Sundance 2015 Interview: Toni Collette on ‘Glassland’
CraveOnline: Have there been any other roles in your career that scared you?
Toni Collette: A lot of them do, yeah. This was pretty potent, but I think I try to choose roles that scare me a little bit because it keeps me feeling alert and alive and inspired.
One that touched me was About a Boy, and I think you were maybe the best portrayal of depression I’ve seen on screen.
Was that one that scared you?
You know what I remember feeling the most, I was pissed off that here was this wonderful comedic film and I just didn’t get to be funny. Everyone else is.
You got to sing with your eyes closed.
Yeah, there were inadvertent funny moments, but no. I don’t remember being as fearful of that one.
There’s a nice moment where you dance to “Tainted Love.”
Oh yeah, I wish that they had the rights to it when we shot it because I really wanted to sing along but I couldn’t in case they couldn’t use that song.
Did you choreograph that dance or just go?
No, I just, yeah. Just improvised. A lot of people said it kind of freaks them out because it feels like it’s getting slightly sexual between mother and son which was completely unintended.
I didn’t think that.
But I think it’s a really nice, uncomfortable kind of thing for people to feel.
Does Glassland refer to the empty bottles and glasses lying around?
I think so. Also just that community where we shot and where it’s kind of sick. I’d never been there before. It’s on the outskirts of Dublin and it’s a low income area. It’s a little bit rough out there. You know there’s that scene where the boy delivers the money to him in the car on a horse? That boy was on a horse out there. There are these horses roaming around this strange suburban area and it’s a dangerous area. I think Glassland just somehow captures that in a way.
Had you met Will Poulter before last night?
Yeah, we had a crossover day where he was finishing and I was starting. I think I went out to the set just to meet everyone after a costume fitting. I saw him, perhaps it was his last scene and then had a little chat afterwards. He made me even more nervous actually because he’d mastered his accent and I felt like I was flailing before I started. It was intimidating.
The way he was speaking last night, has he totally lost his accent?
He stays in his accent when he’s working, which I don’t do, which is also intimidating. So he’s shooting something in that accent that you heard him speaking last night, which is why he’s speaking like that.
Have you had a lot of films at Sundance?
This is my fifth. Two years ago I was here with The Way, Way Back. I was here with Little Miss Sunshine and The Night Listener.
Was Muriel’s Wedding here?
No. The first film I came here with was a film called Clockwatchers. Muriel’s went to Cannes.
Have you noticed the festival changing?
Yes and no, It still has a sense of intimacy and great directive for filmmaking. There’s a lot more organized partying. When I first came it was just like, “Okay, everyone in the jacuzzi.” Now there’s clubs and scheduled activities. It’s more like a camp.
I don’t go to those because I’m going to see more movies.
Good for you. That’s the most frustrating thing coming to a great festival like this. I’m busy talking to journalists and attending my own screening. You don’t get to see many other films.
I know, but I want to thank you for being here so I can have the experiences of meeting all the filmmakers and talking about the films.
That’s a complete pleasure, are you kidding?