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Actors on Actors: Saoirse Ronan and Kristen Wiig (Full Video)


(upbeat music) (laughing) – How are you? – I am, nice boots. – Thanks. Okay, I, I love Lady Bird so much. I’ve also been obsessed with Greta Gerwig for a very long time. I was so excited to see this movie. You are amazing in it. Brilliant, I like was
in love with you before, but I really, really,
really love this movie. And yeah, I would love to
know how you got involved. – That’s a great question. – Thanks, I thought about it by myself. – A few minutes ago? – Mhmm. – Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. – I loved it. – I got involved in Lady
Bird about two years ago now. So I signed onto it about a year before we actually shot it. And I was the same, I was a
huge fan of Greta Gerwig’s and the first time I had seen Francis Ha, I had just moved to London,
was living on my own, had my best friend come over
and we watched it together and I just completely
fell in love with her. And so when I got the script I was, even before I read it
I knew it was something that I probably wanted to be involved in. And I read it and then
we Skyped and we had, we were just like, I don’t know. You know when you meet those people, you just know you should
definitely work with? – Yes, yes. – And we were really sort
of like giddy straight away and we were sort of like, I have so much that I wanna say to you,
so much I wanna say to you. And so it was this instant thing. And then we met at Tiff
a few months after that and we read through the whole script. We spent like two and a
half hours just reading through the whole script
next to each other. And she read all the other
roles, and I read Lady Bird. And it was one of those things,
I don’t know if you have it, but when you’re essentially
auditioning for something and you’re trying to read
the other person’s face, I was sort of like, is she into it? Does she like it? I didn’t know, so I really
didn’t know how it had all gone. And then a few days
later they got in touch and they said that they
wanted me to do it. – [Kristen] That’s so cool. – So it was great because
we had so much time to actually get to know
each other at that stage. – Which helps because
sometimes when you’re reading it can be, like you said, you do feel like every word, it’s still
sort of like an audition. – Yeah and when it’s one scene
as well, you’re sort of like well this is it. It if I don’t get this
right, I’ve screwed it all. – You look amazing. What the hell is in the duffle bag? – Don’t worry about it, geez. – My grandmother will love that dress. – Okay. I’ve watched Downsizing, which I love. Alexandra always comes up
with these incredible ideas and stuff. How did you get involved
in that and how did you get involved in Mother!. – I met with Alexander a long time ago. Like I wanna say, a year
plus before he even started shooting and I wasn’t even quite sure what the project was, but I was
already like, yes I’ll do it. I’m just such a huge fan. I think he’s you know, one
of the best film makers of our time and I love all of his films. And that was the same sort of thing. I met him and we had
tea and then you leave and you’re like, why did I say that? You know, because I was
kind of nervous to meet him and I wasn’t really sure
what the project was and it felt just sort of
like a general meeting. And then I hadn’t heard
anything for a long time and I guess a few months
before we started shooting I met with him again and I– – And you knew what the
project was at that stage? – Well I read the, yeah I read the script. – Oh you still didn’t know? – No, no, no, no, I had read
the script at that point and when I read it, I was
like, I mean you know, it’s so rare to read something like that and seeing the movie, you
can imagine the script. And I was just like, I’ve
never read anything like this in my life and how are they gonna do it and I knew Matt was doing it
so I’d already pictured him. And he’s so great and yeah I
really didn’t have to like, I didn’t do a lot of thinking about if I was gonna do it or not. – When he writes, because his worlds, like even with things like
Sideways and things like that as well, they sort of
feel separate almost. Like this other thing. It’s very real, but in
other ways, I don’t know, it’s got like this unusual
kind of quality to it. Does it feel like that when he’s writing. Is he really descriptive when he writes? – Yeah and there’s definitely
a rhythm to his writing and it’s, you don’t mess with it. You respect the commas and the periods, and the the’s and the
and’s because you know that they’re there for a reason and it always feels better when you say it the way that he’s written it. And this one’s so different
from him because it’s sort of sci-fi future, not just
a story about something that happens in a small town or something. – You could also kind of see it happen. Like when I was watching
it I sort of thought, this could happen. I mean, it kind of makes sense
for a certain amount of time. – Yeah. – Until it takes that turn. And even like with her decision not to go, I think it’s really important
that you’ve got that. Oh wait, is that a spoiler? Maybe. I don’t know, just her
thought process I guess and the way she’s sort of
reasoning with whether it’s the right thing to do.
