Sunday, August 07, 2011

Interview with Vera Farmiga - 18th October, 2009

Promoting: Up in the Air
Venue: The Mayfair Hotel
Interview type: Press conference

Question (Q): It's a joyful script to listen to. It must have been a pleasure for you to read. How did you assess your character when you first read the script? Alex is a similarly free-spirited character, but of course with hidden depths that we discover later.

Vera Farmiga (VF): Yeah. I didn't have the luxury of reading the script without knowing what happens in the end, so I had preconceived ideas. And it was challenging to play a woman who was very much like a man. And oftentimes, when a woman behaves this way, it can be interpreted as – it was difficult for me to – it was a fine line, I found to tread, to have the softness and yet to sort of take control of her sexuality and unapologetically make demands that usually you see men making in scripts. And I really liked the male perspective on heartbreak that I hadn't read before.

Q: Obviously, unemployment features quite heavily in the film. Do you have any interesting experiences of being fired?

VF: I worked as an air-conditioning technician for Fedders & Emerson Fine Cool Air Conditioning, as a customer service representative, who repaired air conditioners over the phone, as much as I was able to tell them whether the VTU was too large a unit for the space they were trying to cool or whatever. And I guess I was too chatty on the phone. I didn't get fired, but they did want to demote me, take me off the phones and give me more of a clerical position, but I just shortened the chat.

Q: There were lots of real-life locations used in the film. Did that present any particular challenges?

VF: What was most amusing for me was to see the fanaticism that George attracts. I mean, that was overwhelming and so odd. For me, no-one ever knows who I am, they always think I'm a producer on the film, but watching George having to deal with that, and him having just to simply open a door and close it and then there's a standing ovation that goes for blocks! And he's so gallant and gracious and takes his bow. But I didn't think that it impeded any of the work.

Q: In the nude scene, was that really you? And if it was, how comfortable were you with it?

VF: I had shot this when I had about six pounds more trunk in my badunk-adunk. I was pregnant and I did do the scene. But I think my bottom had become too large (laughs). I didn't think so – I think that's a question for Mister Reitman, because I did attempt to do the nudity. I got to certainly choose my body double and I thought Jason did a good job of selecting someone that was pretty accurate – my body double, Trish has been in many films. Perhaps on the DVD extras...


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