FLICKS INTERVIEW - Debbie Reynolds


Flicks Interview

Debbie Reynolds photo

Debbie Reynolds

Patrick Stoner: This is a much more subtle performance than we've ever seen from you. Could you have done a role like this in your early career?

Debbie Reynolds: No, I wouldn't have known how to do it. I needed both the life experience and the years of developing my acting craft. And then, I haven't been asked to do anything in films for a long time -- a couple of decades. So, I knew that I better do a good job with this.

Stoner: What did you do to get to know this character? You haven't exactly spent your adult life as a suburban mother.

Reynolds: Well, one of the things I did was recreate her home in my home.

Stoner: What does that mean?

Reynolds: I had the sets that meant so much to this character built -- right in my home, especially the kitchen, which was important both for her character and for your introduction to her when Albert comes to visit. I wanted to be as comfortable in that environment as she was. I moved around those areas in character. I wanted to get that sense of peace and even boredom that comes with long familiarity.

Stoner: How about you, Debbie? I mean, you are still very much in the public eye -- with your nightclub act, for example.

Reynolds: I quit the act while working on the character -- months before we started shooting.

Stoner: Really!

Reynolds: Yes, that was Albert's idea. He said, "Debbie, I want your rhythm to be in synch with hers. She doesn't get up in front of strangers and sing or do impressions. She moves to a different beat." So, I stopped doing the act so I could adjust my energy -- my timing, my sensitivity -- to the appropriate level. He was right. If I had been up in front of an audience just before playing Mother, I couldn't have had her rhythm, her mood and attitude.

Stoner: You must have really wanted to get this one right.

Reynolds: I miss the movies. Still, I understood that my kind of movie has had its day. I thought it was over for me. So, when I got a chance to get back up there on that big screen, I wanted to take it seriously. I gave it all that I had, and it's gratifying that others seem to be receiving it so well.

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