– You kind of understand. – Like you can totally
understand how somebody would have that questioning. – Yeah because when I read it I was like, she’s doing such a horrible
thing and I knew the audience was gonna just hate my character
and it was important to me to find some likability. You wanted to know why Matt’s character was married to her and
there had to be a sadness when it was over, but also
you wanted him to move on and find something else. So it was kind of tricky to,
it was a little bit of a dance to try to portray that relationship. – [Woman] You will undergo
the permanent and irreversible medical procedure commonly
known as downsizing. And that following the
procedure, your bodies will be approximately .0364% of their
current mass and volume. – Yup. – Do you find that you’re
drawn towards characters that are, say a little bit
more unlikeable on the page or flawed or something like
that because then it gives you a bit of work to do? – I definitely think
flawed characters are more interesting to me and just how–
– More real. – Yeah and how I play them
and how people play off you and just in any situation. You just kind of know when
you’re reading a script. You just like, for me I know so soon. Like page three, I’m like,
I can kind of just tell I’m already into it. – You can tell as well, I
don’t know if you do this, but I start to actually
say the lines out loud and I start to actually
imagine that I’m that person like as soon as I’m reading it. And I think because it
is one of those things that you can over complicate
it and you can say, well it’s good for my career
or it’s good for this or that, but it is just sort of like
this gut instinct that you have. – You feel it, yeah. – It’s a connection you have to something. – Yeah and it goes the other way too. There could be an amazing
opportunity or something that everyone’s, you have to do this thing and you’re like, I don’t know, I’m not, I am not feeling it. – I found that with Lady Bird, I knew I was connected to her, but I hadn’t figured her out yet. So like, she– – It’s hard to figure out. – She’s hard to figure
out and actually through the whole shoot, I sort of
spent a lot of my time going, who is this girl? From one scene to the
next, she’s a showman and then she’s you know– – [Kristen] Like insecure. – Riddled with like self-doubt
and insecure and all that. And then the next minute,
she’s really confident and feels like she can do
anything and go up to the guy in the supermarket that
she likes and just go, hey I’m Lady Bird. And I really admire her
for that, but it was, because she’s so different
from moment to moment, it was, you’re kind of
like shifting your idea of who this person is. And I realized afterwards,
I just finished the job and I really wanted it
to be great for Greta, just because she’s put so much of her heart and soul into it, like you can tell. And I would say to my mama, like months and months afterwards, God you know, I don’t
know if I did her justice and I don’t know if it was good enough. And I hope I don’t ruin
it because everything, it was like Alexander Paines’
script for you, I’m sure. You read it and the pace of it was there and the story was strong
and every character was so well rounded and I
didn’t wanna let that down in any way. And she said to me, you
know, I think the fact that you you’ve got this
uncertainty about it is probably the best
thing when you’re playing a 17 year old girl who’s
about to leave home for the first time. And it’s funny how like, it
can come from another place, your connection to it. It’s not intellectual at all, you know. It’s not like thought out or anything. I wanna go where culture is like New York. – How in the world did
I raise such a snob? – Or at least Connecticut or New Hampshire where writers live in the woods. – You couldn’t get into
those schools anyway. – How did you get involved in Mother!. – Well it’s not exciting of a story. I think they told me that
he wanted me to do this part and I’m, Darren is just like, he’s such an amazing story
teller, artist, visual genius. That was another one
when I read the script, I was like, what? It was so unlike anything I have ever read and I’m sure you know. You get sent things and a lot of them can be very similar,
especially female roles. And you know, it was just
this sort of quick part where I came in and out, but
the script was so interesting. I had always wanted to
work with Darren Aronofsky and Jenn Lawrence and
yeah it was just like, it was just kind of an amazing time. I felt really lucky to be in it. I wish you would’ve told
me about this turn out. – Have you met my– – There she is. The inspiration. All right, I have to be
honest, I was a little worried about him being holed up here with you. I was nervous you’d never write again. – [Man] Of course not. – Have you found it tricky, I suppose or like it’s a bit of a
– Yes, no. – Yes. – I didn’t know what you were going ask. – No do you think it’s
