Michael Stuhlbarg is having quite a year. He stars in three of the buzziest titles this Awards Season: Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.”
We caught up with the actor on the red carpet for the 2017 IFP Gotham Awards presented by Fiji Water, The New York Times, Landmark Vineyards and Lindt Chocolate at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday evening. His film Call Me by Your Name won best feature and co-star Timothée Chalamet won Breakthrough actor. Check out our chat below:
You have a very complex role in Shape Of Water. Can you talk a little bit about how that came about?
Michael Stuhlbarg: Yeah. I got a call saying that Guillermo Del Toro was interested to see if I might be interested in participating in his movie. He had thought of me apparently in writing it and that four of the scenes that I would be in were in Russian. So, I’d have to learn Russian. The script itself was this amazing combination of many different styles of film making including Cold War intrigue, romance and then there was some magical realism with the creature involved. It just tied together all the different kinds of the things that he’s passionate about. So, I leapt at the opportunity, I was thrilled to be thought of.
I also saw The Post recently. How was playing against Meryl Streep, a legend?
Michael Stuhlbarg: It’s a dream actually. It’s one of those things I always hoped I’d have an opportunity to at least audition for and then I got the chance. She couldn’t have been more fun, they were both [Meryl and Tom Hanks] just naturally gregarious leaders and led by example. I was so happy and proud to be part of the ensemble.
Was it your first time working with Meryl?
Michael Stuhlbarg: We had met before. She had come to see some plays that I have done. We had mutual friends in common, but we hadn’t had the chance to be in a play or a film together before. So, yeah that was my first time. I hope I’ll have more occasions to do so.
And lastly, Call Me By Your Name, speak about working with such a fantastic, young talent as Timothee.
Michael Stuhlbarg: He is very special. I had seen him in a John Patrick Shanley play off Broadway last year before we shot the movie, not knowing that we were going to be working together. When I found out he was cast I thought he was just perfect from what I had seen in the play, what he brought to that. He’s a wonderful combination of spontaneity and intelligence and humor and unpredictability. He’s a very special, wonderful guy and I hope we get to play together more too.
I heard there is going to be a sequel. Have they talked to you about it?
Michael Stuhlbarg: Yeah, Luca seems to love these characters. As a result of that he thinks that maybe there will be an opportunity to follow them a few years down the line to see what’s happened to them over the course of years. Kind of like those seven and up movies where they pick up with the same people every seven years. There’s something about them that really resonated with all of us, I think we all really love the people we got to play. So, maybe we’ll get to see that.
So has he talked to you about coming back?
Michael Stuhlbarg: Yeah, he’s talked to all of us about it. He’s been very vocal about it all. He’s already got a million ideas about what he would do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens relatively soon.