The veteran actor hit the red carpet for her newest film ‘State Like Sleep’ to discuss working with Meredith Danluck on her first feature drama, working with the cast and crew, and her hope to work with the director again in the future.
Many people assume that a director is a one-trick pony. George Lucas can only direct science fiction films. Scorsese, gangster dramas. Spielberg practically owns blockbuster adventure films. But that is seldom the case in most cases. Before Star Wars, Lucas directed the charming period drama American Graffiti. Scorsese helmed perhaps the most celebrated rock concert documentary The Last Waltz and Spielberg shot the deeply humanist tragedy Schindler’s List. Directors are naturally creative individuals who love challenges. It’s in their blood and it shows in their work. Which is exactly what seems to have driven documentary-lover Meredith Danluck to branch out and dip her toes in the narrative drama waters with State Like Sleep. And with a cast as stacked as this, it’s no surprise that State Like Sleep is in the running for Tribeca’s esteemed Best Narrative Feature award. The Knockturnal had the opportunity to talk to the Emmy-award winning actor Mary Kay Place prior to the film’s premiere. Check out what she had to say below.
This is obviously Meredith Danluck’s first narrative feature. How did it feel working with a first time feature director?
Mary Kay Place: She had it nailed. She was totally confident, she was relaxed. She knew exactly what she wanted to do with the scene. She gave great direction. You wouldn’t know in a million years that this is her first narrative feature.
Could you speak about some of the chemistry that you had with your co-stars?
Mary Kay Place: It was a beautiful mutuality from the get-go. I mostly worked with Katherine [Waterston] and I had a scene or two with Michael Shannon—I’m a big fan of his and I was really excited to work with him. There was a beautiful Toronto woman [Kimberly Laferriere] who was in one scene and she was amazing. So it was a blast. We had fun and we laughed and we had a great time.
This is a challenging and thought-provoking neo-noir film. Were there any challenges that you ran into while developing your character?
Mary Kay Place: It was well-constructed when I got the character and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of developing my character and what I had to do, which I won’t give away at this moment [laughs]. It was really fun and interesting and challenging.
Would you team back up with Ms. Danluck in the future?
Mary Kay Place: Oh, absolutely. In a heartbeat. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
State Like Sleep premiered on April 21 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is seeking distribution.
Katherine Waterson, Michael Shannon, Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman, Angel Lopez, Meredith Danluck, Bo Martyn, Ian Matthews and Michiel Huisman celebrated the 2018 Tribeca Film premiere of State Like Sleep at the official after-party on Saturday, April 21st, hosted by Tanqueray at The Chester.
PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Toth/Getty Images