a bit of a hunt still to find just great roles in general. I mean yes, obviously for
women, but I think even just all around. I think like, I know I
went through a stage, well we still do, but when I was about 18, it was such a weird, it
was like an in between age and I remember only being
handed scripts that either had the coming of age girl or the older sister or the girlfriend or something like that. And it really, when you
find something great like those projects and
like I did with Lady Bird, it’s sort of, it’s so precious to you. But it does seem like
it’s hard to come by. – It is, especially with comedy. Comedy scripts I find,
especially for women, you know, and it’s funny too like
when you do something and then you become known for one thing. That’s all you just keep kind of getting. And I’m like, but wait,
I already did that. Like I remember after I did Knocked Up which was one of the
first things I had done, I kept getting these scripts to play these bitchy business women and I’m like, wait I wanna do something else. I just did that in that movie. – Do you write then? Do you think you’d like,
is that something you, I mean obviously you write, but I mean, is that something that
you thought more about like if the parts aren’t coming to me, I’m just gonna write my own? – I do feel like with comedy it’s very helpful to
write in your own voice. And also the parts. I mean, female parts are, you
know, they’re hard to come by and a lot of time in
comedies you’re the wife that’s like, where are you going? Get back here and that’s not that funny. – You’re late. – Exactly. So I do hope that changes now that they’re hopefully allowing more
women to come into the fold as far as writers and things like that, but we still have a long ways to go. – You know like, you
have helped that so much. Like I think over the
last years you, Tina Fey, Amy Peohler, like I
always say having grown up doing drama, it’s the women
in comedy that I feel like have done such great
work, especially like you, in the last few years. And honestly I think
that that’s sort of like, you know, crossed over into dramatic film. And I think because you
guys have done so well and like, Lena Dunham, people like that, you’re making your own
stuff, you’ve got your own shows or movies and the
success is down to you guys and I think that’s made people notice and it’s made people kind of
go, okay maybe I can do that too and maybe we can do that in movie too because I’ve definitely
seen since I started, that there’s been a shift
in the type of roles that you get offered as a dramatic actor. And I do think it’s
because of women in comedy. – Oh that’s in interesting point. Thank you for saying that. – 225,000 chance that the
procedure could result in injury, permanent disability, or death. – Yes. – Yes. – So Kristen. – Yes. (laughing) – Quick question for you. I was just wondering, also
I’m sure you know by now because anyone who knows both
of us has probably told you, Bridesmaids is my favorite
film in the whole wide world and I quote it daily. Literally daily. And I remember watching
that and I had never seen anything like it and it’s
still the film that I mean, it’s like one of the films
I’ve actually bought on Itunes because I wanna watch it all time. – Thank you, that means so much to me. – But it’s the best. And it’s the best because
you’re also fuckin’ funny in it, but also it’s about friendship. And Chris O’Dowd is
lovely and charming in it, but it’s very much about
you and your best mate and all these other girls and how, the dynamic of that and stuff. And then to work with some of
them again on Ghostbusters, how was that to work with
so many chicks on the set? – It’s, I mean, you can’t beat it. I mean, that’s why when
Annie and I wrote the movie even from the conception
of it, we were like, we know so many funny women and why can’t. And it’s funny how like
it was a little bit of a, we had sort of like to explain that having a movie about female friendship is enough. And I know guys have their
friends and they mean a lot to them, but there’s something about female friendships and
that family we create and those are the people we turn to and there’s just like, that’s your crew. And things happen with
different friendships. And we grow because of them and we– – If you’re growing, you’re changing. – Yeah, exactly. And you know, we just
learn about ourselves. And we learn about boundaries
and I just feel like my friends have taught me everything. I think having a movie
just about those dynamics is interesting to a lot of women. – It’s interesting to watch. It’s great to watch. – And I’m not saying that
our movie is interesting. I wasn’t saying it like that. – No, but it is. But it’s that whole idea. It was even great for us to get to do that in Lady Bird as well. Like yes, there’s two lovely boys
– Their friendship, oh my god. – But the friendship is the
thing and her relationship with her mother.
