spirit and his insight, and I only say that I was surprised because I knew him better as an actor than as a filmmaker. He’s a very clever actor but as a director he’s shown that he can solve the problems that come up every day and not become mechanical.”

Ford is less inspired by the current state of action films:

“I think what a lot of action movies lose these days, especially the ones that deal with fantasy, is you stop caring at some point because you’ve lost human scale,” Ford said. “With the CGI, suddenly there’s a thousand enemies instead of six – the army goes off into the horizon. You don’t need that. The audience loses its relationship with the threat on the screen. That’s something that’s consistently happening and it makes these movies like video games and that’s a soulless enterprise. It’s all kinetics without emotion. I don’t have time for that.”

Thompson on Hollywood

- In Treatment's Gabriel Byrne talks to The Guardian in a fascinating profile on the actor's life and extensive work (from The Usual Suspects to Miller's Crossing). Writer Hadley Freeman recounts this discussion on Byrne's psychotherapist character in the HBO series:
"This issue of responsibility and moral transgression is one Byrne returns to repeatedly over the four hours: 'If a person in authority morally transgresses they should be called to the book. Bankers, priests, politicians – people who betrayed trust. They should be punished, and I don't mean that in a vindictive way, I think it's important as part of the process of moving on to say there is a system of justice.'"

On the Catholic Church, with which Byrne has a personally painful relationship, he says:

"The Catholic church is repressive of women and minorities and repressive of its followers. It victimised people through propaganda and kept them in line through primitive fear. The first step that has to be taken is the abolition of celibacy. The church that is supposed to be about love denies its followers the most sacred expression of love. It says, you can't do that because you'll go to hell for it. You can do it if you're married but even then you can only do it on certain days of the month."

His favorite message in the Bible? "Beware false prophets."

[Photos: Williams in Interview Magazine, Ford in Cowboys & Aliens, Byrne in In Treatment]

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2 Comments

  • Calum Reed | April 27, 2011 11:50 AMReply

    It really is amazing how many great career decisions Michelle Williams has made lately - even if she insists she's doing what comes natural. "Shutter Island" is, to me, the obvious exception, although she definitely elevates the romantic strand of the narrative through that thoughtfully-played (if eminently overwrought) tragic scene towards the end.

  • Sergio | April 27, 2011 2:17 AMReply

    I have to agree with Harrison Ford 100% but then again name me another who's appeared in more CGI special effects laden films that him? And from the trailers Cowboys and Aliens looks like it's going to be overloaded with CGI effects. Still can't argue with him when he talks about the lack of human scale and the "soullessness" in action films today

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