On Monday, Director Alex Ross Perry showcased ‘Queen of Earth’, psychological narrative about a woman’s mental breakdown after losing her father and then being dumped by her boyfriend.
Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterhouse star as best friends, Catherine and Virginia, who seem to have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together. After the screening of the film, Director Alex Ross Perry and Elisabeth Moss sat down for an Q&A
On the characters:
Elisabeth Moss: To me, I probably acquaint it to a friendship where you probably have known each other since 11 or 12 or maybe your family’s friend or something and over twenty years you probably fell apart a little bit, but you’re still stuck with each other since it’s probably a little too late to just not be friends. I personally don’t have friends like that, but a lot of people do have those kinds of friendships where if you met them now at a function, you would not be friends with them necessarily. And that’s the friendship, it’s very real and that’s what I love about it. It’s a film about two women, but there are no pillow fights or slumber parties.
On the cynicism of the film:
Alex: “How did the friendship get to this point?” That’s my favorite question. It’s just like one’s up and one’s down and you see these flashbacks and that’s just a way of suggesting that’s it’s all fairly liquid and it just moves and changes and who knows what will happen in the future. And that’s truly the end of the story, that these lives don’t end here.
Elisabeth: I think there’s an emotional level that actresses seem to go to more than men. I think it’s a very specific portrayal of a woman going insane and allowing herself to indulge in the feelings that we feel everyday but allowing herself to completely dive in and not hold back which was my experience as an actress. I was allowed to do things I wouldn’t normally be able to do or be acceptable, would offend or piss off some directors, but I was able to in this because it was extremely creative and collaborative.
On the editing:
Alex: Once I see something I like, I’ll stick to it. For movies like this where you’re putting the pieces together, there’s not a hundred versions of the same scene. The editing is just kind of like an exercising restraint, in knowing when to cut it because you never really have to, because most of these scenes play out in their entirety and there’s no extended duration, so it’s just a balancing act.
On the finale:
Alex: We shot the movie in order, so that was the last thing we were doing. It was just about finding an enigmatic end of the movie that gives it this objective quality where it’s a fairly neutral narrative with hopefully something to talk about on the way home.
Elisabeth: It was the last day, and I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. He was like just go down to the dock and sit there and just laugh kind of connivingly and that’s kind of our working relationship because we have a lot of trust obviously, and so I was like okay. I didn’t even know that that was going to be the the end of the film until I saw the first cut. I love it, I think it’s super creepy and weird.
Queen of Earth opens in select theaters August 26.