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Best Actress Roundtable at the Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter has put up their Best Actress roundtable. So far, they’ve done the writers and actors so now they add the actresses – lead and supporting. Marion Cotillard, Naomi WattsHelen Hunt, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams and Rachel Weisz.

Some pics after the cut. HR link.

50 Comments on this Post

  1. that was WAAAAAY better than the Men’s

    Sally Field’s story about doing an hour long imnprov with DDL for her screen test, wow. Hope the footage is on the DVD extras

  2. Fantastic lineup for this roundtable. I especially loved hearing how these woman had to fight for roles, especially the ones that got them Oscars (Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener and Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets).

    N.B. – There was also a roundtable with studio execs, which was very fascinating from an Oscar standpoint.

  3. Tero Heikkinen

    We could call this Mostly Supporting Actress Roundtable, but whatever. VERY NICE.

  4. Sally Field’s acting in Lincoln is just like Sally Field’s acting in Brothers & Sisters.

    The only obvious difference is the wardrobe.

  5. I can’t wait to watch this!! They actually gathered a pretty incredible group of actresses together. Well done THR.

  6. Does anyone know which movie Marion is talking about towards the end?

  7. This was boring. Especially how they kept going on and on about paparazzi and privacy. I understand all that but talk about your work. Especially Anne Hathaway who was complaining about privacy but sold her wedding pictures to a tabloid just last month.

  8. Marion is so hot, she’s like a beautiful Iranian actress who appears briefly in a film but whose name you’ll never know because the end credits are in Farsi and only the lead actors are listed in IMDB.

    Rachel Weisz definitely broke the supporting actress Oscar curse. Currently under that hex: Whoopi Goldberg, Mercedes Ruehl, Mira Sorvino, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Connelly, Renee Zellweger, Monique, Jennifer Hudson. Being smoking hot probably helps her cause. And I can totally relate to nerve-wracking merging along the freeways.

    And it’s great that Helen Hunt is back, co-starring in a film with Carrie Underwood paid off.

    Sarcasm aside, fantastic roundtable.

  9. Agreed, that’s basically the Supporting Actress category right there, the 4 near-locks (Hathaway, Field, Adams, Hunt), although the fight for the 5th slot could be interesting : another Les Mis-gal (Barks/Seyfried) ? a British veteran (Smith/Dench/Collins) ? Jackie Weaver ? maybe a so far-unseen last minute entry (Washington, Ehle) ? For the record, for the first time this year I don’t consider Hathaway such an obvious frontrunner. Now I believe it’s down to her and Sally Field…and it will come down to which one’s film wins Best Picture. If it’s Lincoln, Field will win, she also has a very endearing, Academy-friendly story, the one she has just shared in this interview; if Les Miserables wins, even Field won’t be able to stop Hathaway…but if NEITHER film wins (IMO unlikely), the supporting actress winner will be once again a huge question mark.

    It was nice to see Rachel Weisz, her turn in The Deep Blue Sea was mesmerizing, maybe her best one yet and I was completely under the impression that it has been already forgotten, but she did a SAG screening/Q&A recently, now this roundtable, so who knows ? If her performance convinced a few crucial critics groups that will announce the winners sometime in December, that could help her a lot considering the early Academy-deadline.

    Having said that, this year I would REALLY love to see three actresses finally getting their second nominations (Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightley) and as a big Chastain-fan, it would be great to see her making the cut in Lead so soon after her big break…and of course the lovely and talented Lawrence is already a lock. Argh… I loved Riva, Wallis, and would watch Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren in ANYTHING, as well. Not good, not good…considering the amount of whining I read here and there how weak this category is, I would still have great difficulty to say no to 4 of these 9 outstanding actresses.

    By the way, this was probably the best roundtable I have ever seen. It seemed so effortless, they had great chemistry, they came off very respectful towards each other and very interested in each other. It was a great roundtable. Also kudos to Helen Hunt for risking the bad guy title for bringing up the sexist questions actresses (or female presidential candidates) are so often asked, she clearly made the interviewer uncomfortable for a second, but it was well worth it, someone SHOULD bring it up, someone SHOULD start a conversation about this.

