Smarter-than-her-years Sarah Polley certainly doesn’t need my help securing work, but John Horn’s recent feature piece, from February 17’s Los Angeles Times, proves that the actress turned director, Oscar nominated for her adapted screenplay for Away From Her, gets it, and is no one-flick fluke behind the camera.
In discussing her preparation for the movie, Polley makes remarks that are illustrative of why (really smart, attentive) actors often make good
directors, for many of the same reasons that catchers make decent
managers in baseball. “I’ve spent a lifetime working with disorganized first-time filmmakers
who don’t get the support of their crew because they feel they are
wasting their time,” says Polley in the interview. “And I knew how badly I needed their
support. You know as an actor so acutely what destroys morale, what
creates complaints, and that can be good and bad, because when you’re
directing you can become hyper-aware of that. I think that what
a lot of first-time filmmakers don’t realize is that they are the least
experienced person on that set. Everybody else has been doing their job
for years, so the whole act of playing the filmmaker, playing the
person in command, is a charade. So the best you can do is work your ass off and admit what you don’t know, and ask for help when you need
it.” Succinctly put, and spot on.