Friday June 28, 2013
Rising star: Andrea Riseborough
By Roger Moore
It’s been hard to avoid Andrea Riseborough on the big screen this year. The 31-year-old British actress, who first gained notice in this country in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky and Madonna’s W.E., has had four films released in the space of two months – Oblivion, Welcome To The Punch, Disconnect and the thriller Shadow Dancer.
“Every job is a milestone,” Riseborough says, fresh from the New York set of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s all-star comedy, Birdman.
“That first chance to work with Mike Leigh, or just taking a day of work in a Roger Michell movie (Venus), joining Birdman to work with Inarritu, I’m adding up the milestones, the steps along the path. An actor’s career is always a work in progress, nothing that you should ever let yourself get caught up in as it’s happening.”
Riseborough, having cut her teeth working with the improvisational Leigh, is a writer as well as actress.
But when documentary filmmaker James Marsh pitched her the fictional feature Shadow Dancer, which has her playing a damaged, dedicated IRA member in 1990s Belfast whom British agent Clive Owen sets out to “turn”, the writer in her became an eraser.
“I was unclear about who Collette was, because in the original script, she talks an awful lot. Too much, I thought.
“I had a grasp of the situation she was in but not the person that she was. I think I took the role just to figure out who she was. If I didn’t commit to the film, I’d never do the research and I’d never figure her out.”
Her research made her realise “she should speak less and less and do more with her eyes. In that part of the world, even now, people are very economical with their words. They lived in a very dangerous and paranoid place for a very long time. Her silences give her an authenticity. People didn’t talk. Talking could get you killed.”
With cop thrillers, science fiction, period-piece dramas and contemporary dramas on her resume and a quartet of projects at various stages of completion, one credit that stands out is Birdman, a comedy about a washed-up screen superhero who stages a Broadway show to make his comeback.
Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis and ex-screen superheroes Edward Norton and Michael Keaton also star. Can Riseborough hold her own in a comedy?
“Oh, I’ve been doing comedy since I was, what, nine? I did Magicians (2007). Well, that didn’t work as well as it should have, but it was supposed to be a comedy.” – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services