    Also interesting trivia about these ladies :
    – The film Anne Hathaway left 5 minutes into filming, but seemed too good of an opportunity to pass at first, was probably Knocked Up.
    – Best Supporting Actress frontrunner Hathaway was originally cast as Tiffany but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts…Jennifer Lawrence replaced her who is now the Best Lead Actress frontrunner for that role.
    – Rachel Weisz told the others how hard and for how long she had to fight for her role in The Constant Gardener because Fernando Meirelles didn’t want her…his first choice was Naomi Watts.
    – Anne Hathaway mentioned how many actresses were up for Fantine…true, two of them were Amy Adams and Marion Cotillard, her TDKR-co-star.
    – Sally Field started ‘naming names’ with TMZ, and I swear I thought I heard Adams chuckle in the background which would be understandable. Her brother works for TMZ.
    – Marion Cotillard beat out Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz for the part of Miranda Tate in The Dark Knight Rises. Reportedly Watts was also interested in Selina Kyle, but Hathaway was cast instead.
    – Slightly off-topic, but few people realize that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams both received their first Oscar nomination in 2005, both are up for their 4th this year, and if either of them makes the cut for ‘The Master’, this will be the third time they co-star in a film that results an Oscar nomination for at least one of them : Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, The Master.

    P.S. Any idea who the famous douchebag director could be who was sleeping during Watts’s audition and who is apparently famous enough to assume everyone in this interview would know ?

  10. I loved how Helen Hunt put those interviewers to shame with their silly ass paparazzi questions in the middle of Anne Hathway complaints.

    Anne Hathaway is so annoyingggg. Sorrry fans

  11. Chloe, the paparazzi took very grainy unwanted photos of Anne Hathaway’s wedding. So, she decided to sell her ” real” photos for charities, including a charity that support gay marriage.

    I enjoyed this roundtable, and I agree everyone seemed genuine, supportive, well-spoken, and smart. It was nice to see motherhood being more important than having established film careers for these talented females. I most enjoyed the discussion of Adams being inspired by Watts’ past struggle as a new actress, and Hathaway was moved by Weisz’s theatre work.

  12. Not bad. I think Weisz came off the best. Sad that her getting a nomination is a very long shot compared to the rest.

  13. Antoinette

    Well this was definitely interesting. I liked the actors’ better. That was more fun. This was seriouser.

    At one point Anne looked like Liza to me. I liked the story about her mom and Fantine. My only complaint about her this time is that dress. It needs burning. And I don’t see where she got that her hosting of the Oscars was a failure. Franco was universally panned and she was given universal credit for saving it.

    I don’t get the whole Rachel Weisz thing. But anyway, I was surprised to hear her say she’d been working on a movie about Julia “Butterfly” Hill. I actually read that book and it would make a great film. However I could never see Weisz as her. I think a lot of the reason she went up the tree in the first place was a naiveté Weisz is way too old to have. I’m not into age limits normally but in this case I really don’t see how it would work. It’d be a nearly perfect role for Anne though.

    The thing about the paparazzi and stars that I’ve never understood is why they don’t turn the tables on them. They’ve got enough money to hire private investigators to dig up dirt and follow them around. Then they can either publish it online or do something better. You know a lot of them have criminal records and other reasons not to have real jobs. They could be here illegally or deadbeat dads or all sorts of bad stuff. Get pictures of them cheating on their wives and put them online. lol They don’t need their name just get a photo of them with their phone and let a pro do the rest.

  14. @Dylan

    she’s talking about Little White Lies

  15. Terometer

    A two-time oscar actress has to beg for an audition like that, and it’s not even a leading role. I’ve never heard of anything like that with a two-time oscar actor.

  16. Tory Smith

    I rather liked this discussion. The conversation got into difficult issues that they are dealing with because regardless of how people want to percieve them, there are struggles and difficulties for every actor/actress at every level. As a struggling actor myself, it’s refreshing to hear these stories. I myself have experience wretched things filming ridiculous student films and music videos, difficult rehearsal processes for plays, and what have you, and I’m a “nobody.” All these women are pretty much at the top of their game and in high demand, and I can realate to them. For some reason, I really like that. The moderaters were awkward, but I love these roundtables to hear the actor’s perspectives.

    And as a black man, I’ve always related to the hardships of actresses the most. Their struggle is simply always harder, and it makes for some of the most inspiring work I’ve seen on screen. And I could listen to Sally Field all day. She’s been in the game for so damn long. I didn’t like that she was cut off at one point from the interviewer. Let her finish her thought! She is the MOST experience! That was rude.

    Other than that, I really like it :-) Kudos to all the actresses in this interview.

  17. Winston, I didn’t find Hathaway annoying in this. I felt she one of the ladies that came off the best. She is sharp and unbelievably articulate. That is a good thing in my book.

