ALSO DISCUSSES WORKING WITH WOODY ALLEN, SCORSESE, CLOONEY
IndieWire's Thelma Adams spoke with Patricia Clarkson on stage last Friday at the Hamptons Film Festival. Clarkson discussed working with several directors, including Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen. Here is the section from Adams' article about Clarkson working on her first feature film, The Untouchables:
Fresh out of the Yale School of Drama, the New Orleans native auditioned for the casting director Lynn Stalmaster to play the wife of Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. She was "kind of glamorous," with big 80's Southern hair, which "seriously could just fit in through the door" and a racy fuchsia dress.
The agent clued Clarkson in – and toned her down. Clarkson returned to meet DePalma in a borrowed "goony" gingham dress, dowdy tresses and no make-up. She explained, "I walked in and I made a joke about it with Brian and we just got on immediately. We started laughing about it. He ended up reading with me. He played Eliot Ness and I was cast almost in that room...On the set, the first day I shot, Brian did 30 takes to see where I fell, if I reached it early or reached it late. He learned I was early, and by the 30th take I'm just not here."
The IndieWire article also includes quotes from Clarkson on working with George Clooney and on Lisa Cholodenko's High Art.
Back in May of 2004, an interview article at the Washington Post (no longer available online without subscription) discussed Clarkson's voice, calling it "her most arresting feature." Described by the author as a "throaty" and "husky" voice that harkens back to the screen sirens of the 1930s and 1940s, Clarkson told how she would walk into auditions "blond, pretty, whatever. But then I'd open my voice and they'd say, 'Hmmm.'" The article then mentions De Palma as "one director who wasn't put off," casting Clarkson in The Untouchables. "I think he liked that I looked a certain way and I had this voice," Clarkson told the Post. "Brian is irreverent and brilliant and funny and I think he just kind of liked it."