Collider: Taissa Farmiga Interview about “We Have Always Lived In The Castle”

Taissa Farmiga on ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ & ‘The Twilight Zone’

From director Stacie Passon and adapted from the book of the same name by Shirley Jackson, the indie drama We Have Always Lived in the Castle tells the story of two sisters, Merricat (Taissa Farmiga) and Constance (Alexandra Daddario), who have isolated themselves after a family tragedy, in their large manor with their Uncle Julian (Crispin Glover). When Cousin Charles (Sebastian Stan) unexpectedly arrives, he disrupts their idyllic existence and threatens their family legacy.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Taissa Farmiga talked about why she wanted to tell the story of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, what made Merricat such an interesting character, playing someone who internalizes so much, the sister dynamic, and shooting the family scenes. She also talked about her episode of the CBS All Access series The Twilight Zone, called “Not All Men,” what attracts her to a project, and how excited she is to have a wide-open future.

Collider: This is such an interesting character, in such an interesting story. What was it like to explore someone like her?
TAISSA FARMIGA: I got the offer, I read the script, and I loved the tone of the script. That was the first thing that I fell in love with. It has this weird unease and tension, coded in a fairy tale glaze. I liked the contradiction. And then, with Merricat, at moments, there was a contradiction where she feels like she’s almost childlike and fragile, and then a moment later, she seems infinitely wise and an old soul. I loved that. My favorite part of it was getting to play someone who’s just so much of everything.

Even with her clothes and her hair.
FARMIGA: For sure. I feel like she’s very much aware. She’s so internal, and yet she wears who she is on her sleeve. With the tight braids and everything pulled back, and the darker colors in the clothes, it shows here closed off-ness and that tension that she has inside her. But it’s so different from who she is when she’s with Constance. It’s interesting.

Had you just read the script when you got this? Had you read the book, or did you go into this cold?
FARMIGA: When I read the script, I had not read the book, so this was the first I had any contact with the story. So, I read the script, and then I immediately had a Skype session with the director (Stacie Passon), four hours later. Because it was moving quick, I didn’t have a chance to read the book before I talked to the director, but Stacie and I had a great conversation, and we really connected over Merricat. I immediately went to the store, bought the book, and read it, three or four times before we started filming. There’s just so much more insight in the book, being able to have that inner dialogue and monologue that Merricat has with herself. I really got to understand her better. I felt so privileged and so lucky to be able to have such a cool story, and to be able to have a little cheat sheet into who Merricat is because Shirley Jackson already did all of the work, in expressing her and figuring her out.

Because this does seem like a character that would be pretty hard to figure out otherwise, what did you learn about Merricat from the book?
FARMIGA: It’s interesting because she’s an 18-year-old girl, but it’s like she was emotionally stunted at 12. She’s uncomfortable in her body. Really, what I took to heart from the book was reading her thoughts about Uncle Julian, reading her thoughts about Constance, and reading the way she talks about different people. The only person that she ever really talks positively about, or in a lighthearted way, at all, is Constance. It just really verified the depth of the relationship, and how Merricat doesn’t really love very many things in life. She’s doesn’t really care about very many things, except for Constance, her cat Jonas, and her magic spells and incantations.

