Variety annually gets two actors to sit down and chat to each other, in a way that somehow works out to be more interesting than when they do it for the cover story of a fancy glossy, and this year they’ve got some really interesting pairings coming up — specifically, HELLO, Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompeo. That could honestly turn out to be a therapy session.
The rest of the list is pretty good, too, although there is a fair bit more of The White Lotus than I think is necessary or interesting? We have Kieran Culkin and Claire Danes, Melanie Lynskey and Natasha Lyonne, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Garner, Diego Luna and Hayden Christensen, Meghann Fahy and Elizabeth Olsen, Brett Goldstein and Theo James, Brian Cox and Emily Blunt, Rachel Weisz and Taron Egerton, Jenna Ortega and Elle Fanning — I’m super curious if they will touch on any of Ortega’s comments about rewriting so much of Wednesday herself on-set, which was an early source of snark for the WGA picket signs — and Ali Wong and Jason Segel, and her Beef costar Steven Yeun and Pedro Pascal, and I am VERY interested in whether either of them speaks about the David Choe controversy, their response to which as EPs and friends of his was… late, and underwhelming.
But first: Jeremy Allen White of The Bear, and Jennifer Coolidge, whose interaction the intro to the piece describes as “sometimes flirty.” (Sidebar: I would have loved to see Ayo Edebiri talking to someone for this.) I don’t ACTUALLY think it read like real flirting, but this is also a pairing I could really get behind because it feels like absolute opposites — at least performance-wise. Here is one of the more serious bits:
COOLIDGE: My theater friends that started doing shows early on maybe had a better idea of how the process worked and how you could go from show to show and your parts could improve. I have regrets about not doing that.
WHITE: The repetition of theater and doing the same thing over and over in front of people — you build confidence that way. I think for television and film, the bummer about it is you sit around and then you have five minutes to make something happen. I leave set every day just uncertain if we did what we were supposed to do.
COOLIDGE: There’s nothing worse than being insecure on a job. Not too long ago, I was on a job and I don’t know if I was really the director’s vision of what I was doing. Because every time we’d do the scene, they’d go, “Yes, yes. Why don’t we try that again?” And you’re like, “They don’t have the guts to tell me how bad this is.”
WHITE: It is upsetting, how much I feel sometimes in the moment I need validation from a director. “The Bear” has been successful, and finally I’m feeling like, “Oh, OK. Maybe I belong a little bit.” But it’s a shame that it took 15 years of acting.
Here is the full interview, including a photo that I actually like a little better than the one they used — although they’re both fine. Jennifer Coolidge looks GLOWY. I hope she IS living it up on this wave of success.
[Photos: Greg Swales for Variety]