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Emile Hirsch

Emile Hirsch: “That’s why I am the way I am”

March 3, 2021
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Mr. Hirsch, has the way you choose your film roles changed as you’ve gotten older?

The thing is that, as actors, we have so little control over what we’re offered. If no one offers you movies, then you can't do a movie. So, you get sent these scripts, but you have only so much control over what options you even have. So, to narrow your idea of what you want to do, it's tricky because you can end up setting yourself up to not doing anything. So for me, scripts come in, and I read them, and if I think it’s cool, I’ll do it. It’s whatever I want to do in the moment. One thing I’ve noticed is that I like to work more!

What do you mean?

When I was younger, I would only want to sign onto one movie at a time, and the movies that I did were separated by like big time periods. But I noticed the older I get, I like having a busy schedule a lot more than I used to. Now I'll sign on to two or three movies in a row. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the hectic nature of going back and forth. Sometimes I have just one day off between films. Recently I wrapped on a Saturday, flew on a Sunday, landed, went to fitting that day… 25 year old me would have thought that was absolutely unimaginable — but actually I've grown to like it. And not only do I like it, but I feel like it keeps me more relaxed.

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Last week’s Interview
Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo: “Acting has given me a purpose”

February 24, 2021
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Ms. Leo, what does it mean to disappear into a role?

You are taking a character that somebody else has drawn, and the things of oneself that are close to the character, you allow to shine, and the rest you replace with this character… The way you dress, the way you talk, the way you walk. It’s the marriage of the character and the actor playing them. I will always be there at the core, I might shift aspects of Melissa's soul to play the character. But Melissa is still present.

You once described this as asking the director to hold your soul while you become this character for them.

Right, so, say I'm playing somebody in I'm Dying Up Here. And what the showrunners wanted from me was to be a very, very harsh woman, right? And anybody who actually knows me knows I am far from a harsh woman, I keep to myself and let you do what you do, and I do what I do until it comes to work. But while I'm playing that role, I’m bringing up my unhappiness with the world, my unhappiness with the way people are doing things — that’s me allowing the character to take over. But for the actor to feel that they would completely disappear themselves would be ridiculous!