An Interview with Taylor Schilling
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2012 17:04
Massachusetts native Taylor Schilling plays the lead role in this weekends release of “THE LUCKY ONE”, adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ novel. After a homecoming screening of the film that included her family in the audience, Schilling was kind enough to sit down and talk with us about her process, her costars, and the pressure that comes along with bringing such a fan-favorite book to life.
The Voice: How was the Q&A last night? It must have been incredible, bringing the movie back home.
Taylor Schilling:It was a dream come true for me to bring it back to where I’m from and share it with the people that I love.
The Voice: Well, this movie's got an edge to it that you don’t see in most romantic movies, and I was kind of comparing it to a 50’s melodrama - it’s really operatic, and I really dug that.
TS:There’s something about Nicholas Sparks that works so well is that he embraces it, he embraces what he does and he does it the best. I think there’s something operatic about it. I think when you can fully embrace the experience of it, there’s nothing like it.
The Voice: Is it tough to give a real performance when all you’re really being asked most of the time is stare lovingly at Zac Efron?
TS:I think there are worse things in the world than to stare lovingly at Zac Efron. What was exciting is that there’s a lot going on with Beth, there’s a lot happening for her in every scene. So there’s a lot for me to sink my teeth into and explore in terms of her arc in every scene that Zac and I had together, so I never felt like I was just sort of filling time.
The Voice: Yeah, in most romantic films we see now it’s like the woman has no life before the movie starts. Not so much this one.
TS:That was one of the things that I connected to immediately when I read the script – that she is a woman dealing with things that I think women right now are dealing with. It’s quite current; the idea of being a working single mom and really just putting yourself on the back burner to do the best that you can by your family. I think it makes it so exciting and dramatic for me as an actor, I can see why she had all these guards up, why she was so resistant. Dealing with all of the loss she’s experienced and dealing with all of her responsibilities, it was not a dramatic device that she was so resistant to him coming in. She’s an actual fully flushed out woman – it’s thrilling.
I had an acting teacher once say that acting was like peas in pea soup – you can’t really extract yourself fully from the “goop” it becomes. Like, what’s the difference between peas and pea soup? They’re the same thing, just… different. You know what I mean?
The Voice: How was it different working with Jay Ferguson and Zac Efron as your two love interests?
TS:Jay Ferguson, the guy who played Keith, is one of the most loving, funny, juvenile guys you would ever meet. Between takes, he would be showing me cool music, and we would be downloading things - well, music, not things. He’s a dad in real life and he’s got a beautiful wife… I mean, he’s the opposite of Keith. There’s that, and it’s fun to have that relationship on set because I felt so comfortable with him as a person that it was really safe to go to these darker places with him because I felt really comfortable around him. He was just Jay.
And then Zac is just a dear friend. He’s very easygoing and he’s just a real pleasure to work with. So, I think that as we became better friends, it just got easier and easier. But it was just like that right when we had our first screen test.
The Voice: And how great is Blythe Danner?
TS: Yes, absolutely! The second most exciting moment of this process was, well first when I got the call I was like “I got the part aaahhh,” just freaking out. And then finding out that she was going to play my grandmother, I flipped my lid! She’s amazing, she’s totally amazing and I just cherish her.
The Voice: What Blythe really brings to the movie is it’s got this southern flavor to it. So I was kind of curious, you’re from the northeast, and how’d you adapt to that? Because I was kind of surprised when I found out you’re from here.
TS:Really? Score one for the team!
The Voice: As you kind of mentioned earlier, you know, they don’t totally glam you up in this movie; that’s a good choice for the role.
TS:No, not at all! Definitely, it was such a gift that they let us do that. It lends so much integrity to the project that Beth could be like that. Also I think that shooting on location, shooting in Louisiana, I think I was there for four or five months, and I really made a conscious effort to sort of let that culture seep in and let go of New York and Boston as much as I could.
The Voice: So last night you said you were going to go home and watch the “
TS:I went back to my room and tried to pass out. I tried to. But I will let you know when I do. Well… I think maybe I should wait until I’m done with press. It’s a different guy, I think.
The Voice: And what do you think about the message of the movie? About destiny, choosing your destiny?
TS:Well, I certainly think that there’s some kind of a guiding force in my life. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it feels to me that there’s something more than me and that I can kind of trust that. I have to kind of keep my side of the street clean and show up to the opportunities that are presented to me, but there’s something that if I kind of take my hands off the steering wheel - I’m in the right place at the right time.