Breaking Baz: Ruth Wilson On “Huge Act Of Stamina” Needed To Perform For 24 Hours With 100 Men On London Stage; Mud, Glorious Mud For ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’

Ruth Wilsonstar of The Affair, Luther And his dark materialHas performed with several lead actors, usually one at a time, but in May her endurance will be tested when she plays the same scene almost nonstop for 24 hours with a hundred different men in a marathon stage show in London Is – one after the other.

“Yeah, one hundred is enough,” she laughs.

“It’s a great act of stamina,” she tells me. other woman, a title inspired by a play that centers on John Cassavetes1977 film opening night starring gena rowlands, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through it and that’s part of the appeal for me,” she continued.

Her face looks stricken for a second as she tells me, “As the show goes on, I’ll lose any sense of performance,” she sighs, though it’s clear she relishes the prospect. .

The show runs for 24 hours, from 4pm to 4pm, on 19-20 May at the Young Vic Theatre.

It’s a massive undertaking for Wilson, but not one for which she may be completely prepared as her army of co-stars will be strangers to her. “I haven’t had any rehearsals with men, I haven’t met them before,” she explains.

He is given a scene to learn and Wilson learns the same scene. “Then they will come and this will be the first time I will meet them.”

I ask if they will be washed. She nods yes. The Young Vic will have a process in place for security checks “to make sure they are in it for good intentions.”

Part of the thrill of doing it is not knowing how they’re going to interact and how they’re going to cope. “It’s exciting to me. Like, I don’t know how each of these men is going to react.

“I always thought that in the beginning, there would have been effort on my part to perform or create characters or entertain audiences, or care for these men,” but all of that would disappear, she says. “My fatigue, And as emotions and energy, and everything else gets the better of me. Those things will fade away.

Her face lights up, “So I guess I’m quite thrilled.” She’s “interested in eroding the artificiality of performance … and I think most actors live for the moment to feel comfortable.” does.”

There will be moments of frustration on stage and she wonders if she’ll be angry with any of her co-stars as the hours go by. “You, as an audience, will be able to detect those differences in me, so if it’s great chemistry, you’ll suddenly see us really connecting, and having a good time,” she laughs. “It will be a study of conversation, human interaction and intimacy,” she says.

the scene that would be played on repeat, kind of Groundhog Day, is a break-up scene between a man and a woman. It will be a study of power dynamics between the sexes. “The power appears to be with the man, but as it unfolds, you realize space and the environment are very much my domain, so that already creates a conflict, and the shift of that power will be across the scene.” ,” she tells me over a live Zoom video call.

The Cassavetes film is about Myrtle Gordon, a dazzling actress “who is playing Virginia, a character in a play within a play, and the character she is written for is a woman in her forties who is on the hill. , so it’s about the dwindling agency of a woman, I guess, and actress Gena Rowlands grappling with the idea of ​​playing that role.

The show focuses on just one scene with Virginia. Wilson hopes to explore the idea of ​​”you becoming the character and vice versa”.

I ask what kind of breaks will be there. “Every two hours I’ll have a 15-minute break,” she replies. “All this will be about 15 minutes. What do I do in that time? do i meditate Shall I go outside and get some fresh air? do i eat do i go to the toilet ,” she wonders.

other woman is a co-production between the Young Vic and LIFT, a biennial independent London theater festival, and was created by Nat Randall and Anna Bracken. It is produced in association with Wilson’s Lady Lazarus Production Company.

The world premiere of the show took place in Australia before the pandemic. In fact, Wilson was supposed to play the role three years ago, but it didn’t go ahead because “you can’t touch a hundred people” with COVID.

Wilson enjoys returning to the stage and has won two Olivier Awards for the roles Anna Christie And a Streetcar Named Desire .

