Legendary actress Mary Kay Place was nominated for best actress for her performance in “Diane.” The film was also nominated for Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards.
The film was written and directed by Kent Jones. Diane fills her days helping others and desperately attempting to bond with her drug-addicted son. As these pieces of her existence begin to fade, she finds herself confronting memories she’d sooner forget than face.
Check out our exclusive interview from the red carpet below:
The Knockturnal: What does this honor mean to you today?
Mary Kay Place: Everything. I’m so grateful to be acknowledged for the work in Diane. It’s an odd, unusual film and for it to be acknowledged in this way is just the icing on the cake. It’s fantastic.
The Knockturnal: What was your initial meeting like with Kent when he was pitching you the project or how did you come to be involved?
Mary Kay Place: Kent saw my part in The Rainmaker, Francis Ford Coppola’s movie in 1976, it reminded him of his family, his matriarchal family on his mother’s side. And he thought, “Hmm, I’m going to write a story about that” and 16 years later I met him at the Berkshire Film Festival. We were on the jury together and he said, you know, I’ve always been wanting to write this movie about my mother’s family since The Rainmaker and I’m going to write it now that I’ve met you. Two years later it came and the rest is history. We made the film, so it was really kind of serendipitous and synchronistic and the fact that it got made was shocking, always has been and always will be.
The Knockturnal: What you love about independent filmmaking?
Mary Kay Place: I’ve always done independent films since they first came on the scene. I was in Manny & Lo. I did an independent film with Laura Dern called Smooth Talk. That’s been my world and those are the films that I’ve been drawn to in my life. Studios used to make films on subjects that are only made on independent films now, so that I’ve always been drawn to these personal small, intimate stories.
The Knockturnal: Is there anything upcoming that you’d like to share?
Mary Kay Place: I’m doing a movie that Sia wrote and directed with Kate Hudson. That was undercover for the longest time, but I’ve seen press about it now, so I’m able to comment on it and other projects that are coming out. I’ve been busy and I’m looking forward to seeing the Sia film because it’s very unusual and I’m curious.
The Knockturnal: Is it a musical?
Mary Kay Place: Yes, it has music and dance and so I’m curious about it. She’s so interesting and brilliantly talented and really one of a kind. Totally original. As you, I’m sure I’ve observed.
The Knockturnal: As we are in New York, how has New York influenced you as an artist?
Mary Kay Place: Well, I had an apartment here from about 1979 through 2005 something like that. So it influenced me enormously because I grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, which is the exact opposite. Then I moved to L.A. after college and I always had yearned for that New York experience … the first time I went here I said, I am moving here, I am getting a place here and it taught me so much. It was a part of the American experience that I’d only seen on television and I had an incredible coming of age, amazing experience living in New York. I wish I could still, but it’s so intense now. I live in LA now.
The Premier Sponsor of the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards is The New York Times, and the Philanthropic Supporter is The Rockefeller Foundation. The Official Water Partner is FIJI Water, the Official Airline Partner is JetBlue, the Official Wine Partner is Robert Hall Winery and the Official Auto Partner is Cadillac.