Director Liv Ullman Talks MISS JULIE, the Classic Appeal of the Story, the Cast, Financing Headaches, and More at TIFF

     September 16, 2014


One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Liv Ullman’s Miss Julie, a film adaptation of August Strindberg’s famous 19th Century play.  In the film, Jessica Chastain plays an aristocratic woman who strikes up a relationship with her father’s valet (Colin Farrell).  The film explores issues of power through the lenses of social class, gender, and family.  Unlike most modern movies, Miss Julie is deliberately paced and takes its time exploring the characters through long scenes filled with dialogue and emotion.  Those who choose to pay attention will be dazzled by the performances and absolutely transported back in time.

Shortly after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with Liv Ullman.  She talked about the how Chastain, Farrell, and Morton approached their performances, the classic appeal of the story, her first cut and what she removed from the film, some of the lessons she’s learned over the course of her career, the incredible production design, how she shot most of the film in order, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

miss-julie-jessica-chastain-colin-farrellLiv Ullman:

  • Ullman talks about the TIFF experience.
  • 0:45 – Talks about the “horror story” of her financing the project.
  • 2:20 – The first cut was 2 hours, 25 minutes, and she cut that down to 2 hours flat.
  • 3:50 – She shot the scenes mostly in order but had to account for weather.  She thought she had 32 days to shoot, but that was cut down to 28.
  • 5:35 – Discusses how each Chastain, Farrell, and Morton approached their performances.
  • 7:55 – Explains the classic appeal of the story.
  • 9:45 – Lessons she has learned over the course of her career.
  • 11:20 – Talks about production design and more financing headaches.

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