Thursday, November 12, 2015

Interview: Christopher Abbott

With roles in Nurse Jackie, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and A Most Violent Year already under his belt, not to mention his most famous part to date, as Marnie's initially lovesick, then over-it boyfriend Charlie on Girls, Christopher Abbott appears to be as talented at picking interesting projects as he is at acting in them. His latest film is writer-director Josh Mond's James White, an astute character study of a young man pushed to his limits, for better and for worse, by the death of his father and the rapid decline of his cancer-stricken mother. In his first starring role, Abbott runs a gauntlet of emotions as the title character, who lives, as his mother warns him, too much on the high or low end of the emotional scale and not enough in the middle. I met up with him this week to talk about the film, which he calls a “personal project” for both Mond and himself. Low-key but engaged, he talked about his work and his interest in what makes people tick with unpretentious sincerity.

Your character feels so vivid, partly because he's an intense guy, but also because we see so many aspects of his personality and behavior. Obviously, a lot of that was in the script, but I'm interested in what you did to flesh him out.

Well, Josh is a good friend of mine, so I was lucky to be involved from early on. I first saw the script about a year before we started shooting it. The story and the crux of the character were there, but I got to work on this for a long time, creating who this guy was aside from what's on the page, just me and Josh talking about it, coming up with ideas. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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