Scanlen explains why she enjoys chasing terrifying roles in movies like the independent drama “Babyteeth” and “The Devil All the Time” by Antonio Campos.
Eliza Scanlen likes dark places. She fell victim to Munchausen Syndrome by proxy who turned into a crafty serial killer in HBO’s “Sharp Objects”. Beth March, terminally ill, in “Little Women”, and can now be seen as a teenage girl with cancer in “Baby teeth. “At 21, Scanlen confronts characters who find transforming power, sometimes sinister, in affliction.
“I would probably be even more afraid of making a comedy,” she told IndieWire in a telephone interview from her native Sydney, Australia. She has been noted for her supporting roles, but “Babyteeth” announces her position as the controlling force that controls the screen in almost all director scenes Shannon MurphyThe sincere account of the majority which reinvents the indie drama against cancer of Maudlin.
In “Babyteeth”, Scanlen is a young woman who has to cope with the disease as well as the rush of first love with a drug-ridden punk (Toby Wallace). “I really changed as a person,” said Scanlen, who had to shave his head to the scalp every day on set. “I realized how much we hide behind our hair and how much we associate it with our identity. Suddenly defying that and shaving everything was pretty stimulating. “
Shaving his head brought him a lot of unwanted attention in the real world. “When walking down the street, people looked at me for too long or didn’t want to look me in the eye. I would get pat on the shoulder from older women, ”she said. “It’s crazy. I really seemed to be sick, but it was all the undeserved sympathy with which I felt quite uncomfortable at first, but I quickly realized how c was important to the character. “
Murphy said that Scanlen was the first person to audition for “Babyteeth”, but she didn’t launch it for a year. “She’s so modest,” said Murphy, “then when she auditions for you, she’s so immersed in what she does, but it’s almost terrifying because you show me all these different versions. I was going, “Who are you?” When I went back to her, it was because she could do anything. I knew that together we would be able to define who Milla was because she is so limitless in what she does. She is also so smart for her age. She learned the violin in three weeks. “
Scanlen said that after HBO’s “sharps” and Greta Gerwig’s “little women”, she had the freedom to be demanding on her projects. “For a long time, I have embarked on all the projects that have presented themselves to me, so I always feel that it is a bit of luxury to refuse things now,” she said. “It’s something I’m not used to yet, but having this autonomy and that feeling of freedom has been nice. I feel like I have a lot of control over how I want my career to be shaped now. “
Although she has a top secret film M. Night Shyamalan currently slated for July 2021 (production has not started), Scanlen said that she was not necessarily interested in a big post. “I guess I’m a little scared of these big franchises, and it’s something with age that I can probably handle a little better,” she said. “At the moment, I like to play characters who are obviously very fleshy, but it’s a place where I feel that the weight of the project is not too much on me, and I always learn from others . “
Why is a big franchise frightening than playing a bald cancer patient or a deadly southern baby doll for Scanlen? “The job follows you once you’ve done it, and it’s terrifying to take on. I don’t think my personality is as equipped as the other actors I have met at this level of exposure. “
Scanlen recently had an idea of the dangers of the exhibition when a short film she made, the winner of the Sydney film festival award “Mukbang”, was accused to appropriate Korean culture and to show triggering images of a violent attack against a young black man. “I am deeply sorry to have created a work that caused offense,” said Scanlen on Instagram. I wanted this film to be a young girl’s journey of self-discovery in the era of Internet culture, and I did not recognize how problematic it was. I take full responsibility for it. “
In the fall, Scanlen stars in the next Netflix drama by author / director Antonio Campos “The devil all the time”, Based on a novel by Donald Ray Pollock on faith taken to terrifying extremes in Ohio after World War II. (Think Flannery O’Connor meets William Faulkner meets Michael Haneke.) Scanlen plays Lenora, an orphan who falls in love with the city’s new preacher, played by Robert Pattinson.
“This film is about how people struggle with their faith, how they define themselves and what it leads them to do. We see in this film very extreme representations of this struggle, ”said Scanlen. “It was just a 10-day shoot, but it was filled to the brim with really delicate scenes and a really tricky scenario to fill among other people’s scenarios. It was definitely an endurance test. “
Scanlen said playing Lenora was “incredibly difficult” because the characters “really have a hard time with God and their relationship with God. And that leads them to do things they regret or things they must flee from. And for me has a pretty tragic journey. He was not a particularly light character. She really struggled in this film and she is unfortunately the victim of this dysfunctional relationship with God. “
Campos stated that Scanlen delivers. “Eliza is my favorite kind of actor. She has the ability to get deep into the character and go into dark places, but between hard work, she is one of the funniest people to play with. I think this combination is what leads her to imbue her characters with so much humanity and heart. “
“Babyteeth” is currently available in virtual cinemas.