uInterview | Exclusive Interview on “We Have Always Lived In The Castle”

Farmiga played the lead role in the We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018), the film adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel starring Alexandra Daddario and Paula Malcomson. In May 2019, Farmiga sat down with uInterview to discuss the film. She described it as “a story about these two sisters, Constance and Merricat Blackwood, who live with their Uncle Julian in their family’s estate. Everyone else in their immediate family is dead, and these two sisters are shunned by the rest of the town, so they sort of have to create their own … little reality to live in. And everything’s going well until their cousin Charles comes to visit.”

Farmiga told uInterview exclusively that Merricat felt “threatened” by Charles and believed he had arrived “under the guise of trying to intervene and trying to change up what is good and right in their world.” To provide some backstory about Merricat’s character, Farmiga explained, “I adore her, but Merricat’s this little weirdo. She’s this little unusual young woman who sort of, at times, can be incredibly childlike and innocent, and then a minute later she could be infinitely aware and intelligent. She’s a contradiction; she’s uncomfortable in her own body, but all she wants to do is protect her sister.”

When asked about the filming process behind this movie, Farmiga had nothing but good things to report. She was especially happy to discuss the bonding that occurred between cast members on set. “We shot in the Wicklow Mountains,” Farmiga told uInterview, “and we were all just sort of holed up in this little castle, this little manor in the middle of Ireland, so we didn’t have anybody but each other. And when you’re playing kind of … a messed up family, you bond pretty quickly, you know what I mean? You have to have these connections.”

Farmiga gave glowing reviews of a few cast members in particular, namely Crispin Glover and Sebastian Stan. “Crispin Glover is obviously a legend and an incredible, incredible actor,” she said, “but he had such a distinct vision for [his character] Uncle Julian … When I heard he was cast, I was thrilled because I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be an interesting mind with an interesting take on the character, something I’m never gonna see before,’ and that’s absolutely true.” Farmiga explained how she tried to implement this originality into her own acting, citing Glover as a terrific professional role model.

Regarding Stan, Farmiga reported, “Sebastian’s a fun guy. He’s incredibly talented, just a joyous personality, loves to have fun.” She went on to say of the overall cast, “Genuinely, we all had fun. Everyone was there to play their very distinct character, and it was four very different personalities mixed in a scene, and the chemistry there was just fun to be a part of.”

The 24-year-old actress, who is also known for her role in FX’s American Horror Story: Murder House, explained to uInterview exclusively the premise of the film — which is based on Shirley Jackson’s 1962 mystery novel — and also described her character.

“We Have Always Lived In The Castle is a story about two sisters — Constance and Mary Kat Blackwood — who live with their uncle Julian in their family’s estate,” said Farmiga, who plays Mary Kat Blackwood. “Everyone else in their immediate family is dead and these two sisters are shunned by the rest of the town, so they sort of have to create their own little reality to live in, and everything’s going well until their cousin Charles comes to visit.”

Crispin Glover plays Farmiga’s uncle Julian in the film, while Alexandra Daddario plays her sister Constance and Sebastian Stan portrays her cousin Charles, who is trying to fundamentally alter the Blackwood sisters’ way of life.

“I adore her,” Farmiga said with a smile of her character. “Mary Kat is this little weirdo, she’s this little unusual young woman who at times can be incredibly child-like and innocent and then a minute later she can be infinitely aware and intelligent. She’s a contradiction: she’s uncomfortable in her own body but all she wants to do is protect her sister so she can play the role of the one who is confident [and who] takes charge when it’s necessary.”

Farmiga also explained how her character is endowed with magical powers to cast spells and incantations, and what she uses this ability for.

“[Mary Kat] has to be the most evil thing or has to have access to the most evil powers so that she can protect [Constance] from the things that are coming to attack [them],” she said. “Whether that means emotionally or physically.”

Directed by Stacie Passon, We Have Always Lived In The Castle set for released on May 17 and is currently garnering strong reviews.

Full interview transcript below:

Q: Who’s your character in the film?
A: We Have Always Live In A Castle is story about these two sisters, Constance and Mary Kat Blackwood, who live with their uncle Julian in their family’s estate. Everyone else in their immediate family is dead, and these two sisters are shunned by the rest of the town, so they sort of have to create their own little reality to live in. Everything’s going well until their cousin Charles comes to visit. Mary Kat is this…I adore her, but Mary Kat is this little weirdo. She’s this little unusual young woman who sort of, at times can be incredibly childlike and innocent. And then a minute later she could be infinitely aware and intelligent. She’s a contradiction. She’s uncomfortable in her own body, but all she wants to do is protect her sister, so she can play the role of the one who’s confident, the one who takes charge when it’s necessary. Mary Kat at the end of the day is just a young girl who wants to protect the thing that means the most to her and that’s her sister Constance.

Q: How does your character use magic?
A: Mary Kat doesn’t love many things in life. She loves her sister Constances, she loves her cat Jonas, and she loves her spells, and her incantations, and her little bits of magic that she uses. Mary Kat is scared of the outside world for a very good reason. Her family’s been shunned and has been ostracized by the town, and just made to be unhappy with who she is. Constance is the thing that means the most to her. In order to protect Constance, Mary Kat relies on her incantations and her spells. She has to be the most evil thing, or has to have access to the most evil powers, so that she can protect from the things that are coming to attack. Whether that means emotionally or physically, Mary Kat has a wild imagination. So, the way the wind blows, or the way that shadows are on the wall, it means something to her, and she takes that all to consideration. She has her spells just to protect her family at the end of the day.