The actress is currently filming the BBC One and Paramount Global thriller The West of Ireland woman in the wall, about the horrors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries. She stars alongside Daryl McCormack who is enjoying a good run Good luck to you, Leo Grande And bad sisters, She is also nominated for this year’s BAFTA EE Rising Star Award. six-parter created by Joe Murtagh (american animal) and starring Harry Wootliff, who directed Wilson in the feature true things, and Rachna Suri (bastard son and the devil himself,

McCormack plays Tambe and Wilson says her story is “one of the women living in the village, and there’s a murder, which basically unravels the whole past.”

She describes it as a “wild, weird, unusual piece of the night with a great cast—and we’re almost finished.” As we know, there are a lot of demands for content “and it’s exhausting,” she says.

However, she has tasked herself with a different set of projects for stage and screen that will put her in challenging environments and scenarios. “Next year is going to be choosing things that ultimately may not be really popular, but they are things that are more interesting and challenging to me.”

Wilson also presented me with a challenge: that I should audition for the role of one of the hundred people who came with him. other woman, “Honestly, you should,” she urges.

I could have entered Stage Left as Block No. 62, joking. This man’s name is Marty “but come as 62,” she says, more than amused by the idea of ​​such a lark.

Mud, Glorious Mud!

Heike Merker, nominated by both BAFTA and Oscar for her hair and make-up designs All Quiet on the Western FrontShe has a wry expression on her face as she grapples with the fact that I want to discuss clay art.

“I get dragged into this a lot,” I say by way of explanation. “By my Keeshond and Shiba Inu dogs,” I quickly add.

Netflix invited me to an early theater screening last summer of director Edward Berger’s retelling of Erich Maria Remarque’s story about German conscripts thrown into the inferno of bloody warfare in WWI.

It was one of those small, basement rooms in Soho that made over a huge screen so that every scrawny, wounded face was clearly visible.

Then more recently, a senior Netflix executive joked that there were so many different types of mud made by Merker to apply to the faces of soldiers fighting in the trenches, that they had enough time to announce “I love mud.” Must have a T-shirt.

This kind of dirt my dogs have no trouble finding on the rocks along the Hackney Marshes and Hastings coast in East Sussex has long been a factor in my life.

Yes, Mercer agrees. “I have a dog too and I know exactly what you’re talking about.” His dog is a cockapoo.

The difference however is that for film “You can’t use real clay. It has to be makeup clay so you can put it on the skin”, pointing out the danger of using real material when you have no clue what it is. What could be hidden in it? I think of rats and insects and, well, you know.

“You have mud, you have blood, you have different textures on the battlefield,” Merker explains as we discuss the many varieties involved.

“I was on a mission to do all soil types,” noted Merker as she cataloged her rainbow of soils. “Light tan, beige, yellow, and then it went into a green and then a light brown, medium brown, dark brown, and then a dark brown. A black, of course.

Is it thick or thin slop that you’ll need to plaster the tired soldiers’ faces? “Sometimes it can be a diluted version, if you can imagine when your dog is making a mess,” says Merker.

There was a touch of the real stuff with particles of gray clay from the Dead Sea. “It’s like a powder. It’s clear and we mix it with other ingredients.”

Then there are packages with macadamia powder, mocha powder… “We started experimenting and the whole thing was like a painting. We had our palette.

Kryolan, the professional makeup company, supplied the pigments and other necessary ingredients, and they mixed vats of scorching dirt.

“I think the makeup helped our actors understand how terrifying the battle was,” she says.

Her favorite on set was Felix Kammerer, who plays Paul, the young man we follow. “I had to make him look tired, all kinds of expressions, all kinds of filth. When the entire face of the elephant is covered, the elephant’s skin gets wet with mud,” says Merker.

Extra precautions had to be taken as the battlefield scenes were shot first. “We weren’t at the beginning of the movie where they’re at school and they have to freshen up afterwards, so you have to take care of their skin.”

She and her team made sure the cast had hot showers and hot towels after long days in the trenches.

Sure, it must have been easier to do the hair design and make-up for the previous film, crazy rich asian, “We shot in Singapore and Malaysia. The humidity in there, wow,” she says.

Mud is good.