Martha Marcy May Marlene 

Interview with writer & star

click to enlarge Martha Marcy May Marlene - FOX SEARCHLIGHT

Martha Marcy May Marlene follows a young woman dealing with the aftermath of time spent in a rural cult-like commune. Writer/director Sean Durkin and star Elizabeth Olsen—younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley—spoke to City Weekly by phone.

City Weekly: Elizabeth, you got a lot of attention at Sundance, initially for the curiosity factor of your family connections. Did you feel comfortable being that center of attention?

Elizabeth Olsen: When I decided [to be an actor], I knew it was something I’d have to address: “I didn’t know there was another child in that family!” … But maybe it’s just the way my dad raised us, when I’d hear someone say, “You’re the ‘It Girl’ of Sundance,” I’d think, “Only certain people pay attention to [Sundance] and the rest of the world doesn’t.” I try to get the bigger picture.

CW: There was a different angle here from other films about cults, in that Martha’s family isn’t actually aware she’s been in a cult.

Sean Durkin: I sort of compared it to domestic abuse, and found that people … often can’t confront what’s happening to them. And it’s hard for families to force the issue to get them help. I felt like, in any trauma of this sort, people always are alone at first.

CW: There’s a lot of ambiguity in the ending. How do you shoot a scene so that viewers aren’t entirely sure what a character is thinking?

SD: It was important that Martha was in this survival mode. … But we’d never say, “Okay, in this moment we need your facial expressions to relay this, this and this.” Because it’s too much to think about.

EO: I don’t know if I could answer without a spoiler alert. … For me, it was very important that all the fear was real. When someone is sick, even if it’s just paranoia, for them, it’s real.

>>Audio of full interview with Sean Durkin & Elizabeth Olsen here

Twitter: @ScottRenshaw

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of Film Reviews

More by Scott Renshaw

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Boxer Rebellion

    Hands of Stone can't carve out a distinctive space among boxing biopics.
    • Aug 24, 2016
  • Go Quest, Young Man

    Kubo and the Two Strings celebrates the power of storytelling.
    • Aug 17, 2016
  • Re-Pete Performance

    Pete's Dragon makes for a charming improvement over the original.
    • Aug 10, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

‚Äč

Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep-dive into the way movies portray one half of humanity.
    • May 11, 2016
  • Beasts of One Notion

    Zootopia depends entirely on its well-intentioned allegory about prejudice.
    • Mar 2, 2016

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation