New York Film Fest: 'Her's' Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde Talk Spike Jonze's Actor-Friendly Directing Style
Spike Jonze's Her features a compelling performance from an actress who is never shown onscreen in Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of the operating system Joaquin Phoenix's character falls in love with.
But Jonze is still an actor-friendly director, castmembers Amy Adams and Olivia Wilde tell The Hollywood Reporter at Her's world premiere on the closing night of the New York Film Festival.
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"His way of directing is so intimate and so sensitive that you kind of don't realize that he's making you go to the depths of your soul -- because he's not tearing it out of you, he's letting you participate in the process of getting there, and it's a really beautiful thing," Adams tells THR.
Wilde adds that Jonze's experience as an actor makes him particularly good at communicating with his stars.
"He's very sympathetic and very inspiring," she says. "You do many takes, not because he's trying to perfect something in his mind but because he wants to have options. So you're really playing and that's really unusual on set, mostly because you don't have time because of money. But a lot of directors really just don't have that elasticity in their imagination."
The actress, who has a small but significant role as a blind date, comments that she was drawn to the innovative love story Jonze told through his script.
"I didn't think I would become so emotionally attached to a relationship that involves one not-human being," she tells THR. "And I really admired how it didn't feel like a sci-fi script. You know, I heard the description, and I was like, 'OK, A.I. versus human intelligence: That's like sci-fi,' and I'm interested in that, but this is a very organic, very emotional film, very personal.
"It doesn't feel like a tale of a dystopian future. It's a very different way of approaching the subject, so I was really into that. And I just loved how it featured many different characters suffering from all different types of loneliness. I thought, 'What an interesting way to explore one man's journey through these very complex characters.' "
Wilde and Adams were joined on the red carpet by co-stars Rooney Mara, Phoenix and Jonze, but the latter two didn't talk to the press.
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Also posing for photos but not talking to reporters was press-shy producer Megan Ellison, who backed the Warner Bros.-distributed film through her Annapurna Pictures.
Wilde praises Ellison, who she says was on set during filming.
"She's a very hands-on producer, and I really applaud what she's doing," the actress says. "I'm a huge fan of her company, and I'm really grateful that she's around."