The breakthrough: Robin Weigert, star of ‘Concussion’
Subject: Robin Weigert
You’ve seen her in: “Deadwood” (as Calamity Jane), “Sons of Anarchy”
Her latest: The Sundance hit “Concussion,” playing a lesbian suburban wife who becomes a daytime high-end prostitute
On meeting her director, Stacie Passon: “I think what really won me over was she wasn’t trying to sell the movie to me at all. It was just a conversation in which I expressed my fears and she didn’t try to assuage them. [Laughs] It was honest and straightforward. I knew from that conversation we could get along and have a vocabulary with eachother.
On doing stuff that scared her: “The stuff I had anticipated would be hard wasn’t, and some of the things that didn’t jump out at me as being potentially difficult were. I thought, for example, the sex scenes and all the exposure would be very intimidating and difficult. They weren’t. The much scarier stuff was trusting I could play her unhappiness, her boredom, her feelings of alienation and disaffection. That was scary to me because the movie relies so heavily on an audience relying on a protagonist.”
On connecting to her character: “There’s that mysterious thing that happens in a long term relationship. You’re going along, day by day, and you wake up and feel very estranged from the life you’ve built. I think a lot of people hit a point like that in a marriage or a committed relationship, or even jobs they’ve been doing for years and years. One day you wake up and go, ‘How did I get here?’ You wake up and find yourself in a bourgeois cage.”
On not fearing to play lead in a film: “I think because I’ve been asked this question before, I feel like an idiot for not having an answer. It’s a huge responsibility, but instead I approached it as I approached anything else: in terms of character. I only felt that terrible pressure, thankfully, after we were done and the movie was cut. I was at Sundance, sitting in a darkened theater, and suddenly I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is all on me.’ … I was daunted by the number of scenes I had. But I didn’t stand back and think, ‘Ah, this movie is mine!’”
On the casual way the film portrays a gay couple: “It feels like a battle that was fought years ago by these two. It’s well in the past. I think it’s interesting that it’s no issue for them at all. Their problems are shockingly universal at this point, which is: What do you do when you love someone and you love your kids and you’re feeling a sense of impending decay and death. And you don’t know how to make yourself feel alive and awake anymore.