Haley Bennett on Reacting in the Moment for ‘Thank You for Your Service’

     October 26, 2017

Based on a true story and a David Finkel novel of the same name, Thank You for Your Service follows three Iraq War veterans (Miles Teller, Beulah Koale & Joe Cole) as they readjust to civilian life and deal with the trauma of their experiences overseas. Haley Bennett co-stars as Saskia, the wife of Adam Schumann (Teller) – a woman who yearns for her husband to be the same as he was before Iraq (despite knowing this to be impossible). It’s another strong supporting performance for Bennett, after equally strong turns in The Girl on the Train and The Magnificent Seven. Bennett has a knack for quietly devastating performances, their power sneaking up on you long after the credits roll.

thank-you-for-your-service-posterIt’s been over a week since I saw Thank You for Your Service – and the moment that still lingers is just a simple glance Saskia gives Adam as he stares out at a racetrack, neither husband nor wife able to truly speak with one another. Bennett doesn’t oversell this moment; it never feels like ‘acting’ – and because of that, there’s a power to this simple glance, which carries far more weight than any teary-eyed monologues.

In the following interview with Haley Bennett, the actress discusses finding the performance in the moment, meeting the real Saskia Schumann for the first time, and her preparation process for emotionally fraught scenes. For the full interview, watch above.

Haley Bennett:

  • When did Bennett first meet Saskia Schumann?
  • Does Bennett look to the novel for the performance?
  • Between the novel, the script and the person, what does Bennett rely on most for the performance?
  • Is acting a reactive experience for her?
  • Was there a performance choice on set that changed in the moment?
  • What is her preparation process for emotionally fraught scenes?

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