Uma Thurman Talks ‘Motherhood’

motherhood

In an earlier conversation that we all had with Catherine she told us that she was really moved, moved to tears actually, watching one scene in particular.  It was you and Anthony Edwards sitting in a car towards the end of the film.  And she said that it was actually her favorite scene.  And we were just wondering if you could share anything about what was going on in that scene, what was it for you to act that scene, because it obviously made a real impression on her?

Uma Thurman: It’s a scene where I guess in a way the character of Eliza, which Catherine wrote, basically is explaining why she, what the source of her unhappiness is, and how she is basically is getting lost in the minutia of her domestic life, has lost herself in that service and has lost a sense of purpose.

I think something obviously drew you to motherhood and specifically Eliza’s character.  So, I’m wondering what do you feel is authentic about how motherhood is portrayed in the movie and how will we, meaning audiences, really be able to relate to that?

Uma Thurman: I think first of all, you know, this is a story where the mother is actually central to the experience, where she is the one being seen through her actions.  She’s not there to focus your attention in a role of how the mother relates to the person of interest who is either a man or a child.  You kind of have, you know, mothers are often used in narrative.  Filling in the blanks, per se, about another character, but it’s not really about them, themselves.  And I just think, you know, Catherine’s character was so honest,  you know, I mean she’s someone who’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mother and yet she’s struggling with that decision.  And feels fulfilled but at the same time compromised in a way at times by you know being in total baby land and not stimulating other sides of herself that are obviously important.  And I like that she has flaws, you know, I like that she has anger issues and yet she still loves her kids.  She’s funny and charming and she’s just sort of real.

Most movies that I think we’ve seen usually sort of take place over like a longer time span.  Sort of days or weeks and this particular movie takes place in one day.  And I’m wondering as an actress in the movie how it sort of felt doing the same almost like the same scene over and over again. Did you get a sense of déjà vu?

Uma Thurman: Oh well you know, actually in a way it’s very tricky because you can really get kind of confused as to where you are.  It’s like, you can easily get kind of lost in it because you seem to be in the same clothing and it’s the same day, but time is going by.  Your location, you just kind of sew it together it so it feels like you have come from one place to the other.  That just requires a lot of kind of focus and being aware of the piece.  I’ve seen a couple movies that are a character study that happens over one day.  I’ve often liked them very much.  Like After Hours, which Martin Scorsese did.  It’s kind of a neat device because one day of someone’s life in a way, not about them necessarily collecting the Nobel Prize, but actually just one real normal day.  It’s an amazing way to see a person’s character just kind of broken open, and I found it kind of tricky and fun.

You have two kids, so my question is how has having children made you a better actress?

Uma Thurman: Well, it changed me completely.  I think we all know you’re not ever the same before and after you have children.  It’s hard to say, I mean, I guess when I do get to work, I feel so appreciative of it because I don’t get to do it all the time.  So, it’s just sort of made much more clear lines between my work and my life.  But I also deeply appreciate my work.

What was the most surprising thing for you while filming Motherhood?

Uma Thurman: I think I was surprised what wonderful actors the children who played my children were and how great it was to act with them.  I’ve never really played a realistic mom before and having the chance to work with those kids on such a sort of funny and wonderful and warm script, it was, that was probably the nicest aspect.

Uma-Thurman-in-'Motherhood'

While preparing for the role of Eliza did you research blogs and if so did you find any that you became a fan of?

Uma Thurman: You know, I didn’t.  I didn’t get into the blogging world.  I feel a little guilty about it, and I apologize.  There’s still time.  You know, I didn’t.  I didn’t get a chance to.  I feel so badly telling you that.

What is your favorite thing about filming in New York and what is your least favorite thing?

Uma Thurman: My favorite thing is how close it is to home.  My least favorite thing is how noisy it is.  That’s probably the biggest challenge is the sound challenge, you know?

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