Alfre Woodard has the unenviable task of playing ‘that character’ in Annabelle. The one who knows much more about the supernatural shenanigans than appearances would suggest. The one with a mysterious past prone to grave looks in the background of scenes. The one given to long monologues explaining just what’s been happening in the third act. Typically ‘that character’ is played by a distinguished slightly-too-good-for-this character actor, relishing the opportunity to go big and ham it up for ten or so minutes of screen-time. See Vincent D’Onofrio in Sinister or Kelly McGillis in The Innkeepers or Lin Shaye in Insidious. Woodard though takes an interesting approach to such an archetype. Instead of going big, she underplays each of her scenes bringing (dare-I-say-it) a certain naturalism to the otherworldly theatrics the role is partial to elicit. It’s a welcome turn on the familiar and a testament to Woodard’s moxie and reserve as an actress.
In the following interview with Woodard, she discusses her more grounded approach to the character, dealing with long monologues and the effect (or lack thereof) genre has on performance. Hit the jump to watch.
- Woodard on keeping her performance grounded in reality
- On why genre never effects the performance
- On the difference between reacting to a ‘demon’ versus something commonplace
- On the research process for the film
- On performing monologues