Billy Crudup is one of the most dependable pitch-hitters for directors who are lucky enough to have him in an ensemble cast. This December the reliable actor plays a man who provides brief feats of hope for a house of women in 20th Century Women and he plays a journalist who’s tasked with profiling Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in Jackie. With Women, Crudup is allowed to show his natural charm. With Jackie, the consummate professional that he is, Crudup allows his character to serve as a narrative device. Someone for the former first lady (Natalie Portman) to sound off against. It’s a role that won’t land on the actor’s best ever performances lists, but it perfectly suits the film and is a reminder that Crudup is always there to do what’s best for the film.
I got to sit down with him to talk about how he sees his skeptical journalist fitting into the narrative of Jackie, whether or not he felt gipped to not have a strong regional accent like almost all the other actors in the film, which version of Zack Snyder‘s Watchmen he prefers and his level of excitement for The Flash. (Note: This interview was filmed in October when both Jackie and 20th Century Women had their US premieres; at the time, Rick Famuyiwa was still attached to direct The Flash, but he has since dropped out. Read Crudup’s slight pause before answering however you’d like.)
Jackie is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles. It will expand markets in the proceeding weeks.