Q & A with Melissa Leo about 21Grams
Q: When you first read the script of 21 Grams, what was your impression of Marianne?
A: I had gold in my hands. I knew I understood the story and Marianne's part in it. I thought, 'Wow, they want me to read for that ideal role for me in this amazing script for the men who made Amores Peros! What can I do to land this part?'
Q: Will you be attending the French Premiere of 21 Grams?
A: We can only hope. I have visited France twice and would love to return.
Q: What did you do to get inside of her head?
A: I worked to open my heart. I opened my eyes and ears to Alejandro and Benicio. Learned those perfect words Guillermo wrote and showed up.
Q: What do you do to prepare for a tough 'crying scene'?
A: I have twenty years of acting experience. I inhabit my character and believe her circumstances.
Q: What do you think are Marianne's character flaws?
A: She has flaws? Do you mean she loves too hard? That she has been through hell and back and she recognizes that this is the best she has ever known and will do whatever it takes to hold her family together?
Q: What do you think is her strongest character trait?
A: Her heart.
Q: The scene at the dinner table, when your 'son' hits his 'sister'... that looks like a really tough scene to film... especially with the children... what are the particular challenges in a scene like that?
A: That's quite correct to konw that a scene like that must be done with great care. Firstly, Benicio was very aware to have the time with Marc and Teresa be play time, this was a game and different then what we might do in our real lives. Secondly, Alejandro worked slowly and carefully, getting the pieces he needed to make the scene play with a sense of danger without ever actually being dangerous on the set.
Q: What has been the most rewarding moment of 21 Grams? (Something that happened during ... Filming? Post-production? Press? etc..)
A: Without a doubt to be on the set in Memphis with Benicio, Alejandro, Marc, Teresa, Annie, Cynthia, Allison, Ira, Marlene, Holly, Nancy, Phillip, Brigitte, Blak, Rodrigo, Luisa, Gail, and the entire cast and crew working our hearts out, shooting Guillermo's amazing script. The overwhelming and positive response to the film is the stuff of fairy tales and I am so grateful my heart is open to receive it.
Q: Did Paul Rivers (Sean Penn's character) shoot himself accidently or on purpose?
A: On puporse to keep Christina from becoming a murderer and he knows hes dying now anyway.
Q: Was Cristina Peck (Naomi Watts's character) pregnant with her dead husband's baby or Paul's?
A: The baby is both Paul's and Micheal's, because of the heart, What did you think?