What did you grow to appreciate about Merricat, by the time you got to the end of the shoot? Were there things that you hadn’t realized about her, until you got to the end of the experience?
FARMIGA: That’s interesting. I’m sure there were. It’s hard because we filmed this almost three years ago, and I’ve been six different people, since I played Merricat. One thing that I thought was really interesting was that, over the course of the movie, even though she’s so internal and keeps everything inside, you can see her resentment for Charles. You see all of her feelings, but I feel like her actual, true feelings are something that she keeps so locked deep inside. When I had to do the EPK interview for the behind the scenes for the movie while we were filming, I kept pushing it. I wanted to do it towards the end of the film, and when I sat down to talk about Merricat, I couldn’t talk about her because I was her, and she didn’t open up. She didn’t communicate. She didn’t tell people about her. She didn’t show herself like that. I was like, “What the hell is wrong with me?! I know how to talk about this character. I know this character. Why can’t I talk about her?” It’s because Merricat didn’t want me to talk about Merricat. It was wild. Now that’s it been some years in between and I’ve had some distance from the project, I’m able to see her in a different light. She made sense. She clicked. Stacie and I had such a shorthand about the character. I don’t think I’ve ever connected with the director so intensely, on a specific character before. Stacie would just give me a look, and I knew exactly what she wanted, or she’d say keywords and I’d be like, “Okay, right. You want this version of Merricat.” We just meshed, and it was what it was, for those six weeks.

Do you think that, if she were a different kind of person who could figure out to verbalize what she’s going through, that she would have just blown up at Charles, at some point along the way?
FARMIGA: You know, probably. It’s hard because, if you look at both characters – and I’m talking about the sisters, Constance and Merricat – they both have a very skewed perspective on the world. In Constance’s case, she tries to see everything from the positive side. Everything is, “We can handle it. Everything’s fine.” And then, there’s Merricat, who’s the exact opposite. If you think about it, these two sisters are in a very intimate relationship. It’s sisterly, but there’s still an intimacy that not very many siblings have. They don’t have anybody else, in the entire world. So, Merricat goes to that darker place. She’s trying to find balance. Maybe if she was able to vocalize her thoughts a bit more, things could have turned out differently, but because they had to rely on each other, they really relied on non-verbal communication. That’s why things go awry, the way they do.

Some of the most exciting moments to watch in this were the ones when you’re all in a scene together and you’re talking about different things, at the same time. What were those scenes like to shoot?
FARMIGA: It was a lot of fun, especially for me, because Merricat doesn’t respect anybody but Constance, so whenever I’m talking, I don’t really ever even acknowledge Uncle Julian. I’ll talk about him, but I never acknowledge him to his face. And whenever I’m talking to Cousin Charles, I didn’t look at him or even really make eye contact. She doesn’t really give them the time of day. That was hard, but it was also fun to just ignore people. The fun part is filming that in the wide because everyone can talk. The worst part is when you’re just in coverage and you’re not allowed to talk over other people lines. You have to sit there and just mouth what you’re doing.

What was that dynamic like, as actors? Did you guys just have a lot of fun with each other?
FARMIGA: Absolutely! I feel like everybody was down to play. Everyone wanted to stick as close to the authenticity of the original story as possible. For the sake of the character, you can’t fully do that in a movie because you have to put a little bit more pizzazz, and you want the audience to feel something, at the end of those two hours, so you really have to hit it home, whereas in the book, it can simmer a little more. When we were all in the room, we had so much fun. It scared me because we were playing four very distinct and different people, and when you put those four people in a room, you don’t know what the chemistry will be like, but I had a blast. It’s nice when everybody’s game and everyone is down to do what has to be done to make this wacky movie.

You’ve said previously that this is the character that’s the furthest from you that you have played. Which character has been the closest to who you are?
FARMIGA: Interesting. I just filmed Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, and the character that I play in that is the one that’s been closest to my age. It’s so hard to say because it’s probably different at different times and moments in my life. I feel like, at this age, probably that character, Annie, from The Twilight Zone is pretty close to who I am, but in the past, I don’t know. It’s hard because I’ve changed so much, in the last year. I’ve gone through some personal stuff and some health stuff, and I’ve grown so much. When I watch the movies and TV shows, I see myself as those people, in a way, so looking back, I feel like I’m close to all of them. But in the moment, some of them felt like such a giant leap.

I absolutely love what has been done with this version of The Twilight Zone. I’ve been having such a great time watching it.
FARMIGA: Oh, amazing!

How did you come to the show, and how did you find the experience of working on that?
FARMIGA: For me, it was just a straight offer. They sent the script over and it said The Twilight Zone, and Jordan Peele’s name was the next thing that I saw. I was very excited to read it because it was mixing Jordan Peele with The Twilight Zone, which are two entities that take such a stance on social issues and start conversations. I read 15 pages and was like, “Oh, shit, I’m down!” And then, two days later, I was in Vancouver and we were starting to do prep. And then, two days after that, we started filming. I didn’t have very much time to think about it. I was just excited that they picked me. I don’t know how they picked me, but I was excited that they did.

What did you most respond to, with your episode and character?
FARMIGA: I liked the content. I liked the story. I liked the conversation that it will spark about gender norms and society. Maybe this episode focuses a little more on men, but society has such a clear distinct idea for what a woman’s role is and what a man’s role is, the way we’re supposed to act, and how we, as humans, give people permission to act indecently. We can’t just let something go by. You have to speak up and say, “This is not right.” Sometimes you have to stop your own actions, and sometimes you have to stop someone else’s actions, and I thought that was an important conversation. I also really loved the character and the story. There’s another sister relationship in there that I really liked, that I played with my co-star, Rhea Seehorn.

At this point in your life and career, what gets you interested in a project? The more scripts that you read, does it get easier to figure out what you connect to and what could work for you?
FARMIGA: Honestly, I don’t know if it’s gotten easier. When I read something and feel like, “Oh, god, I need to be a part of this,” then I want to do it. I’ve worked with so many incredible people. The names, like Jordan Peele, are important, but that’s the icing on top. That makes it extra special. What I really love is the story and the character. I want to completely get the character and be like, “Oh, my gosh, I can have fun with this.” In the case of Merricat, I was like, “I don’t fully understand her just yet, but I feel like I could, and I really want to.”

Do you know then what you are going to do next?
FARMIGA: Well, I’m super excited bout The Twilight Zone episode. And then, [We Have Always Lived in the Castle] comes out on the 17th of May. Other than that, everything that I’ve done, in the last year, has come out. I have a wide-open future, and I’m really excited. I just know that I wanna keep growing. I’m almost 25, and every character that I’ve played has helped me define parts of my personality. I feel like I’ve been really lucky to be able to have acting as an outlet to discover myself. I feel very comfortable with who I am, and being 24, almost 25, it’s nice to be able say that. So, I just hope that I get to keep playing characters that selfishly help me discover who I am, and continue to grow.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is in theaters and on VOD on May 17th.

Source: Collider

We Have Always Lived In The Castle | Official Trailer #1

In Theaters and On Demand May 17

Two sisters (Alexandra Daddario and Taissa Farmiga) live secluded in a large manor and care for their deranged uncle (Crispin Glover). The rest of their family died five years before, under suspicious circumstances. When a cousin (Sebastian Stan) arrives for a visit, family secrets and scandals unravel. Based on the beloved Shirley Jackson novel.


The Nun | Official Trailer Teaser

Witness the darkest chapter of The Conjuring Universe. #TheNunMovie, in theaters September 7.


Universal Nabs Jason Mantzoukas Movie ‘The Long Dumb Road’

A limited theatrical release is planned as is a wider home entertainment play for Hannah Fidell’s indie pic, which also stars Tony Revolori and Taissa Farmiga.
Universal Studios’ home entertainment arm has closed a deal for North American rights to the Sundance road-trip movie The Long Dumb Road, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

A limited theatrical release is planned alongside a wider home entertainment play by the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group for the rollout of the Jason Mantzoukas and Tony Revolori starrer.

The Hannah Fidell-directed movie pairs Revolori and Mantzoukas as two mismatched guys coming together for an unplanned road trip across the American Southwest. The cast also includes Taissa Farmiga, Pamela Reed and Grace Gummer.

Jacqueline E. Ingram, Fidell, Kelly Williams and Jonathan Duffy produced The Long Dumb Road, with Mynette Louie and Alicia Van Couvering executive producing.