  18. @VVS, are you kidding? Little White Lies was shot by her partner Guillaume Canet and there’s no desert in the film whatsoever.

    @Dylan She was definetely talking about “Le Dernier Vol”.

  19. Joel Siegel once told a story on GMA about Shelley Winters going to an audition. (He didn’t mention the movie’s title.) She reached into the big bag she had with her and put an Oscar on the table. She reached back in and put another Oscar on the table and said, “Do I get the part?” She got the part.

  20. Jack Traven II

    I know that this actually doesn’t belong in here but since it’s the latest post.

    I just wanted to say that I have a gut feeling that next year could be the year of an Oscar record being broken that’s being hold by two films, Ben Hur and Titanic. I think the Academy was always waiting for the right film to show up to make this happen. And Lincoln might just be the right one. Its story is so timely and about the most beloved US president. The film’s being loved by critics and audience alike. And it would be an awesome comeback for Steven Spielberg, that would make him at least the king of the Oscars (since James Cameron will probably never lose the BO crown). Therefore I predict Lincoln to be nominated for up to 16 Oscars (including several supporting actor/actress nominations) and to be awarded with 12 Oscars.

  21. Question Mark

    Supporting is almost certainly Hathaway’s to lose. Let’s not forget one historical strike against Sally Field — if she wins, she’ll not only join the vaunted Three Oscar Club, but she’ll be the only person who’s 3-for-3 in awards from nominations. I’m not sure voters will be inclined to put Field in that company; she’s a tremendous actress, sure, but if people will hesitate before voting DDL or Washington to a third Oscar and it took Streep almost 30 years, Sally Field sure isn’t getting in there. The Academy may ‘really like her,’ but not THAT much.

  22. As an Aussie, I have to ask what the hell happened to Naomi Watts’ accent? She doesn’t sound Australian at all anymore! That was positively English! OUTRAGE.

  23. Tero Heikkinen

    Jack Traven II, 16 nominations is not possible. It needs a special effects movie with a theme song to do that. Let’s look at the maximum possibility:

    Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Direction, Original Score, Makeup and Hairstyling…

    13 Tops and I think it will actually get 12 of these, being the most nominated film of the year. If it had no competition like it has, it could even win 10, but I think 7 would be more realistic (assuming it would win BP and BD).

  24. @Dylan & WS – She was most certainly NOT talking about Little White Lies. It was The Last Flight (Le dernier vol)

  25. Simon Warrasch

    WOW! The Winners for Leading Actress (Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone) and for Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables) for the next Academy Awards sitting around one Table! Just Fantastic!

  26. @davemau, I was thinking the exact same thing! There’s barely a trace of it. How did that happen, anyway? Isn’t she living in the US?

    I’m a Kiwi BTW, so maybe we’re the only ones that noticed.

  27. Jack Traven II

    I could see it win 9-12 Oscars, but it won’t get 16 nominations. The studio wisely decided to campaign only one contender in each supporting acting category which should be a good sign, because they are clearly going for the win then. Also, they are only pursuing 14 categories and with the 1 contender per acting category approach, that’s also the highest number of nominations it could get in the end. Good news that it is basically a lock for the nods in 12 (picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, supporting actress, supporting actor, score, cinematography, editing, art direction, costume design, makeup) and even though apparently it isn’t as war-centric/effects-heavy as his previous period films that had no trouble scoring nominations in the other two category (sound/sound editing), considering that even The King’s Speech snuck into Best Sound, the studio could easily get all 14 nominations it is campaigning for at the moment. It could win 12 of those…but ONLY if Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained don’t become serious threats AND if Lincoln doesn’t have to share the guild-love with either of those 3 or Argo and Silver Linings Playbook.

    If Les Miserables becomes the strong player everyone expects, Lincoln is in trouble, mainly because with the exception of score, it will go head-to-head with Les Mis in every single one of its 14 categories. Bot have a strong central male character and no female lead, either could take the supporting races (Hathaway versus Field; Crowe versus Jones), and both will go after the same technical categories, only Les Mis will pursue song, meanwhile Lincoln will go after score.

    This season could be fascinating only if Les Miserables turns out to be a masterpiece just like Lincoln…THEN we have a race. Would they split the votes and allow a lucky third to emerge (Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained or my hunch, The Impossible) OR one would be able to triumph over the other ? And if so, WHICH ONE ?

    Well, we’ll know considerably more in a few days, Les Miserables starts screening on Thursday or Friday, I think.

  28. i am alone on this but Rachel Weisz deserves a freaking nomination on her performance in The Deep Blue Sea. My favorite of the year so far.

  29. @ Jack Traven II

    3 films not 2 have the record for most Oscars won: Ben-Hur, Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings the Return of the King.

  30. A great lineup with plenty of talent to spare. It was a quite interesting roundtable, even if I wish they would’ve talked a bit more of the roles and movies they are there for…I mean, Amy Adams only basically talked about the press but she’s worked with Clint and Paul Thomas this year, and Naomi for example has worked with a foreign director in a very physically and emotionally demanding role… I don’t know, for me it always comes across as these interviewers don’t really get all the juice they could of the roundtables.

    And let me say Rachel Weisz in the classiest lady ever. Oh my god, she is perfect in every aspect. Naomi I’m very fond of too, hopes she gets a deserved nomination for the great The Impossible.

  31. Marion Cotillard’s film should be this one.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1234542/

    A woman goes on a journey to find her lover after his plane disappears in the Sahara.

    fits well, right?

  32. I really enjoyed it!

    I really loved all the stories, especially how all of them had to fight SO HARD for something career-wise.

    It says a lot about life and how you handle it.

    And yes, it was probably 1000 times more interesting than the men’s!

  33. Yes, it’s definitely Le Dernier Vol and director that she’s referring to. I watched it when I was looking for “all things Cotillard” (and Canet) and it wasn’t that bad, imo. I couldn’t find an English subtitled version and my French is a bit weak, but those two obviously have a great deal of chemistry – who knew it was director that was the threat and not being lost in the Sahara.

    Of them all at this roundtable, Rachel Weicz is the standout as she seems to be oriented to simply finding parts that challenge her, awards/exposure be damned. Her recent choices are interesting (Agora, which explains her “Cleopatra thing”, Deep Blue Sea, Whistleblower, etc). These aren’t oscar-y choices and they remind me of the career path of one of her previous co-stars, Vanessa Redgrave, in that she always has a project with an interesting character, and won’t allow herself to get boxed into a type.

    Interesting chat.

  34. No Jessica Chastain? She’s on Bway & couldn’t make it. No Jennifer Lawrence? She’s shooting Hunger Games sequel. And that fifth Supp. Actress slot could be taken by Ann Dowd. Yes, Ann Dowd, the 50-something, veteran character actress of “Compliance” who is really the lead but that’s where they put her.

    She COULD be this year’s Demian Bichir. She’s mounting her OWN Oscar campaign and having to take out a personal loan to do it.

    She’s brilliant in the film, but no glamour girl. Scott Feinberg is flying in from LA to interview her this week for THR. The NY Times is interested in her story, too, having written her up as “One to Watch” already back in August.

    “Compliance”is coming out on DVD on Dec. 11 and Magnolia is finally waking up and saying they are going to aid her in the campaign, which means PERSONALLY mailing(and paying for) 6000 DVDs(and postage) to go to every Academy Member.

    And she has three children, two of them special needs cases.

    I was lucky enough to have the first Oscar interview with this great lady and if you click on my name above, you’ll be taken to my you tube channel and see it.

    It’s rank and file actresses like Ann Dowd and her incredible story that the overwhelmed voters might just latch on to. But first they’ve all got to get those DVDs.

    AND the Academy has never had an official Academy screening for it.

    And this is how the Oscars are REALLY run, FYI.

  35. How sad that Oscar winning actresses have to BEG for auditions and jobs. People wonder why actresses usually disappear after winning an Oscar? Well this is why! I remember Jennifer Lawrence talking about how she had to audition and prove herself all the time, even after her nomination for Winter’s Bone, but after the box office numbers were released for Hunger Games, she didn’t need to audition anymore. It’s not about talent but more about how much money an actor can bring.

  36. I really wonder when the last time Blanchett had to audition for something was.

  37. In her acceptance speech Sally Field never said “You really like me.”

    What she said was “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

  38. @Stephen Holt

    That Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain are missing that THR actress roundtable doesn’t mean anything at all.
    This year there are seven actresses, three (Watts, Cotillard, Weisz) to be campaigned in lead and four (Adams, Field, Hathaway, Hunt) in supporting. The supporting ladies are all pretty much in a good position to get nominated. The lead actresses are still questionable. Though I think Watts has a better chance than Weisz or Cotillard, but we’ll see.