Q: What’s your relationship with Sebastian Stan’s character?
A: Cousin Charles is played by Sebastian Stan and cousin Charles comes to visit the Blackwood sisters under the guise, or Mary Kat thinks under the guise, of trying to intervene, or trying to change up what is good and right in their world. Constance doesn’t like leading the house, Mary Kat’s the one who goes to town and provides for the family, she’s the protector. She sort of sees herself as the Lord of the Manor, well when cousin Charles comes, he takes on the actual role of man of the house, and Mary Kat feels very threatened by him.

Directed by Stacie Passon and based on Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, the film also stars Alexandra Daddario, Crispin Glover and Sebastian Stan and is about two sisters who are shunned by the rest of society for crimes they are accused of and live in an isolated home with their uncle until their cousin arrives with dark plans in store.

“It’s an incredible story with an incredible cast, so I was very excited just to get to Ireland, which is a beautiful country,” Farmiga revealed about the film’s shooting location. “We shot in the Wicklow Mountains, and we were all holed up in this little castle, this little manor in the middle of Ireland.”

“When you’re playing kind of like a messed up family, you bond pretty quickly,” she added.

Farmiga, the younger sister of Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga, also said she had fun playing her character Mary Katherine Blackwood, as she is an eccentric girl who is often not very approachable. Farmiga recalled how intriguing and different it was for her to play out her scenes with Glover and Stan without truly making eye contact or “connecting” with them all the time.

“I had a blast just kind of giving them the cold shoulder and making them have to act with the side of my face, that was fun for me,” 25-year-old Farmiga said with a smile of acting opposite her co-stars.

Farmiga went on to praise Glover as an “acting legend” and raved about his “distinct vision” for his character Julian, who is the uncle of her character Mary Katherine.

The young actress also said she liked the fact that Passon was loyal to the book the movie is based on, and confessed she has read the novel multiple times.

“What I loved about the original novel is just the tone of it,” she said. “I loved the contradictions, I loved that it had this feeling of something being so twisted and foreboding, yet there’s almost this fairy-tale glaze over it.”

Farmiga cited a specific example from the book that reflects this feeling, saying how Daddario’s character, Mary Katherine’s sister Constance Blackwood, often delivers bad news but in an oddly happy way.

“It wasn’t something that just made sense, you had to go along for the ride,” she added of the story.

Full interview transcript below:

Q: What do you remember most about the shoot?
A: First off, it’s an incredible story with an incredible cast so I was very excited just to get to Ireland, which is a beautiful country and we shot in the Wick Low Mountains. We were all just sort of hole up in this little castle, this little manor, in the middle of Ireland, so we didn’t have anyone but each other. So, when you’re playing kind of a mess-up family, you bond pretty quickly, you have to have these connections. I don’t know if there’s a specific moment where I was like “oh wow, I’m never going to forget this,” but just the experience overall, playing someone who didn’t have any respect for anybody. So, when I’m doing scenes with Sebastian Stan or even Crispin Glover, I don’t look at them in the eye. I don’t talk to them, like I talk to them, but I don’t talk to them. When you have a conversation with someone, you give the time of day, Mary Kat doesn’t do that, so I had a blast kind of just giving them the cold shoulder and making them have to act at the side of my face, that was fun for me.

Q: What was it like working with Crispin and Sebastian?
A: I think everyone was super passionate about the project before we started filming, so when
you work with people who care so much, like Crispin Glover is obviously a legend and an
incredible, incredible actor, but he has such as distinct vision for Uncle Julian. I knew before I
got there, when I heard he was cast, I was thrilled because I was like “oh, this is going to be an
interesting mind with an interesting take on the character, something I’m never going to see
before” and that’s absolutely true. I love that Stacey, the director, always went back to the
book, and that was something Crispin loved. He always had the book with him, when we were
about to film a scene and something didn’t fit right with him, he’s like “I don’t think this…this
doesn’t make sense for Uncle Julian.” I loved how assertive he was and the fact that he took
ownership over the character. He knew Uncle Julian better than anybody, and that’s something
I kind of admired. I feel like I did the same thing with Mary Kat, but when you see someone
who’s older than you and more experience, they paid the way and they tell you tell you it’s
okay, you know better, you know the character you’re taking, you know the character better
than anyone so you don’t have to rely on other people’s opinions if you disagree.
Sebastian’s a fun guy. He’s incredibly talented, just a joyous personality, loves to have fun. It’s
hard to say, you talk about somebody and say just “Oh okay, everyone’s so great, everyone’s so
great,” but genuinely, we all had fun. Everyone was there to play their very distinct character
and it was four very different personalities mixed in a scene, and the chemistry there was just
fun to be a part of.

Q: How much did you rely on the book?
A: I read the script first, and then I went back and I read the book. I read the book multiple times since then. What I loved about the original novel, for me, it was just the tone of it. I love the contradictions. I loved that it had this feeling of something being so twisted and foreboding, yet there’s almost this fairytale glaze over it. I think the best example of that is Alex Daddario when she’s telling you, when Constance is telling you bad news and she’s just telling you it’s fine, everything’s fine, and she’s smiling at you. I love those contradictions, I love the contradictions of Mary Kat, who’s this old soul and this young mind. And for me, it was a mix of the tone and the story to be told that it wasn’t something that just made sense. You had to go along for the ride.

Source: uInterview 1 | 2 | 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *