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« Happy Thanksgiving ! | Main | THR Actress Roundtable - Part 1 »

THR Actress Roundtable Final Thoughts

But what she really wants to do is laughSee Part One for the full video and commentary on first half hour

The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable has become an event I impatiently await more than any other non-awards part of the season. It's how I used to feel about Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue before too many dud covers and too many other types of issues using that template. But I digress. Though I am deeply thankful for actresses on every day of the year it IS Thanksgiving so I'm eager to get to the festivities with my family of friends. So just a few quick final notes on each actress before turkey and pie!

Naomi Watts
Her palpable terror about auditions is fascinating when you pause to connect it with the exact moment that essentially made her a star: her persona-switching audition scene in Mulholland Dr. Unlike Anne Hathaway my tendency is not to go pollyanna and I completely don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' as most people are so fond of saying in a soothing way when bad things happen but maybe those years of career trauma were worth it because Mulholland Dr just wouldn't have been so special without her absolute genius in that dual role. (I do not find her amnesia about I ♥ Huckabees amusing. That movie is so great and she is quite funny in it. "Fuckabeeeees!")

Helen Hunt
The Sessions star flips the questioning on to the reporters who completely lie through their teeth 'Yes, we'd ask the men the same questions'  LOL. (I've never heard that 'when were you last victimized?' school of questioning toward male actors that the "when did you feel forced into doing something you didn't want to do?" question belongs to.)

Helen Hunt is a smart one. "would you ask the same question of the men?"

Sally Field

It's cute the way she's so embarrassed about how much she hogs the conversation but if you're a good raconteur, as she is, hog away. I'm desperate to see this spy movie that Anne Hathaway wanted to write for her and how random is that?!

Anne Hathaway & Marion Cotillard
I will think of little else for the next hour than which movies they were talking about when they expressed that they were in over their head and can't even watch it (Anne) and so miserable and in hate with the director that they couldn't perform (Marion)... though I suppose Marion's will be easy enough to figure out given the clues.

Amy Adams
Still looking like she doesn't want to be there in this Part 2. What gives?

Rachel Weisz
The most surprising contender in the roundtable and, quite possibly, the most fun to have a drink with afterwards. I'm really pissed to hear that the studios responded with "no one makes movies like that" about her proposed very solitary Julia Butterfly-Hill movie. Um... Cast Away? 127 Hours?

Let's end with a poll.

Each actress was asked to share a role she really wanted to play or write or make happen somehow. Which of their imagined movies do you most want to see?

"I would like to play a monster. Like the Gollum."


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Reader Comments (40)

The film Marion was talking about is The Last Flight (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234542/), co-starring Guillaume Canet. The director is Karim Dridi.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYonatan

What a great roundtable that was!!! There was talent to spare in that room, and all of them seemed to get along really well. I only wish this HR interviewers made more questions related to their work this year, the roles they are in contention for...I mean, Amy Adams just went on and on about the papps and she has worked for Clint and Paul Thomas Anderson in the last few months.

Anne is quirky and shy I think, but a bit blah for me. Helen Hunt was the most mature and articulate of them all, playing along but also making the guys in the room a bit uncomfortable. Sally Field is sweet and humble, and yes, she can tallk! Naomi Watts didn't say much but I think she gave very good answers, and she's a helluva actress (Yes, I love her, I'm biased haha). Marion I love too, but I think the language is really a problem here. Sometimes she wanted to say things but didn't find the words, so her moments were a bit strange sometimes (I'm sure that if this was in french she would've been much more into it). And finally, the great marvelous classy Rachel Weisz. Isn't she just perfect? OMG. So polite, funny, with that sexy british accent. Nice to know about The Constant Gardener role issues...can't imagine anyone else playing Tesa.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJavier

I bet you Anne is talking about 'Havoc'.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

I wanted to pick all of the choices at the end, but that wasn't an option. More great roles for great actresses please!

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

My final thoughts on each actress:

Naomi - She's an amazing, often underrated actress. She seems very humble. She didn't talk much but she gave solid answers.

Sally - A wonderful woman. Not one of my favorite actresses, but she can deliver. Loved her Lincoln story.

Helen - She stole the interview. Gave great answers and put the interviewers on the spot.

Anne - I love her in movies but I can't stand her anywhere else.

Amy - Get rid of her during these. Keira Knightley, Jennifer Lawrence, Helen Mirren, Helena Bonham Carter, Scarlett Johansson, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, etc... so many others to include in her spot.

Rachel - LOVE. She gave honest answers and had fun with it.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Beau: Havoc is a good guess. I don't think she cares about Bride Wars. ;)


And let me repeat something I said in Part 1: Sally, Helen and Anne are the ones that talk about their potential Oscar nominated roles. And those three are the ones with the best chances. Coincidence?

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Thoroughly agree about Rachel Weisz. So, so hoping and praying she gets a Best Actress nod, especially if it means that horrible child from Beasts of the Southern Boredom gets snubbed.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

my guess for the movie Anne Hathaway was over her head and can even watch it would be Becoming Jane.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

@Victor S: That's totally possible as well! I loathed that film.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

I think the Anne Hathaway movie is One Day. Or maybe because that's just my reaction to that movie and the accent she has in it.

It's funny -- I've never liked Helen Hunt before or during her heyday, but I love her here, so much so that I'm contemplating watching her past performances to see if she's someone I've misjudged. She's really something in this interview.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFlickah

I love Amy Adams as an actress but she's never been what I'd call "endearing" in the majority of her interviews. There's always a reservedness about her that sometimes comes across as...um...bitchy (for lack of a better word). But she can make it disappear so effortlessly when she's in character that I don't really mind.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Can I say it again? That I love Rachel Weisz?

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I always felt Helen was unfairly maligned for her Oscar win, I loved that performance in As Good As It Gets

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

Really wished Keira Knightley had been here instead of Amy Adams. I love Adams but she was in the Roundtable 2 years ago. (Give Keira a chance! I think the quality of her performances range, but when she shines, she really shines: loved her in "Pride and Prejudice" and thought she was fabulous in "Anna Karenina").

Helen Hunt REALLY took me by surprise. I can see why she was so smart and clever in "The Sessions" now.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Also, isn't it funny that Rachel Weisz mentions how she hounded the director for the role in "The Constant Gardner," when Naomi Watts also auditioned for that role? AWKWARD......

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I do not find her amnesia about I ♥ Huckabees amusing. That movie is so great and she is quite funny in it. "Fuckabeeeees!"

Recall how the behind-the-scenes of that movie went! Voluntary amnesia likely.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Not surprised at all for Rachel Weisz to be there in that round table. She was amazing in " The Deep Blue Sea".

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

I cannot stand that British dude...he always has a way of tying the questions back to himself. So annoying.

I agree with everyone about Amy Adams, she's always invited to the party and rarely offers anything of substance. I wish Jennifer Lawrence could've taken her place.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I heard Naomi Watts audition for The Constant Gardener was amazing and she was Fernando Meirelles first choice for the role, but she chose to do King Kong instead and Rachel got the part.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

Naomi Watts never auditioned for The Constant Gardener and anybody who said she did is lying though their teeth. She was on the director's short list but that's it. She was working on King Kong so she never had even a chance to talk with the director.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Rachel Weisz is just so vibrant and joyous and absurd and British (despite her hounding of Meirelles), I do absolutely adore her. And I say this every time I mention her but how is she 42?! She could pass for 25.

There are far too many appealing options in that poll but I had to go for Celia Weston. Glad Amy is still on that. Hope she can make it happen.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The best: Rachel Weisz. She was informative, down to earth and very funny. I also believe that her acting in deep blue sea was the best performance of the year.

The worst: Amy Adams. She was annoying as hell and a real spoiled brat. She almost derailed the conversation with her ego trip.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

As I was watching, I couldn't help wondering what Quvenzhané Wallis would've contributed to the conversation.

November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Alex -- ha. that is so funny. I thought that too. But having interviewed her I think her attention might have wandered sitting in that room for an hour while other people talked.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Rachel was amazing! I would love to have that drink with her :D She is so classy that I'd root for her any given day.
I don't know why Amy looks so cold and as much as I love her as an actress I plead not to have her at another roundtable in the several years to come.
I had fun with Helen and Sally. They were down to earth which was really pleasant.
Naomi was a little stiff and Anne was a little childish (I am starting to think that she is always like this)
I love, love Marion. She is so graceful and elegant. Too bad they didnt speak in French because I am sure that she has way more to say.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B.

Helen - This interview totally changed my viewpoint of her. Loved her here and I, too, have reconsidered my thoughts on her winning best actress for As Good As It gets. She's obviously a smart and measured actress. Pleasantly surprised.

Sally - She dominated the conversation by not being able to string a sentence together. Why does she always get so flustered when she talks??? We could have had 15 minutes of interesting views from the others if she GOT TO THE POINT. I liked her Lincoln story though.

Naomi - total sweetie. Doesn't seem to be diva-like at all. A real pleasure to watch and listen to. She seemed honest and open, but still reserved and shy.

Anne - God, so dull and boring, and always saying what she thinks needs to be said to maintain her "sweet girl" image. Total bore. I wish she was more like her character in Rachel Getting Married.

