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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

I interview Paul Schneider (and others)

You’ve seen Paul Schneider in movies like Lars and the Real Girl and Away We Go, and he’s in Parks & Recreation on NBC, which just had its second season premiere last night. And now he’s starring in Bright Star, Jane Campion’s new movie about the poet John Keats and his romance with Fanny Brawne, which inspired some of his poetry (Schneider plays Keats’ best friend, the Scottish poet Charles Armitage Brown).

I talked this week with Schneider about his work — check out my interview with him at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. (I’ll review the movie soon.)
I have had the most crazy insane week of interviews and roundtables and meeting people who are amazing and talented. I love talking to actors who are able to really analyze their own craft — I find it totally fascinating. And this week I had the wonderful privilege of grilling Michael Sheen about his work (he’s starring in The Damned United, opening soon in the U.S. and already available on DVD in the U.K.), and listening to Alessandro Nivola talk about working in a language he barely spoke before he started shooting (he’s appearing in the French-language Coco Before Chanel, opening soon on both sides of the Atlantic). Oh, and Jesse Eisenberg, who’s starring in Zombieland, who doesn’t like zombie movies. And others. All in the past four days.

It’s exhausting, on the one hand, running around to all these things, and there’s always a lot of waiting around for things to get started, and then the transcribing of the interviews is the hugest pain in the ass. But it’s also invigorating, too. There’s an energy that smart, creative people give off. Sometimes it feels negative and selfish — especially sometimes when it’s really big stars — but this week it was all positive.

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