UTA handled the sales deal with the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Gallery Update: The Nun On the Set Photos


GALLERY LINK
Movies > 2018 | The Nun > On the Set

AnOther Mag Photoshoots

I’ve updated our photo gallery with three photoshoots of Taissa in high quality for AnOther Magazine. Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!


GALLERY LINK
Photoshoots & Portraits > Photoshoots from 2017 > Session #1 – AnOther

Taissa Farmiga Set For New Line’s ‘The Nun’; Spinoff of Sister Vera’s ‘The Conjuring’

EXCLUSIVE: The blood lines run deep through The Nun, the Corin Hardy-directed New Line thriller that is a spinoff to its highly successful fright franchise The Conjuring. New Line has just set Taissa Farmiga to star as the young nun alongside Demián Bichir in the film. She is the sister of Vera Farmiga, who with Patrick Wilson play the paranormal investigators who anchor the James Wan-directed The Conjuring.

The Nun takes its form from the steely-looking nun from The Conjuring 2, an image that rears up unpleasant memories for anyone like myself who spent time at the mercy of the sisters in Catholic school. The Nun is the second spinoff from The Conjuring after Annabelle, which is being sequelized after grossing a frightfully high $256 million worldwide. In fact, that film and the two installments of The Conjuring have scared up a collective global gross of $897 million, with Annabelle: Creation coming August 11. James Wan and Peter Safran are producing The Nun, which Gary Dauberman scripted with Wan. Dauberman and Todd Williams are the exec producers. The film already has been dated for release Friday the 13th, in July 2018.

Taissa Farmiga is in production on What They Had, which stars Michael Shannon and Hilary Swank, and recently was in the Warren Beatty-directed Rules Don’t Apply and in the Blumhouse revenge thriller In a Valley of Violence. She is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

New Project Movie “What They Had”

Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon to Star in Drama ‘What They Had’ (Exclusive)

Robert Forster, Blythe Danner and Taissa Farmiga are also part of the cast.
Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon and Robert Forster are set to star in What They Had, a drama from writer-director Elizabeth Chomko.

Blythe Danner and Taissa Farmiga are also part of the film’s ensemble cast.

Unified’s Keith Kjarval (Inland Empire), Bill Holderman (A Walk In The Woods), Bona Fide Productions’ Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger (Little Miss Sunshine) and June Pictures’ Alex Saks and Andrew Duncan (Thoroughbred) are producing the indie, which is set to begin production Wednesday in Chicago.

The story centers on a woman (Swank) who must fly back to her hometown when her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother (Danner) wanders into a blizzard. The return home forces her to confront her past.

Chomko is an actress and playwright making her screen directorial debut with What They Had. Her script for the film was a recipient Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.

“Elizabeth is an exceptionally talented new voice and we are excited to be partnering with her on her extraordinarily moving directorial debut,” said Unified’s Kjarval. “Hers is a very personal story about a subject that affects millions of people around the world.”

Unified Film Fund II is financing the venture. The fund is allowing Unified to produce three films a year with budgets up to $10 million. Ride, directed by Jeremy Unger and starring Bella Thorne and Jessie T. Usher, is the first film from the fund, with Look to the Sky and its topper Sefton Fincham partnering on each of the films.

WME Global is repping What They Had’s worldwide rights. ICM Partners is co-repping the rights.

Swank is executive producing along with the Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones, as well as Levi Sheck and Mike Rowe of Interlock Capital.

Swank, repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman, last starred as a pianist dealing with ALS in 2014’s You’re Not You. She will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky.

Shannon, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in last year’s Nocturnal Animals, recently wrapped the all-star war drama Horse Soldiers. He is repped by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment and Morris Yorn.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

AnOther: Taissa Farmiga on Female Empowerment and Fashion

Alongside exclusive imagery from AnOther Magazine S/S17, Jack Sunnucks speaks to the young actress about her hopes for the future, and why she’d like to give everyone in the world a big hug.