– I know, I loved watching you guys, yeah. – And to see, Greta always says, Greta Gerwig always
says that to see myself and Beans, Beanie
Feldstein who plays Julie. – [Kristen] She’s amazing. – She’s amazing and she’s hilarious and we’re just in the back
of the church eating wafers and we’re making each other laugh. – I know, I mean I was
in from the beginning. Again, I just love the movie so much. But when you guys have
your feet up on the lockers and you guys are laughing,
I was like, okay. – They’re not consecrated. – Oh my god, it’s so good. Just to see that dynamic
of two young girls just laughing and having a casual non-writteny conversation. – Well that’s it as well. And knowing that that can be entertaining, that is actually really
interesting to watch. – Yeah because we see guys
do it all the time, yeah. – Yeah and it’s also great to watch. It’s just great to see two people get a kick out of each other. I wish there was more of this, but parents and their children
especially around that age and how complicated that
whole dynamic can be. – Your relationship with you mom– – [Saoirse] Laurie. – She’s so amazing. – Isn’t she amazing? – [Kristen] Yeah, she’s great. – Laurie Metcalf, Laurie
Metcalf for the record. – I know that you started in this business at a very young age. Have you, I mean
obviously your perspective and your perception of
what this business is has changed a lot. How do you feel like
you keep yourself sane in this crazy business? – What it boils down to
is my mom is the best. – Oh that’s really sweet. – My mom’s the best and
she’s always been with me up until I was 18 she came away with me and she was my chaperone. And it’s funny going to
all these parties now with the minute and the
events and things like that. It feels like it’s all sort of
happening for the first time because I really wasn’t a part of all that when I was a kid. I do think there’s also just
more pressure put on kids now. I don’t know if it’s just me,
but I do think there’s more pressure put on kids who are
actors or in the public eye to be on social media
and promote themselves. And none of that was around
even when I was a kid. But I think I was fiercely
protected by my mom and my dad. And I think it’s also
helped not being in L.A. I think you can come here
if you know yourself, you’ve got your friends, you’ve
got your group of people, but I think it’s very important
for me to just personally just sort of physically have
separation from this world. So it means that when I’m not doing this, I’m very much somewhere else in every way. And it just means that you
grow up having the right sort of priorities like great friends, great female friendships. Like my best friends and
my mom and the people, and also the people that I work with. That’s what’s important to me. So I think it makes it easier
then when you’re doing press and you’re doing weird stuff like this. It kind of helps you to
go, oh okay I know what the real world is
because I’m a part of it. And I think that, I don’t know
if you’ve found that as well. If it’s been important for you to like– – Very similar. – Take time for yourself. – And go away. – Go away, yeah. – And really truly unplug and take breaks. I didn’t do that for such a long time. Being on SNL for most of
the year and then I would shoot in the summer and
then on those few weeks off, then I would be doing press for the things that have come out. I didn’t re– because that’s like
when and where I started so I didn’t know that was not normal. And I remember actually
talking to Bean’s brother, to Jonah Hill, and I was
saying that I was finally gonna take a break. And he was like, oh how long are you? And I was like yeah, I don’t
think, like for two weeks. I’m just like, I’m not doing anything. – Such a long time. – He’s like no, you have to
take like two months off. You have to like go away. And I had not taken, I don’t
think I had taken a week off in I mean, I wanna say
like 10 years or something. – What? – It was crazy. – Because I was thinking about
the SNL cast the other day and I was like, you’re
writing during the week, you’re doing the sketches on Saturday. Then you go back in on– – Monday. – The Monday, right? I remember reading Amy’s
book, Amy Poehler’s book about SLN and she’s
like, people would just get us McDonald’s and
we’d just like eat crap and keep writing and working
till the early hours like that. That must have been, it
must, was it weird then when you finally stopped? I’m sure it must have been so sad. But was it weird to kind of go like, oh this is the real world? – Yeah, it was like someone
took an IV out of my arm and I was like, I just felt like I was breathing different air. Because you’re just, you’re in this world and you’re with the same people and– – Right, you’re in your bubble. – 30 Rock, you’re just like,
you just live in the building. And even on the weeks off,
you’re still hanging out with each other in New York. And then yeah, when it was
over, I definitely went through a period where I was like, who am I? Lost in the streets with my bag. – Do you think then, that’s
actually made you more likely to take breaks because you know the effect it can have when you just keep going? – And also when you don’t
re-fuel you end up doing things like this and then crying in the bathroom. – Right. – Do you know what I mean? – Who am I? – Who am I? – Who am I? – Exactly, yeah. You have to and you’re
not gonna do a good job and you’re not gonna feel centered. – You can’t do your best work. – You can’t. So I did learn that lesson the hard way, but now I know how to take breaks. – You know, it’s great
to have this perspective on what we do in the
industry and then real life and all that sort of stuff. But even still, it’s unpredictable. It messes with your head. You don’t know how long
you’re gonna be working for. All that sort of, like
it’s a very unstable sort of environment. And when it’s good, it’s
good, but have you found in the times when it’s not so good, how have you dealt with the
disappointment, I suppose, and the unpredictability of
the nature of this business? – I kind of like the
