Toronto: 'Three Billboards' Star Frances McDormand Likes "Being My Age"
The 60-year-old Oscar winner hardly ages gracefully in Martin McDonagh’s drama about a grieving mother, which screened at TIFF.
Frances McDormand didn't immediately jump at playing a cursing mother in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, she revealed Monday while promoting the Fox Searchlight pic at the Toronto Film Festival.
"I was flattered, but then I said no, I'm too old," McDormand remembered telling McDonagh two years ago, when she was 58 years old. Her fretting over the role ended, however, when her husband Joel Coen, intervened.
"My husband just said, shut up and do it," she said. Now, as a 60-year-old performer, McDormand is happy to play a grieving mother with single-minded rage.
"I'm really interested in playing my age. I like being my age. I kind of have a political thing about it," she added, as women from a working-class background, like her character in Three Billboards, don't often show up in Hollywood movies.
In the film, McDormand plays a mother whose daughter was brutally raped and murdered. Her character decides to call out the police chief, played by Woody Harrelson, on three giant billboards for failing to find the killer, hoping to drive him into action.
"She's just a mother who's lost her child, a parent who has lost her child. That kind of grief is something we all, as humans, understand," McDormand explained. Having kept busy doing live theater, the Oscar winner added she has the luxury of turning down movie roles.
Two roles before her agents currently are both for 60-year-old women that recently lost their husbands. One surviving wife is grief-stricken, and the other happy over losing her husband.
"I don't really want to do either of the (roles), but if I had to choose one, it would be the one that was happy about it, just for fun," McDormand said. Three Billboards earned the best screenplay prize in Venice, on its way to Toronto, and is set for a Nov. 10 release.
The Toronto Film Festival runs through Sept. 17.