The breakthrough: Robin Weigert, star of 'Concussion'
"Concussion" actress Robin Weigert talks about not freaking out over starring in her first big film till she was watching it and the things that scared her.
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.