The movie is not “A Family Woman.” So much of it is his perspective and his journey. But one of the important things about playing a part like this, that it’s so important for my character to love him. She is there to show the audience that he is loved and loveable even when that might otherwise be hard to believe. It’s hard sometimes not to judge her for loving him but I had to as the actor kind of come to a point where I had to understand why she does. It’s funny because when I initially read the script I didn’t think of them as being super successful necessarily, but I did think she is attracted to his sort of kind of cockiness or that nature of that person. When he says, “What’s not to love?” she really loved that.
Haben: Film is very visual. Deaf culture and American Sign Language are very visual, too. Do you think being Deaf gives you an advantage over hearing actors?
CJ: Oh, that’s an interesting question. Well, Haben, it is not about being hearing or Deaf, it is not about being black or white, it is not about labels. It’s about talent, integrity, uniqueness, and passion. I got the role because I demonstrated that I have the talent the director was looking for. I fit his vision. He was very happy that he made the right decision hiring an authentic Deaf actor.
We mourn the loss of Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau, who died on July 16, 2017 at age 89. His career goes back to the legendary years of the Actors Studio, where his classmates included Steve McQueen. He rode motorcycles with James Dean and appeared with Cary Grant and James Mason in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
In the 1960’s, he and then-wife Barbara Bain starred in the hugely popular television series Mission Impossible.
He won an Oscar for a wonderfully witty portrayal of real-life horror movie star Bela Lugosi, making his final film with worst-director-ever Ed Wood, played by Johnny Depp.
Interview: Zoe Lister-Jones, Writer/Director/Lyricist/Star of “Band Aid”
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For rogerebert.com, I spoke to writer/director/lyricist/star Zoe Lister-Jones about her film,
“Band Aid,” made with an all-female crew.
Why did you insist on an all-female crew?
First and foremost, I just wanted to see what it would feel like to make art with other women and exclusively so. It’s so rare that there are even a handful of women on a crew, let alone an entire crew made up of women. So I just thought that it’d be really interesting to see how that lent itself to the creative process. And then I also was very aware of the under-representation of women on film and TV crews and I wanted to create opportunities for women in departments where they are very rarely afforded them.
How did that affect the production?
It was amazing. It exceeded my expectations and expectations were already pretty high. It was just a really distinct energy and everyone who came on set immediately acknowledged it. All the extras who came on set for the first time would be like, “Whoa. This is really different and cool.” It was just a very calm and patient and gracious community of people making work together. It really did give a communal energy to the work. And it was on top of that just super efficient and productive which is maybe the biggest takeaway.
In the film, your wife Katharine Ross plays Lee’s ex-wife. Did the two of you discuss what the history of your characters was?
No, that’s way too deep for Katharine or me. ‘Cause none of that stuff shows. I know actors go down that road. I know a lot of actors that I really respect that would go down that road. But I don’t think that’s really important for me. I think what’s important is having the correct words, and being able to commit to those words. And being honest. That to me is what’s most important, being honest.