Amy - I agree with everyone else. She must have one very pushy publicist who manages to get her on these things. I would have loved to have seen Keira Knightley in her spot, on that couch. She would have fitted in really well with this group. Amy was so negative and really the odd one out.

Marion - TOTAL CLASS. She struggled with things to say at times but who cares. Such a joy watching and listening to this complete beauty!!

Rachel - Again, watching her here totally altered my perception. What a fun, down to earth, interesting actress. And really the most beautiful out of the whole group.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Rachel is a goddess!!! So smart, beautiful, articulate, eloquent, inteligent, interesting and elegant.

Helen was a pleasant surprise. So interesting and deep and opinionated.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I will say, although I loved Helen trying to suss out what questions the men get asked the THR questions for the drama actors last year began with that very same "when were you most scared/embarrassed" during your career question. Her questioning was a fair point to ask, though, but I have to give the THR editors credit in that respect.

(Also, I REALLY didn't like that Rachel, Marion, Naomi didn't talk about their actual films. Shame Amy seems getting roped into these things when she doesn't seem to much enjoy them.)

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Amy Adams is unfathomably petulant. Some gems from her THR past:


Counterpoint, by Helena Bonham Carter: "You can wear whatever the fuck you want if you grow some balls."

Point: "I couldn't go to that emotionally dark place for...wait for it...the Elizabeth Banks part in People Like Us (LAWL) because I just had a baby."
Counterpoint: Dirty look from Nicole Kidman and the story about doing Rabbit Hole with a newborn baby at home.

Counterpoint, from Helen Hunt: "Why the FUCK are we talking about this right now?" Dirty looks all around.
Counter-counterpoint: "Well my baby trumps all of you ladies anyway (so excuuuuuuse me."

Such a petulant, ill-at-ease, nervous little Midwestern mommy has every right to care about these things but really shouldn't do interviews like this if she's going to bring down the level of conversation for everyone. Such a miserable, annoying wet blanket.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

I'm always seeing Helen and Marion as the two women who robbed Julie Christie of her Oscars. Just can't help it.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I must admit I usually never care for interviews, actually I never watched a THR roundtable before, and I was really surprise, now I kind of understand how the academy or golden globes votes, being a person who only judges films an performances without any other factor, I'm angry year after year of some decisions but now I get it.

Naomi Watts
Before: she's such an amazing and underrated actress, hope she gets her due some day.
Now: Now her performance in Mulholland Dr. is just EPIC knowing her bad experiences and her terror for auditions and I just want to kick the ass of the sleeping director in her audition. Hope she is awesome in The Impossible because I wanna put her in my ballot, but I don't worry always is Diana the next year.

Helen Hunt
Before: I really don't give a damn about & find her winning kind of absurd.
Now: What a down to earth badass woman! wow she's so smart, her reaction, her answers, when she says 'i want to know how this women do what they do''. She's now in my ballot no matter what, hope she is great cause I want her giving a speech.

Sally Field
Before: oh this lady...
Now: Was a delight listening every word she said, her Lincoln audition, her youth experiences. But just if not enough women blow me away, you're in Sally Field

Anne Hathaway
Before: I LOVE HER, she deserved an oscar for Rachel Getting Married, hope she wins for Les Miserables, I really love her in everything she does.
Now: Until now, what a random & kinda stupid answers, she was along Amy Adams the only one who I learned nothing, I don't want her winning an oscar now, go Helen hunt!

Marion Cotillard
Before & After: CUTE - CLASSY - GODDESS. She is AMAZING in Rust & Bone so this interview only helps.

Amy Adams
Before: Such a nice and lovely actress, very contained but incredible performances.
After: LOL she's so annoying!! but I don't mind she's great in The Master.

Rachel Weisz
Before: She's good but not as great as some of the others ladies in the room, I don't really get the fuzz about The Deep Blue Sea either.
Now: THE MOST SURPRISING OF THEM, everything she said was relevant, she's funny, she's classy, smart, is the one i want to hang out the most so she's in my ballot even if I didn't like her movie.

I didn't vote cause except the anne's and sally's projects I would die to see every of them!!

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChecko

Seen most of the films these actreses are up for.

The best performance belong to Rachel Weisz for " The Deep Blue Sea", which is the most daring performance of the group . She also was the most lovely, fun, and down to earth of The women on the video.

The second best performance of the group of women belong to Marion Cotillard, whose performance was the only highlight in my opinion for "Rust and Bone" She came across as the most shy of the women on the video.

The most overrated performance in that group belong to Naomi Watts, whose performance in "The Impossible" is decent but not great. More hype than substance with her role and the best performance in her film belongs to the actor who plays her son and is really the main focus of the film. She was delightful and funny in that video but a bit too shy in some points.

