Olivia Wilde has served as executive producer on a number of projects, but Meadowland marks her very first go at producing a feature film. As if that’s not challenging enough, she also stars as Sarah, a mother struggling to cope with the disappearance of her young son. It’s been a year since Jessie vanished during a trip up to Ithaca, but Sarah is still completely consumed by the loss and desperately searching for answers.
While in New York City for the world premiere of Meadowland at the Tribeca Film Festival, I got the opportunity to sit down with Wilde to discuss her experience producing and starring in the film. She talked about her determination to champion accomplished cinematographer Reed Morano’s directorial debut, the nine-minute walking shot they did in Times Square, what it was like tapping into a character who’s in the midst of such a devastating situation and more. You can hear all about Meadowland and a little bit on Tron 3 in the video interview below.
- 00:05 – Making the move from executive producer to full producer; why she chose to do that for this project specifically.
- 00:41 – What she’s best at as a producer; pushing a female-driven female-directed drama.
- 01:03 – As an actor who produces, is it assumed she’ll use her connections for casting?
- 01:38 – Finding incredible actors like Elisabeth Moss and Kevin Corrigan to come in for a day or two.
- 02:29 – Meeting Morano and deciding to make this movie together.
- 03:35 – Taking risks that weren’t in the script, like the elephant scene.
- 04:47 – Having Morano direct and be the DP on the film as well.
- 05:35 – How Morano directed her actors while operating the camera.
- 06:19 – The nine-minute walking shot they did through Times Square; will we ever get to see the full nine minutes?
- 08:12 – Using available light for the most part.
- 08:28 – Shooting the movie without standard hair and makeup.
- 09:40 – Getting into this character’s headspace; is it about playing pretend or thinking about things that truly upset you?
- 10:47 – How working as a producer helped Wilde dissociate from the heart-wrenching material when necessary.
- 11:09 – Making producing decisions while in the headspace of the character.
- 11:53 – Did she ever consider just producing and casting another actress in the role?
- 12:45 – On looking forward to producing another film, but not acting in it.
- 13:05 – Why the bright yellow sweatshirt? Was the color choice directly related to the character or because it looks fantastic in the frame?
- 13:31 – Wilde discusses Tron 3, when it might go into production and what Wilde is looking forward to doing with Quorra.