Venice interview with “The Iceman” cast

Saturday, Sep 1, 2012

The Upcoming has published an interview with “The Iceman” cast at Venice festival. Here’s the highlights:

How was working on this movie and with these actors?

Working with Michael is very much “you don’t know what’s gonna happen”. So amazing and spontaneous. A sort of explosion you are not prepared for, how he grabs you. He is completely present. Quite wonderful and generous.

Winona, what did you like of this character? How are you choosing roles at this point of your career?

I was drawn to this story, it’s a compelling and different type of role for me to play. I sort of had to approach it in a very different way than I usually approach roles. I could not do any research on the character that I played because everything that was available was involved with very graphic descriptions of his crimes, my character was very much in denial or unaware of what happened.

I really wanted to work with Michael, I am a huge fan and that was the big draw. I think I was sort of drawn to the ambiguity of the role. In a strange way, what we do as actors is, we act as someone else. There is an interesting parallel between… I knew what the film was about, but I shut the parts I didn’t know out and removed all the pages that I wasn’t in. Even if she was aware, she didn’t allow herself to explore and get to know what was happening. To avoid responsibility for herself.

I think I have got to a place in my life where I just want to have a good life and if there is a film it has to be pretty great for me to spend part of my life making it. I am not in a place where I just want to keep working. But I feel like it’s very important to try to be happy and keep learning and keep, you know, remain open in your life.

Your family of two girls is very distant from those in the movies and on TV, like the Sopranos and Goodfellas. How did you go make the family seem so real and normal?
The actresses playing the daughters were wonderful and so talented. Open hearts, I felt a maternal feeling towards them. Talking about violence, they talk about it a lot. I sort of followed Michael and the girls leading it. Because I haven’t played a lot of mothers, they were just very generous to me. It came pretty naturally. The girls were tremendously helpful.

What sort of research have you done on the characters? Have you tried to contact them? How is it possible the wife never realised about her husband?

All that I was told was that she changed her name, and the children’s, and became unreachable at the time of arrest and trial, facing criminal charges. I thought that it would have been…it was better that I didn’t speak with her. I don’t think that she…I don’t know what she would say. She would have said she didn’t know anything at all. It’s a horrible thing to have to talk about and admit, hard for anyone, especially because the marriage was so long and because of her children. She could not have acknowledged, for the children, otherwise she would have been a criminal too.

This was the first time I didn’t have the blessing of someone I’m playing. It was a very different experience for me, I think doing it this way helped me the most.

Read the whole interview, with Shannon and Liotta, here.