When you’re the daughter of two opera singers, and spent your childhood observing your parents onstage in classic melodramatic fair, it’s safe to assume that you know how drama and suspense work. Actress Rosamund Pike is the aforementioned daughter of two opera singers, and it seems as if her flair for the dramatic has helped her with her latest project, Gone Girl. Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel of the same name, the movie is just as suspenseful as the book. Not only that, but Pike’s performance as the complex Amy Dunne is astonishing to watch. Nominated this year for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role, Rosamund Pike gives a performance few actors would be able to achieve. Amy’s nuances and complexities are accompanied by the fact that viewers never really know which aspects of her personality are truthful. British-born Pike, plays New York native, and Missouri transplant Amy Dunne to a tee. Without giving away major plot points, I will say, that she plays all the layers so perfectly that for the time being, it’s hard for me to not vote for her for the SAG Awards. She legitimately plays an honest-to-goodness sociopath, and it’s fascinating to watch her transformation. Director David Fincher has always been one of my favorites, and he doesn’t disappoint. However, with both Flynn’s novel and her screenplay (which she adapted herself), I will ask her this: What’s up with that ending?
Want to know more? Gone Girl is currently available On Demand, Amazon Prime, and also stars Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris. Gillian Flynn’s novel is available both online, and at your local bookstore.
I’ve viewed two movies starring Rooney Mara in the past week. The first was her Oscar-nominated performance as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Adapted from the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, the American version is brought to life by Mara’s Social Network director, David Fincher. The second comes from an original script by Scott Z. Burns and directed by Steven Soderbergh called Side Effects. She got to work with two fantastic directors and play two vastly different characters. Over these past few days after viewing more of her work, I have grown to become quite a fan of Rooney Mara both as an actor, and as an audience member. I’ve also watched interviews with her, and kinda want to be her new BFF. Anywyays, she’s charming, likable and one fantastic actress. In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara plays the role previously portrayed by actress, Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish adaptation of the book. In the American film version, Mara is paired with British actor, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. First thoughts first, I actually thought her performance as Lisabeth was much better than Noomi Rapace. Even though I thought both were sufficient, there was something about Rooney Mara and her portrayal, how she saw the character, that made it more fun to watch. I also thought the hair and makeup was MUCH better in the American adaptation as well. She completely transforms herself into Lisbeth Salander with her physical appearance, wardrobe, and vocal quality (pulling off a flawless Swedish accent.) She can be both frightening and frightened all at the same time. It’s amazing how she gets into the head space of the character.To me, she’s an actor’s actor of my generation. Here’s some behind the scenes:
Side Effectsshows Rooney Mara is a COMPLETELY different light. At the other end of the spectrum is a seemingly innocent character both physically and emotionally. The film itself can be confusing at times and really slow moving, but it’s Rooney Mara’s performance that makes you want to watch it. Even with Jude Law at her side, Mara holds her own. She even makes you look away from Channing Tatum while he’s on screen (for once.) You’d think her character was weak and feeble, but watch the movie, and you’ll be surprised. Rooney Mara is one of my new favorite actresses.
What do I have in common with Steve Martin, Tina Fey, James Franco, and Andrew McCarthy? We’re actors who are also writers. You read that correctly, Andrew McCarthy is, in fact, a writer. He’s an award-winning travel writer. Check out some of his stuff on National Geographic Traveler. Now, I’m not talking about actors who all of the sudden want to “write” their memoirs, and get a ghost writer to do it for them. I’m talking about people with actual skills, who do their own writing. As a matter of fact, Tina Fey and Steve Martin actually STARTED OUT as WRITERS. I’m guessing they did it while they were pursuing acting as well, due to the fact that they are in both realms of the industry. Granted, there are those actors who have also written screenplays or stage plays, and blogs, but that’s a different type of article all together.
I started acting when I was around the age of 8, maybe 9. But I started making up stories as soon as I could talk. I even had an imaginary friend when I was 5 who I would tell my stories to. Her name was Jinglelyn, and again, I was 5. When I actually learned to read and write, writing took a back seat to performing onstage. I had found my passion for storytelling on stage. And I loved it. It’s my first love. Telling stories, no matter what shape or form, is what I love.
What I find funny now, is the fact that my parents kept giving me journals on my birthdays or Christmas, and I never really used them. I wasn’t really a “dear diary” type of girl anyways. It seemed sort of silly to recount my day on paper. I started writing short stories and plays, and when I got to high school, I helped start up the creative writing club at my all-girls, Catholic high school. I wrote stories, parts of novels I was working on, and seriously wanted to become a writer and an actor when I grew up. I was involved in anything creative. I sang in choirs, acted in the school plays and wrote stories. My English teacher even gave me a writing award my junior year of high school. When I got to college, I majored in English because I love the element of story-telling, plot and characters. I thought it would help in the acting realm because I was able to learn about the different things that make up a good story. It was sort of like four years of script-analysis. I acted throughout college, even directed. My senior year of college, I got my first headshots and auditioned at my first major theater convention, which led to moving to NYC to study at Circle in the Square Theater School.
Within these past six years, I have been acting and putting writing on the back burner. I got my union cards and even pursued stand-up. The closest I came to writing, before starting this blog, was stand-up comedy, which I still love because you can create your own material. I started this blog because I wanted to get back into writing, and I wanted to write something from the perspective of an actor who was going through the ups and downs in their career. Not someone who is washed-up and giving advice. I’m still in the trenches and being in a career “lull,” I have been writing about what I love. Movies I love, movies I loathe, anything and everything that has to do with the industry, with a unique perspective. It seems like I’m in good company of those who came before me. If you use all of your talents, it can lead to something. What that is, I don’t know. But I am pursuing my writing and my acting. So I guess I can add a back-slash to my job description. I’m a writer/actor. And I’m so glad you are reading my blog. Thanks.