The worst performance belong to Amy Adams, who I really did not care for in the movie "The Master". She also came across as a snob and inconsiterate to her fellow actreses in that video. They should never bring her back to do these things.

Just my two cents:)

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

I also CANT STAND those "poor me" speeches from over payed, overpampered, spoiled uber rich celebrities. If you want to live a more low key, under the radar life, you can do it. Naomi and Rachel both do it. Michelle Williams does it. Anne Hathaway, on the other hand, like other celebrities, seem to love fame and being a celebrity. If it wasnt the case, she wouldnt always be on magazine covers, talk shows and websites. She is one of the most overexposed actresses out there, as she could do it all diferently it she chose to.

And money is not important Marion? Easy to say so when you are payed millions for a couple of months work, has more money than you will be able to spend in your lifetime and is handed huge amounts of free clothes, jewlery and all sorts of stuff.

At the end of the day, these people are entertainers. They Make believe for a living. There are PHD's, professors, scientists, doctors, teachers, who will never Make in a lifetime what these people Make in two months. There are those who risk their lives daily, like cops and firemen who will have to struggle in their retirement while those people Make millions and millions out of movies.

Those are actors. They are treated and worshiped like
Gods. They are not doctors without borders, are not curing cancer, solving world hunger or the Gaza situation. So enough with the "poor me" speeches.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I wanted to add something to the conversation, but all I can do is look at Weisz's ridiculously perfect face. Aren't she and Craig at their peak of their beauty since they started being together?

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I though Rachel Weisz and Helen Hunt were the best but I just hated Amy Adams. I lost all respect for her as a person.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

Yes Iggy Rachel is otherworldly beautiful. A knockout.

November 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

The best at that round table were Rachel Weisz, Sally Field, Ann Hathaway, and Hellen Hunt. Each of them gave an honest look into their proffestions and lives. The rest of them really did not add anything other than give a pitty party and complain.

And yes, keep Amy Adams away from these things for now on. She adds nothing to these things other than make herself look foolish.

November 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

Not that I disagree but- these must be the worst reviews Amy Adams ever got.

November 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYonatan

That was highly enjoyable with a chance to get a good glimpse at several actresses you rarely see interviewed.

I adore Sally Field! Yes she's chatty but then she has 50 years of stories to share and she does that well. I'm Team Sally all the way for that 3rd Oscar.

Helen Hunt is someone I liked much better when she was younger as she aged an annoying self awareness crept into her work. I loathed As Good As It Gets and all the performances in it. She does come off here as smart and articulate but I still find her work too studied.

I've never been a fan of Naomi Watts, she is always adequate but with the exception of The Painted Veil where I found her quite moving I find nothing exceptional about her. She does seem charming here.

Marion Cotillard did seem to be struggling with the language situation but carried herself well. I think she was talking in the larger context of the corruption that money has on world decisions and I can't fault her for availing herself of the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines with Dior as Sally said she has a family to provide for and the best is not always on offer.

I think this is the first time I've ever seen Amy Adams interviewed beyond a red carpet appearance and I found it sad that she seems so surly and uninterested in others. I enjoy her work but think I'll steer clear of seeing her interview again. However I do agree that there should be some sort of protection for the family, especially children, of the famous. Unfortunately I think someone is going to have to be seriously hurt or killed before any action is taken. A few years ago those reporters forced Reese Witherspoon and her kids off the road risking life and limb and still nothing is in place to distance the jackals. It will take a Rebecca Schaeffer size tragedy for anything effective to be done.

Anne Hathaway is one of those actresses which neither gets me to the theatre or keeps me away. She seems cheery which is fine but comes close to sickly sweet, the Pollyanna statement was too precious and that hideously busy sack that she was wearing made me dizzy.

Finally I fell totally in love with Rachel Weisz! Ever since the Mummy I thought she was an enchanting presence but have rarely seen her. The few movies of hers I have seen have never been particularly my cup of tea but she was always fine in them, she is exceptional in The Deep Blue Sea even though I didn't like the film overall. Loved her in Constant Gardner although I thought her win was category fraud, she was clearly the lead female and the one whose story made the picture go. I also agree that she would probably be the one of the most fun to have a drink with after, Sally would be the other.

November 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

@Victor S

I really don't think Naomi was considered for this role at all. After Rachel's comments I was perusing Meirelles' Production Diaries for the movie, and the only actress he mentions loving as much as Rachel was Eva Green.

He mentions other important names that were on the table or that he talked to, like Winslet and Portman, but never Watts.

November 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthais

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