In celebration of the new generation of actresses determined to leverage their fame for the greater good, Ben Toms and Robbie Spencer’s fashion story, published in AnOther Magazine S/S17, featured young women from Rowan Blanchard to India Menuez; Sophie Kennedy Clark to Maddie Ziegler. Writer Jack Sunnucks spoke to each of these women on set, for a series of interviews running over two weeks exclusively on anothermag.com.
Taissa Farmiga got her start in Higher Ground, a 2011 film directed by her sister, the actor and director Vera Farmiga. It was in American Horror Story, however, that she came to wider attention. Series one, Murder House, filmed that same year, saw her terrorised and romanced by a ghost, while Coven featured Farmiga in an array of stylish hats as a teen witch who kills men accidentally when she has sex with them. With her otherworldly looks and voice, Farmiga seems the perfect actress for the kind of curious, haunted roles she’s given. Her next act is to star in an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s cult novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Jack Sunnucks: What do you think fashion can do to make women feel empowered?
Taissa Farmiga: I think that, before you walk out the door and into the world, you have to feel good. You have to figure out who you are, and I think fashion can help you do that. When you have more of a sense of who you are, you can take on the world.

JS: What do you hope for 2017?
TF: Ah, 2017! I hope that we all try to do a little better than we did last time. I hope everyone tries to help someone else. If we all tried to help someone else, the world would be a better place. I know it sounds… I don’t know how it sounds. But I know if we just cared about one person for a moment instead of ourselves, it would really help.

JS: If you could say one thing to the world what would it be?
TF: Oh man. I wish I could just send everyone a hug. Everyone who needs a hug. Sometimes I need a hug and there’s no one around, and that feeling really sucks.

“When you have more of a sense of who you are, you can take on the world” – Taissa Farmiga

JS: Have you ever got to play someone really evil?
TF: Never! One day I’ll have to. It’s funny, when I used to play videogames with my brother, I’d always want to be the good guy.

JS: Who’s your favourite on-screen heroine?
TF: I’ve seen a lot of Amy Adams recently and I just love her. I love the energy she puts out in person and on screen. She’s smart and she’s classy and that’s something to aspire to be. I like a woman who’s smart and doesn’t have to prove anything.

JS: Do you ever get frightened watching horror films?
TF: Absolutely. I’m an absolute baby when it comes to that stuff. Even reading the American Horror Story scripts when I was in New Orleans, which is a spooky city, and I was in my trailer all alone. Sometimes I’d freak out before we’d even shoot it because I’d be playing the movie in my head. I guess it helps, because if you’re in a horror show you’ve got to feel the fear!
Hair Marki Shkreli for Marki Hair Care; Make-up Samuel Paul at Forward Artists for Marc Jacobs Beauty; Set design Bryn Bowen at Streeters; Photographic assistants Vincent Perini, Geordy Pearson and Kaleb Marshall; Styling assistants Louise Ford, Johanna Burmester-Andersson, Bonnie Macleod and Sabrina Terlink; Hair assistant Kelly Oliphant.

Source: AnOther Mag

‘Teen Titans: Judas Contract’ Trailer Brings DC Classic to Life


Christina Ricci and the late Miguel Ferrer voicestar.
DC’s Teen Titans are ready to show you the greater good.

The first trailer for Teen Titans: The Judas Contract shows off the first footage from the animated adaptation, which was first announced back at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con and sparked a lot of interest among the DC faithful.

The voicecast includes Christina Ricci (Terra) and the late Miguel Ferrer as the villain Deathstroke. Director Sam Liu’s film adapts the classic 1980s storyline from Marv Wolfman and George Perez, which saw a shocking betrayal rock the group.

DC animated movie regulars also in the cast include Sean Maher, Kari Wahlgren, Jake T. Austin, Taissa Farmiga, Brandon Soo Hoo and Stuart Allan.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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