Laura Linney is not quite as much a household name as fellow actresses of her caliber, she has already amassed incredible critical acclaim in Hollywood over this past decade for her work in The Squid And The Whale and her Emmy-nominated role in the HBO miniseries John Adams, as well as especially her Oscar-nominated roles in the films You Can Count On Me, Kinsey, and The Savages.
Now the 47 year-old’s latest film is the drama Sympathy For Delicious, the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo. Linney was asked what made her decide to do the film.
“For me, it was very, very easy,” Laura simply puts, “I will do anything in the world for Mark Ruffalo. He knows that. There are few people on the planet that you feel, or at least I feel, so safe around, and someone whom I want to help any way I can and with anything. So he called and asked, and I said, ‘Of course.’ And then I read [the script], and I was like, ‘Oh, fun!’ And we had a great time.”
Sympathy For Delicious stars Christopher Thornton as a paralyzed DJ named Delicious who exploits people by passing himself off as a faith healer. Laura was asked if she found it difficult to make her role as part of the film’s fairly unsympathetic characters be identifiable with moviegoers.
“[My Nina Hogue] character was so much fun,” Linney says, “And for me, it was really all about the hair. It was all about the hair piece. When we figured out that hair piece, I was like, ‘Oh, I know what to do now.’ And it re-aligned me differently. And there’s something fantastic about someone who’s just that really hungry all the time. She’s a rabidly hungry person. So it was fun to just sort of devour.”
“[Nina Hogue] takes no responsibility whatsoever,” she adds, “She capitalizes on it. She’s the great justifier. And she believes her own spin. I think she
Linney spoke of what it was like having been directed by a fellow actor.
“Most directors, I would say 99 percent of then, in the theater as well as in film, just do not speak ‘actor,’” Laura believes, “They are not fluent in speaking “actor.” They just aren’t. It’s not their fault; they’re just not trained the way that we’re trained. So there’s always that moment when a director will come to you, say whatever it is they say, and you have to re-translate it in your mind. A lot of people get themselves into trouble because they don’t do that step. A director will come to them and say something that, to them, seems ridiculous. And it’s not ridiculous. They’re just not speaking your language.”
“Take a moment,” she adds, “Take a deep breath. Re-translate it in your mind, figure out what it is they want me to do. And then how do I do that? For the two of us, who have known each other for a while, he could just look at me a certain way, and I’m like, ‘Got it.’ And I really felt like I was in it with Mark, and we were kind of like walking around, ‘How would I do this?,’ figuring it out together and stuff. It really felt like a team and somebody really had my back. And most directors are scared of actors. They don’t want to be. They don’t need to be, but they are. When you have a director who knows exactly how you work and what you’re doing, you’re just more comfortable.”
Laura was asked whether she herself has aspirations to ever direct a film.
“I don’t,” Laura replies, “A lot of people have asked and tried to nudge me in that direction. And for some reason, I’m so satisfied with the whole area of acting, but I love to coach. I love to