The star of one of the Toronto International Film Festival’s early hits, “Nightcrawler,” dished with WWD on what it was like to star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and work for her husband, screenwriter Dan Gilroy, who made his directorial debut with the film.
WWD: How does it feel to be at the Toronto International Film Festival with this film?
RENE RUSSO: “Because it’s my husband’s film, I’m really excited for him, and he just killed it. I mean he’s got an amazing movie and it’s his night, but still I was late to the party. I’m not happy about that.”
WWD: Why were you late for your own party?
R.R.: “I was trying to get into these f-cking shoes! [They are] Jimmy [Choo].”
WWD: This film is so intense. What was it like being around your husband during the shoot?
R.R.: “Because I’m not in every scene, I would dip in and out and there were some intense moments but Jake and Dan and Riz and the car and all that was intense, and I know it was for Danny [Gilroy], too, because he was out there doing it every night for hours and so for him it was really intense. For me, I’m probably a little more used to it than Dan is. It’s his first directing job. He did an amazing job. I know how intense it was for him.”
WWD: So this was your first time working together?
R.R.: “It was my first time [working with him].”
WWD: Did you get along?
R.R.: “Because he’s a writer and he gave me the script and I knew it, we did not argue at all on the set. Because I kind of knew what he wanted and how I felt like I wanted to do it. Before that, we kind of worked it out and we had some…I don’t want to say differences. He had his ideas and I had mine, and I think we kind of compromised a little. We had a little different idea on Nina, but there weren’t words. It wasn’t angry. It was me like, ‘Whatever, I’m going to give you what I give you.’ I’m going to say, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and then do what I want like I always do!”
WWD: What was it like to work with Jake?
R.R.: “That was intense because Jake had laser-like focus. It’s different working with different people depending on the film but he was so laser-like that I just stayed out of his way, stayed quiet, and then when the cameras rolled we did our thing, but before that I had to let him be in his own Lou world because it was super intense for him. He was really serious about it because it was not easy. There was a lot of dialogue”.
WWD: I’ve been hearing Oscar buzz, especially for his role.
R.R.: “I hope so. I hope there’s an Oscar buzz. He’s amazing in this movie.!”