Truth On Cinema (2013)
May 1, 2013
Thanks to Carole Smith of the GaylerSmith Company, we were able to sneak into the tail end of Amy Acker‘s brief visit to the great city of Dallas. Having just seen her new film, a Joss Whedon adaption of Much Ado About Nothing, words could not capture our excitement. Of course, plenty of the questions the actress had to field revolved around Whedon, but she admires him just as much as the rest of us, especially for his work on the Shakespearean screenplay:
“He adds a lot of subtext and a lot of comedy through the subtext that really sort of makes everything… the fact that everyone has drinks in their hand pretty much from the time that credits are rolling; you start to understand how everyone is confused and seeing things that aren’t really happening.”
Acker later added that it was a thrill to be involved with the project, saying “I can’t imagine having another experience like this, unless Joss decides to make another movie like this.” The film itself was quite an accomplishment, wrapping up principal photography in just twelve days and somehow remaining relatively well-hidden from the public eye. Using his own home as a set and working with a minuscule budget, Whedon somehow managed to squeeze out a fantastic film before The Avengers was even finished. According to Acker, it was the passion of the cast and the fun of the script that made the project such a success.
“Everybody there just really admired and liked each other,” Acker said, “it was a perfect environment to do something that it didn’t really matter what happened with it.” No one knew what would become of Much Ado About Nothing, and no one seemed to really care. The tight-knit group of actors, many of whom had worked together or met at conventions because of their director, had so much fun with production that they trekked from LA to Austin’s SXSW film festival together on a tour bus (an experience affectionately dubbed “Bus Ado About Nothing,” but one in which Acker couldn’t participate because she had already purchased airline tickets. “It was all the people without children,” she joked).
The actress also added that the timetable didn’t seem to bother anyone, noting that the television veterans in the cast had “done hour long shows in eight days, so it almost felt luxurious in the sense that we got to have a couple of weeks of rehearsal before we shot.” It shows. Everything about the film flows perfectly and feels both natural and superior to everyday experience. Even Acker felt a twinge of the surreal, saying ““I kind of wish life was in black and white after this movie. It hides a lot of bad stuff.” Of course, the film used to shoot a movie is only a small part of process. Whedon confessed to Acker that one of her scenes is always immensely boring in the play and told her directly and very early on that he wanted her to fall down a staircase to liven it up. She didn’t even blink. She trusted Whedon.
“Joss is one of those people that you don’t want to disappoint. Not that he would be mad or anything, but when he’s happy about something that you’ve done it makes you feel so good because he has good taste.”
With the rest of the world finally starting to agree with that sentiment, it seems that Much Ado About Nothing is poised to reap the rewards of his new level of fame. Acker told us that the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival felt a lot like Comic-Con. “There were three standing ovations for Joss before the movie even started,” she said, “everyone was like ‘we should never watch this movie again with another audience…’ seeing it in SXSW felt a little more realistic.” With any luck, the aura of success will continue to follow the modern take on Shakespeare as it gains momentum. Until then, however, we can always look forward to the next Whedon family reunion:
“When Joss calls and asks you… the phone rings and I’m like ‘yes? Yes. No, yes. Whatever you’re asking… yes. I’ll do it’ And I think everyone feels the same way.”
I’m not afraid to say that I think Acker would make a great Wasp or Scarlet Witch in the next installment of the Avengers franchise. Only time will tell if he agrees with me. If you’d like to see Acker and the gang in action, check your local theaters for Much Ado About Nothing on June 7.