Compiled by: Jack Foley
NATASCHA McElhone has previously starred alongside the likes
of Jim Carrey (in The Truman Show), Brad Pitt (The Devil's Own)
and Anthony Hopkins (Surviving Picasso); now she is appearing
with the 'dream' partnership of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.
At the London press conference for Solaris, she told Indielondon
what it was like working with them...
Q. Perhaps you can take us through the process that you went
through to persuade these gentlemen that you should be their leading
A. I did the normal routes really. George was shooting Confessions
of a Dangerous Mind in Canada and Steven was there as well and
I went to meet them both, which was great. George very kindly
got his assistant to call me when I arrived and told me to come
down to the set, which, of course, I was 'no, no, no, you're shooting
a movie, that's fine, I'll be in and out'.
But he insisted and so I came and met him and he explained that
it is always awful meeting someone for the first time and playing
a scene with them; so it kind of took the edge off the whole thing.
It was unbelievably kind, generous and insightful of him.
Q. What was it like working with them on-set?
A. It was great and actually really inclusive. I guess the sort
of presumption would be that because they work together and have
a production company together, it would be that team and everyone
else, but it's not like that at all. They were very generous and
inclusive; I never felt like the outsider.
Also, they really bounce off of one another, so to speak, like
last night at The Guardian Q&A, they just compliment
one another's stories. They're completely different people...
There's just this sort of very relaxing environment that Steven
creates on a film set, however nervous that Steven says that he
is, in hindsight, at the time, you're really not aware of that.
And George as well, he's always sort of fooling around and making
everyone laugh and putting everyone before himself, which is quite
un-actorly. What can I say? I can only get mushy and embarrassing...
Q. What are your belief systems?
A. I'm not religious; I was as a child, but I also feel that organised
religion causes far more problems than it has solved. In terms
of Solaris, I didn't really think about the religious aspects
an awful lot. I mean, there's one scene where there's a dinner
party and it's discussed, but it wasn't an overwhelming theme
for me in the movie.
Q. Have you ever experienced the type of love like the one
depicted in the movie?
A: That's a very destructive love, for the woman in the movie
anyway. Her whole identity was kind of based upon, you know, she
fell apart because she didn't have the love of this man. So, no,
I haven't experienced that.
The same question was asked of Soderbergh, who replied:
As Natascha was saying, have I ever experienced the kind of love
that would lead me to that kind of self-destructive act, were
it to not be reciprocated, no, I don't think so. But I guess I
define it by meaning it being when you place somebody in front
of yourself, when you place somebody else's feelings and wellbeing
in front of your own, and I've been fortunate to have that happen,
I hope everybody's had that...