Vera Farmiga has admitted that she was originally attracted to “Boundaries” because it gave the Academy Award nominated actress rare opportunity to star in a comedy.
“I rarely get an opportunity to do those,” Farmiga recently revealed when I sat down to talk to her about the road-trip comedy, which revolves around her character Laura driving her pot-selling father Jack (Christopher Plummer) and son Henry (Lewis MacDougall) across the US.
It wasn’t just that Farmiga found “Boundaries” funny, though. “I love to chuckle about dark things. I really do. I love having a giggle about what haunts us in life.”
Farmiga insisted that the comedy in “Boundaries” comes in many different forms, though.
“There is shtick. There’s candy corn casserole! There are outlandish things that happen. But it is all grounded in the earnestness of emotions. And the earnestness of what we are all trying to do in life.”
“Which is what? [Laughs] Which is sell as much pot as we possibly can. [Laughs] And save as many animals as we can. Because lord knows that people can’t be trusted. But animals can.”
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But while Farmiga looked at the script for “Boundaries” “as a giant springboard” that allowed her to perform a variety of “different tricks,” she also insisted that she was “delighted” at the “deep emotional places it went,” too.
Especially because it allowed Farmiga to ponder her own past.
“The film starts off with Laura analyzing her own life. It starts off on this soliloquy. She is the one that is caught in this merry-go-round of over analysis, about this decision to take a hiatus from her dad.”
“I loved the complexity of … our parents spend their whole lives calling out our bad behavior and teaching us how to be emotionally mature. But there comes a time when we all have to start calling out their bad behavior and their lack of emotional maturity.”
“I have those loved ones in my lives that I know I can’t change, but it has taken me 44-years to accept them as they are, and to see them as they are, and accept it.”
“So for me it was, ‘My focus was wrong. I have been focusing on trying to enlighten them. Trying to change them.’ But I can’t do that.”
“I can only focus on my own inner core, finding that core, and keep on coming back to it. Keep true to my inner truth. My character has to learn how to get in touch with anger. I’ve never had a problem with that, it is letting go.”
Farmiga was assisted in this pursuit by the “Boundaries’s” writer and director Shana Feste. But while Farmiga was delighted to work with a female filmmaker, especially as doing so was just as rare as being offered a comedy, she was adamant that she has “no gender bias” when it comes to working with directors.
“It was a head turner when I saw that Shana Feste was the director. One out of 50 scripts I have read this year this was one of two written by a woman.”
“But, I don’t know if gender always comes into play. It certainly did with the conversations we had on this.”
“I think we get close and earn each other’s respect and intimacy by sharing with each other private things and developing a friendship. Maybe gender comes into play. But some of my male directors have been more feminine than the female ones and vice versa.”
“For me, and how I approach my work, there’s no gender bias. Shana comes with her own unique idiosyncrasies and personality traits and character traits, and we just bonded and vibed off each other.”
“Sure, it is easier for me to connect with her in considered feminine psyche. As a daughter. As a mother. As a daughter advocating for her child. As a mother trying to shape her child to be the best version of herself. As a wife, too. We have both been through divorce.”
“So there was a short hand we have that comes into play for sure. Especially because we were friends before we had done this.”
You can see Farmiga and Feste’s vibing together on “Boundaries” when it is released in New York on June 22, while it will extend across the country over the next few weeks.