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Patricia Arquette – Winners’ Press Conference interview, Supporting Actress, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2015

8 February 2015

Winners’ Press Conference interview with Patricia Arquette for Supporting Actress 

Winners press conference interview with Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) in the Best Supporting Actress category


Q.  Congratulations.

A.  Thank you so much.

Q.  How does it feel, Patricia, to win a BAFTA?

A.  It feels really good.  It feels very shaky inside and it does feel heavy, yes - but heavy, because it means so much.

Q.  This is obviously something that I imagine you could not have envisaged when you set out on this journey 12 years ago. What were your thoughts?  In the very first year you did Boyhood, what was it about this incredible film that made you commit to it? 

A.  Well, I have always wanted to work with Richard. I think he is really an original film maker and he makes films unlike anyone else, and so that was wonderful. But when he told me this concept of shooting a week a year, I knew no one had done that before. It is impossible to get financing on a regular movie, let alone one where you could lose your money, because your cast could leave at any point. So I thought it was pretty crazy that he could get $3 million to do that.  And then when he told me the story, and when he told me it was about human beings, about a family, about divorce and children and growing up. I had a 12 year old and I really wanted to show that, how fast children grow, how fast we all get older, how extraordinary an ordinary life is.

Q.  Did you know at the beginning where your character would end up, where ultimately? 

A. Yes, he told me. He told me. We spent several hours talking about my character.  It was based on his mother; it was autobiographical. But his mother and my mother had both gone back to school. His mother and my mother had both gone into therapeutic sciences and taught. His father and Ethan's father both went into the insurance business.

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi, it is Natalie from the BBC.  As you say, as a mother yourself, doing this film, did it screw you up in any way, in your head, spinning (inaudible)?

A. No, it did not screw me up in my head.  No.  I just I have been a mom since I was 20 years old and I don't know what my life I could never have not been a mom.  I would have adopted or something, somehow been a mom, I think.  But my children have been so the biggest teachers in my life and I wanted to kind of honour that. 

I work on a project like this, Richard loves human beings. It's so rare. I can't even explain it to you.  Like, he stripped away all of the ego from each of us. There was no ego allowed in your performances, in his direction.  You know, Richard knows a lot about film. He runs the Austin Film Society. He has given out $1.5 million in grants to other film makers.  He knows about film. He screens over 200 films a year and talks about other film makers and their shots and everything.  But he always was pulling himself back, always pulling everything back to the most human elements. 

I do want to say thank you to all the critics and reviewers in Europe, and in England in particular, that have sent audiences out, wrote so lovingly and personally about our movie, and I and I ran out of time, but I really, really wanted to say that I love Tony Scott so much, an English film maker who changed my life because he really taught me how to listen to myself as a woman, as an actress.  Every single idea I had on True Romance, he told me: that is a fucking brilliant idea, let's do it.  There was only two times he said: I don't know about that idea, and we would shoot it and I would say: cool, don't worry.  He would say: no, Alabama was right.  Let's do it Alabama's way.  And every time Christian would have an idea, he would say: that is a terrible fucking idea, Christian. 

But he really taught me as a girl, and the world didn't teach you when I was growing up, and maybe still did not does not today, to listen to yourself as a girl.  So I love Tony Scott.  I love you, England, for giving me Tony Scott.

Q.  Thank you. 

NEW SPEAKER: Hi, Patricia.  Congratulations. What does this award mean to you, compared to all the others that you have already won this award season?  And what do you love most about this ceremony, being here?

A. Well, some of my favourite actors of all time are British. Some of my favourite film makers are British, and now I have joined, you know, this great tradition of English cinema by being honoured in this tonight. That means a lot to me. 

Also our movie being acknowledged means a lot to me.  It is such a personal movie for all of us, and I know how hard it is to get a small movie made, let alone a movie like this, and a movie about human beings. I have never been in a movie where people called me and said: I called my mom and apologised.  We decided not to get divorced. We have decided to have a baby after seeing your movie. I have never been in a movie like that.  So honouring me is honouring all of us in a way.

NEW SPEAKER: I love your voice, by the way, gorgeous.

A. Thank you.

NEW SPEAKER: Golden Globes, it was a bit of a joke that women over 40 struggle to get jobs as an actress.  Why do you think that is?

A. Because I think men over 40 don't want to be cast with women who are their real age, I guess. I mean, I find it funny. Sometimes you will have someone like Harrison Ford in a movie, but the woman cast opposite him isn't three or four years younger than him like in real life. That is generally how he mates as a species. Somehow will have a 20 years younger. I mean, that is the ridiculous thing. 

We have to call bullshit on that. Like, come on people. Cast appropriate to your leading men's age at least. Let's start there.

NEW SPEAKER: I have a question. Did you enjoy the whole (inaudible) process in the film, obviously (inaudible)?

A. I did, and I was excited about that when I first thought about it.  Yes, I had seen my son.  He was already 12 when we started, so I wanted to see children grow like this. Like this beautiful seedling and flower opening.  But a flower is also beautiful when it is dropping its petals and when it returns back to the soil.  We have a short life cycles as human beings and I wanted to see how that and also I am really loving getting older. I mean, there was so much pressure and weirdness and attention on just the sexual element when I was younger. I feel sort of liberated and I am loving that part of it.

NEW SPEAKER:  Obviously Richard's films always explore the human condition in completely new ways and this is a unique film. 

I am curious for you, though, what have you taken away on a most profound level about parenthood, about what it means to be a person going through this journey, which is unlike anything an actor has ever ...?

A. Well, also one of the things I have to say about Richard is that he cast us amazingly. Like, we always felt like people that loved each other.  We always felt like people who had something to learn from one another and we have all along this process.  And this movie will be meaningful to me on the day I die. It will mean something to me, this movie. I will look back on this movie, the people I work with on this movie, the connections I have made with strangers. 

I have been in movies have people loved before.  It is not the same as this.  This is a kind different kind of a connection because people have enough distance from their own family and their own life to recognise the people in their life.  I don't look exactly like their mom, but suddenly they see their mom in a way that they are not triggered. Their mom's voice isn't exactly like that, but it is similar enough to their mom that they can go: fuck, I had to call my mom and tell her I'm sorry.  Like, they see in the movie themselves, but it's far enough from them where it doesn't trigger them, but it reveals themselves.

Q.  A beautiful note. 

Congratulations. Thank you so much again.

A.  Thank you.

Q.  Patricia Arquette.