    Last year there were six actresses, four in lead and two in supporting.
    Glenn Close, Viola Davis and Michelle Williams made it in for lead (Meryl and Rooney Mara were missing), Charlize Theron missed the nom. Octavia Spencer was nominated and won in supporting, Carrey Mulligan missed the nom.
    The best rate of an actress round table was in 2010, where they had Amy Adams and Helena Bonham Carter in Supporting, Natalie Portman, Annette Bening and Nicole Kidman in lead getting nominated. Only Hillary Swank missed a nom.

  39. My God, Anne Hathaway is so beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She certainly lights up a room! A true movie star, if there eve was one.

  40. This was a lot more interesting than the mens. It’s not surprising. The men have it easier getting good roles in good stories, told by skilled directors. Look at Denzel. I’m okay with him as an actor, but it irritates me a bit that the first decent thing he does in a decade suddenly warrants a nomination. I can’t imagine how a lesser known actor in that role would get nominated.

    The other person that I have a problem with after watching this; Steven Spielberg. Having made that much money, and having that much power it’s depressing to know that he’d put the hiring of S. Field in the hands of DDL ( a very generous man though he is). I’m glad Daniel saw what Spielberg couldn’t or didn’t want to see.

  41. @Stephen Holt, you got me rooting for Ann Dowd now. However, category fraud doesn’t sit well with a lot of AD readers.

  42. I had no preference – they were all standout!! I just adored the interview entirely. The best I have seen yet. It just wasn’t long enough. They all have such great experiences to share. I would happily have sat another 2 or 3 hours listening to these ladies. Sally mesmerises me. If there was a weak link, it was Cotillard, she really did not have much to offer.

  43. My guess is that Naomi’s English accent may be due to some of the roles she’s had lately – The Impossible, Caught in Flight, Queen of the Desert. And, after all, she was raised by in Britain by British parents until the age of 14. Her Aussie accent was always a little English anyway.

    Amy Adams’ bit early on about the journal and Naomi’s reaction made my heart M-E-L-TTTTTTTT…

    Do you think Sally Field knows Helen Hunt’s in her 40s? ‘Of a certain age’…Helen doesn’t seem to know quite how to respond to that lol.

  44. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Fine. So I guess I’m the only one who sees something sinister in how this actress roundtable was staged.

  45. ^ I KNEW this looked familiar!

    They could have staged the guys as the apes.

  46. Anne Hathaway is annoying as a person but disappears very well in all of her roles. Trait of a really good actress.

  47. Bondisteve

    Great roundtable. Naomi sounded very much like Diana, Princess of Wales early on in the piece which is not surprising given her current / most recent role (performance wise).

  48. The Great Dane

    Les Misérables, IF GREAT, has a better shot at breaking the most-nominations record than Lincoln. If it’s amazing, there’s a bigger chance for it to get more acting nominations than Lincoln AND it has a possible Best Song nomination.

  49. The Great Dane

    Both will be up for nominations in 14 category, 13 the same (picture, director, adapted screenplay, actor, s. actor, s. actress, cinematography, editing, set, costume, sound, sound editing, makeup) , the 14th is the respective Music category (Lincoln/Score, LesMis/Song).

    IF great, Les Miserables might have the edge, because ‘only’ 3 actors are campaigned for Lincoln, meanwhile at this point it’s perfectly possible that Les Mis will have multiple nominees in the supporting acting categories.

    IF great, the Jackman-Hathaway-Crowe trio will have probably no trouble making the cut AND that still leaves us the Barks-Tveit duo who are stage stars playing baity Tony-winning roles AND the romantic couple (Seyfried, Redmayne) whose roles might just be popular/swoon-worthy enough to help the likable actors get some serious recognition, not to mention the Thenardiers played by Oscar nominees (HBC, SBC).

    For the record, I am not saying Les Miserables will get 9 acting nominations, but we have to consider the tremendous potential it has in those 4 categories. 3-5 acting nominations COULD happen…we’ll see, we’ll know more on Saturday.

  50. A good roundtable I thought.

    I didn’t realise Watts had such a strong English accent. Must be the Diana, Princess of Wales role rubbing off.

    I enjoyed Sally Field’s honesty is talking about fighting for roles due to the lack of quality work available & the strong competition when decent stuff does appear.

    The sooner Adams & Hathaway get moving on producing work for their peers the better. If there’s a lack of decent material, then use your position, contacts, money etc & create or produce it.

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