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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

interview with ‘Medium’’s Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber

It’s Monday night here in Paris, which means that in a few hours I’ll be missing Medium on NBC back home. To console myself, here’s some tidbits from a phone press conference I did recently with the show’s stars, Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber, who play Allison and Joe Dubois:

Weber: [on whether he pratices being the world’s greatest husband à la Joe] The abyss that exists between my character and Joe is considerable.

Arquette: Oh please.

Arquette: [on the young actresses who play her daughters on the show, Miranda Carabello, who plays Marie; Maria Lark, who plays Bridgette; Sofia Vassilieva, who plays Ariel] They did go through a growth spurt [since the previous season wrapped production]. It always is amazing to come back and see the kids over a break because they’ll just shoot up, and mature. And Sofia’s like a young woman now, and she was a little girl when we started.

Weber: Yeah. Wild.
Arquette: [on whether her relationship with the girls is changing as they get older and learn more about acting] Yeah, I think so. I feel close to them and I always have, so I don’t know that in that ways it’s changed. But Sofia’s always been interested in acting and talking about it, and even more so. And Maria’s starting to talk about it more now as well. At first she would just showing up to say her lines. It just seems like it’s going deeper for her. And she’s starting to explore it a little bit more and feel more comfortable with it.

[on how working with very young actresses changes her performance and how she works around their needs as performers] It’s always been great working with them because they weren’t like professional actors. Sofia had done a couple of movies, but other than that they were just real kids — real kids that were very funny and fascinating, and raw, and real, and inquisitive.

So they would just get bored of stuff and they would say, “Oh, you’re going to say this again — why do we keep saying this? Aren’t we done? When are we going to be finished?” And so you have to go with whatever they happen to say and be present in the moment.

There’s been a big evolution in their own craft. But they’re still kids at the end of the day and so there is just an inherent reality in them. It says a lot about [showrunner] Glenn [Gordon Caron] and his choice in casting. There’s certainly a lot of showboat-style acting kids, through no fault of their own, who have been like overtrained in the wrong way. And he didn’t hire kids like that. So they’re authentic. They really are authentic.

[on whether Bridgette is as funny offscreen as she is onscreen] Oh, I think she’s funnier. I can’t even explain her. I’ve never met anyone like her. She’s amazing.

Weber: She is a piece of work — not too tightly wrapped, that one.

Weber: I think the only thing that is truly consistent about this show is that Joe will never get a solid night’s sleep.

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