unpredictability-ness of it. Again, with SNL and was
there for like seven years, I didn’t really worry about
what I was gonna be doing because I had a job. And afterwards I had a few
things lined up and stuff. I don’t know, I haven’t
really worried about the next thing coming. And that doesn’t come from
like, oh I know something will. I don’t know, I just have
always had that outlook that like things will come. Because all of the things
that I feel like have been the best things in my life
have come out of the blue so I kind of feel like why
plan and expect things. I know something will
happen whether it’s a break or something fun. – And it’s right for that time. – Yeah. And also I try not to be
too involved with like internet, social media stuff. I’m not on social media. And even when films come
out, I don’t read anything. It’s just not, I don’t. – You don’t need to, really. – You don’t need to because I feel like the experience of the film is what you’re gonna remember anyway and if
you go down that rabbit hole, you’ll look back on things you’ve done and you’ll remember the bad reviews. You won’t even remember the three months of fun that you had shooting it. – And it’s also, it becomes
very superficial then. Like whenever I work and I
don’t look at the monitor. I don’t look at a cot, I really don’t like looking at films that I’m in. Lady Bird was the first
time I actually was like, yeah it’s good. I had to say it because it’s that great, but like, I’ve just found, and it’s funny because people
can make you feel guilty about it as well for not wanting to enjoy watching yourself on a massive screen. It’s like really, but that’s not normal. And I just feel like
if that’s a part of why you’re doing it, the
image or the way it looks or even to be honest,
how other people perceive or react to it, for me, I
just think I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. – Yeah and you become so self aware. I have said this before. When I was on SNL, I
never watched the show. I never watched the show
from the moment is started until the moment I stopped
because I didn’t wanna be aware of what I look like. And like if I looked in
a mirror before I started talking to you, I would know
what you were looking at and I think I would be
more aware of what– – This is my face. – Does that make sense? You know what mean? And now I have no idea
– no, no, no, absolutely. – And I won’t watch this. – You look great. You look fantastic. If that’s what you want me say. – That is, thank you. All right now we’re drinking–
– I mean I don’t know what I look like right
now, what do you think? – I don’t know I just can’t tell. – How do you feel, how do you feel? But do you like me? – I want you to be the very
best version of yourself that you can be. – What if this is the best version? I truly loved you on SNL, obviously. – [Kristen] Thank you. – And there’s so many characters that are beloved by the nation. But my question is, which
one was your favorite to do on Saturday Night Live? – It’s so hard to pick because I mean, I have a special place in
my heart for the Target lady simply because I did her at
groundings before I got SNL and I did her in my
audition and I remember being so nervous having the
sketch at the table read and thinking to myself,
if this doesn’t go well then how am I gonna do on the show because this is like what I did before. So that one I think
always, I will love her. And I really like doing
Sue, the surprise party lady because it was such a high
energy character for me to play and I don’t normally
do that kind of stuff. – Jumping through walls. – Exactly, so I just, I kind of liked, I kind of liked doing her. – You’ve played so many
different kinds of roles, they haven’t been, they’ve
all been very diverse. Do you have something that you wish, do you have a character in your mind that you kind of wanna play
or do you have something coming up that you’re exciting about? – Good question. I just played Mary Queen of Scots, which was amazing. And it was one of those things where I took time off beforehand. I knew this was the
project I was gonna do next so I took like six months off. – Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. – I traveled, I went up to
Scotland and did my research, started to horse ride,
learned some French. – [Kristen] Oh my god, that’s a dream. – It was an absolute dream and so it meant that when I went into
this environment and I was playing someone who was
real, who was in power, there was such a sort of expectation. There was such an expectation
for her as a person when she became queen
anyway, but it was something I had signed up to when I was 18. – Really? – I was on it for five years. – Oh my gosh. – And then it finally happened this year. So it was a big one for me and I know now that I need to take the
time off so that I can, when I go back to work,
I can put all my energy into that one person
because I’ve had time away from this, do you know what I mean? But I think one thing that
I’ve always wanted to try, well there’s a few things actually, I’ve always really liked
the idea of playing a man, of playing a boy or a
man since I was a kid. I think as well, I never
really played girly roles when I was younger. They were always quite
tomboy-ish or very sort of intellectual and things like that. And that’s something, just
because of the physicality of a guy and their voice and
how they hold themselves, things like that, I think it would be a really interesting thing to do. And I’d also like to do a silent film where I just don’t talk
because I just prefer to not talk in films. I don’t love lines. Some lines are fine, but I
find, I don’t if it’s the same when do it, but do you just
like cut, cut, cut all the time? – You mean like cut things out of the– – Like cut your lines or make them– – Like maybe I don’t have to say this. – Yeah and like maybe I should
just stand in the background. Do you think, is that good for you? But yeah I’ve always found
that I’ve been more drawn towards, I don’t know I
guess like using my face.

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