In the film “Armageddon time” (in competition) director James Gary asked the actress to play her real mother. Many personal stories
‘A Jewish mother. Who wouldn’t be happy to play her? ». The one that director James Gary asked Anne Hathaway to stage in his Armageddon time (in competition at Cannes 75), his most personal film, openly inspired by The 400 shots of Truffaut, is a woman he knows well, his mother. «It is always a delicate operation to give body to the character created by a director, in this case even more so. I was more careful than usual to ask for directions, because I was aware that it was not just work but real life. I also drew from my personal experience: my husband is Jewish, my mother-in-law, who recently passed away, gave me a wonderful example of what a Jewish mother can be “, she says moved.
At the heart of the film are the memories of the director’s childhood in Queens, in 1980, Carter still president with Reagan ready to take his place. Little Paul of immigrant Jews (Banks Repeta) is a likeable and restless teenager, misunderstood in the family (his parents are Hathaway and Jeremy Strong, now very popular after the Succession TV series) with the exclusion of his maternal grandfather (Anthony Hopkins, who does not came to the Croisette) and to school, apart from his black friend Johnny (Dupree François Porter). Her daughter of art, Anne Hathaway declares great esteem for her fellow children. «I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an actress, I recognize myself in their desire to do so and I thank my parents who let me do it. I have very fond memories of this set ». Although it was not easy, they say, shooting the scene in which the father – the son of an immigrant plumber who dreams of graduated and destined children – beats young Paul after yet another stunt. “The idea of protecting children is quite recent and still today they live in atrocious conditions in many places. I can’t bear to beat children, but I can’t rewrite history, our fathers beat us with their belts. I have never touched mine, but that was the world I tell. It wasn’t easy to shoot, you can imagine ».
The young Repeta reassures the press (“I trusted them”) and Hathaway points out. “We talked a lot about that scene, even with Banks’ parents. They were common at the time, now not anymore. James has the ability to tell the past without judging it, and let the pain of the past not affect the present. Each of us has an opportunity in every day of our life to continue or change painful behaviors. Well, returning to my mother-in-law, I can say that I learned her sweetness from her, there was never harshness in what she did with her ». Those were complex years, explains Gray, still too little I told. “Mohammed Ali was my hero, and he was defeated, John Lennon was killed, I remember my mother constantly saying ‘there will be a nuclear war’. That was the moment of the beginning of the excessive power of the market, even in the cinema, with the end of the new Hollywood that I loved. Today I look at the present and I wonder: How did we get to the point that two people own and a gang of autocrats want to take control of the planet? Where is the critique of capitalism that has led us to a horrendous inequality? My job is to ask questions ».
May 20, 2022 (change May 20, 2022 | 13:40)
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