“It’s rare that you find such a stimulating female character,” says Elisabeth Moss of her role as writer Shirley Jackson in the deeply fictional film. Shirley. “It’s a challenge for me as an actor and a challenge for the other characters in the film and he has so much vulnerability and so many weak points, but also so strong, so vocal and sometimes not very nice.
Retaining little and joined by director Josephine Decker, The Handmaid’s Tale star was speaking at Deadline’s Contenders Film Awards Season Virtual Event.
An award-winning success at the Sundance Film Festival last year and released by Neon on June 5, 2020, the Decker-directed drama from a screenplay by Sarah Gubbins is based on the 2014 Susan Scarf Merrell novel. the psychological and physical level, Shirley highlights the often chilling ways of real-life author Jackson, played by multiple Emmy Moss winners.
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With a novel already in her name, Jackson exploded in 1948 with her New Yorker story “The Lottery” and went on to write acclaimed horror novels such as 1959 The Haunting of Hill House and 1951 Hangsaman. The latter’s writing provides the sharp narrative backbone of Shirley.
In that vein, the film co-stars Michael Stuhlbarg Odessa Young and Logan Lerman. Further confusing fact and fiction, the Stuhlbarg portrays Jackson’s husband and literary critic, Stanley Edgar Hyman.
Threat filled and manipulative and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the Bennington College-set Shirley merges more than a few Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with the ethics of The brilliant.
“Something we worked in the edit to make it stand out, make it stand out even more was to bring out how unpredictable Shirley was,” Decker reveals. “One minute you would feel that she would attract you and you were her closest friend. And then at the last minute, she might like to kick you out of her house like you’re a trash can.
Check back for the panel video.