A chat with mom role play
Soni took the part a day before shooting, after the original actor dropped out because of a conflict; Jagannathan came in the day of to fit his casting.
But ask Metcalf to recall the last time she stepped before a camera on a movie set and it takes a minute.“I don’t even know,” she said during a recent chat with Vanity Fair. It has to have been decades.” (For the record, her last movie part was in 2008’s little-seen war drama which opens in theaters today in New York and Los Angeles, is garnering the kind of attention that will require her to wear several gowns this time of year.“I become instantly a little more uptight, a little more self-aware, and I don’t feel free. But in all these years, even after all the hundreds of tapings of shows, I’m way too nervous for my own good.”That self-doubt is never apparent on the screen in Lady Bird, where she takes on the well-worn role of the judgmental, puckered-lip mother constantly at war with her independent-minded 17-year-old daughter.She does it without a lick of familiarity, imbuing the part with nuance and layers that belie its shrill surface.To pull it off, Jagannathan told Vulture by email, she channeled her own, super-sweet mom, as well as her split attitude toward her 11-year-old son. I’m like, “You don’t even try.” How did you get cast for this role? She was brought in that morning, or a few hours before. At the time, I was on a show on Starz, and I was a series regular.
When he talks, “There’s a part of you that is in wonder and amazement and so much love, and then there’s a part that’s totally bored and needs to just reach for the wine.” Both actors were born in India — Soni in New Delhi to a middle-class family, while Jagannathan is the daughter of a diplomat. I think a lot of white people can’t tell, or at least they’ll act very surprised. It’s happened to me and to people I know, that white people think we have an accent even though we don’t. I can always tell when Indian people are born in America. It was an unusual casting situation because I got the job the day before we had to start filming, like less than 24 hours before.
The Los Angeles Times calls her performance, as Saoirse Ronan’s exasperated mom, Marion, “extraordinary.” critic Richard Lawson refers to her as “the great genius.” And Oscar prognosticators have her front-running the best-supporting-actress category.