SuperMarcey.com was lucky enough to have to opportunity to have a chat with Melanie Lynskey (big thanks to Bill), about her starring role in the new film Hello I Must Be Going, which is out this month in Australia on DVD.
Melanie and Marcey discuss how she got involved in the film, and what it was like playing the lead character. The pair also discuss Heavenly Creatures and her on-going hilarious role as Rose in TV’s Two And A Half Men.
We here at SM.com are delighted to bring you this interview, Melanie was an absolute joy to chat to! A big thanks to Melanie for the chat, she is fantastic in Hello I Must Be Going, as she is with all of her work.
Marcey Papandrea: Hello, thank you for taking the time out to have a chat with me today. I have been a fan of yours since Heavenly Creatures and Ever After.
Melanie Lynskey: Aww thank you that is very sweet.
Marcey: Congratulations on Hello I Must Be Going, it’s a really great film and you’re absolutely wonderful in it.
Melanie: Oh thank you, I am so happy you saw it.
Marcey: Yes I got to watch it and I really enjoyed it a lot.
Melanie: Thank you I really like it too.
Marcey: So how did you get involved with the film?
Melanie: I got asked to do a reading of it for the Sundance Institute; they had developed the script through one of their workshops. They were holding a reading in front of an audience so they just asked me to read the part and I kind of thought that would be the end of my story with it. And I thought ‘Oh it is so good’ and I thought that Michelle Williams is going to do it or something. But then I got to do the movie.
Marcey: Wow that is a really cool story!
Marcey: So they obviously felt that you were perfect for it.
Melanie: The reading went really well, there was chemistry with the other actor who was reading with me, which was great. So they asked both of us to do it. He actually had to drop out at the last minute, but then Chris Abbott ended up doing the part. He was so wonderful, and it worked out.
Marcey: You both had really great chemistry, there was a great back and forth going on in the film, and it was a good choice for him to play opposite you.
Melanie: Yeah I was so happy. Everybody freaked out when the other actor dropped out.
Marcey: Oh yeah.
Melanie: I got showed Chris’s audition tape and I started crying with relief! I was like ‘Oh thank God we’ve found somebody’.
Marcey: He’s actually really fabulous in this film.
Melanie: He’s great!
Marcey: You’ve been in so many films, we often see you in supporting roles. In this you are the lead, how did you tackle something that was quite layered? You’re front and center here.
Melanie: I think that I was just so excited to have the opportunity to build a character that had a real journey. When you’re doing a supporting role sometimes your characters go on a little journey but the movie just isn’t about you or it isn’t that important. So you sort of learn to make the most of what you have to work with. It was almost easy in a way to have all these things to explore; there was a lot of breathing room. It was just a lot of fun.
Marcey: It must have been a bit intense with what your character has to go through; especially at the beginning of the film she’s quite depressed. Did you find that part difficult, in conveying those down emotions?
Melanie: There have been times in my life where I have felt like that certainly (laughs), so I was familiar with those emotions. It is not a lot of fun to play that, it became a lot more fun when Chris shows up and we got to be all romantic. I just happened to know what those feelings were like, I would listen to music that would remind me of those times and go back there.
Marcey: You did a great job; I could feel what your character was feeling.
Melanie: Aww thank you. Its all in the script too, they really look a lot of time with the initial stuff where she is depressed so you do feel it.
Marcey: Let’s talk Heavenly Creatures briefly; I believe that was your debut. How do you feel now when you look back on it?
Melanie: It feels like a different life (laughs), I saw it maybe four years ago and before that I hadn’t seen it for 10 years. I was like ‘Oh my God the film is so weird, it’s such a strange movie’ I had kind of forgotten, it’s really interesting. I remember feeling so grateful that somebody had put me in a movie. I was hoping I wouldn’t get fired everyday (laughs).
Marcey: That would have been pretty scary, especially being 15/16 I believe?
Melanie: Yeah I turned 16 while we were making it.
Marcey: Oh wow, I couldn’t imagine being 16 and going through all of that! (laughs)
Melanie: (laughs) Yeah! It was so crazy, you know Kate was a professional, she’d been acting since she was a child and she was on a TV show, she’d done so much. She was so confident and I was like ‘Oh my God I’m not this person’ (laughs) you know in comparison, I must have looked like I had no clue what I was doing (laughs), which I didn’t but it worked out and I didn’t get fired (laughs).
Marcey: You were wonderful in it, and you’ve been wonderful in everything I have seen you in, so you’re doing something right (laughs).
Melanie: Aww that’s so nice, thanks!
Marcey: What are you working on right now?
Melanie: I’ve done a bunch of little independent movies last year and we are just waiting to see if they get into any festivals and what’s going to happen with them. There’s a lot of interesting stuff that I hope people will get a chance to see. And then I am going to do a pilot for a TV show with HBO.
Melanie: So I am excited about that.
Marcey: That would be very exciting.
Melanie: Yes it is!
Marcey: I’ve had a few questions sent it, the first one is from my Mum who is a big fan of yours.
Melanie: Awww that’s so cute!
Marcey: She absolutely loves you on Two And A Half Men – she loves Rose! This whole season she’s been asking when’s Rose coming back (laughs)? We have seen Rose a bit this season, and she was wondering whether we will get more of her?
Melanie: I never know! I am recurring on that show so they don’t ever tell me anything. They’ll call me and ask me to come in, in like two weeks time for an episode. Sometimes a year will go by or sometimes I’ll do like four in a row, so I never have any idea.
Marcey: Hopefully she comes back again (laughs).
Melanie: (laughs) Yeah she’s fun!
Marcey: She is definitely one of our favourite TV characters, you do a great job she is very entertaining.
Melanie: Aww thank you, it is a lot of fun to play her.
Marcey: My final question is from Stephen at Neon-Maniacs, he really remembers you well from your guest spot on The Shield and he was wondering what that experience was like?
Melanie: Oh gosh it was so great! It was the first job I had right after I got my green card, like on television. It was really interesting the way they shoot, there were two cameras on at all times and we were encouraged to improvise. It was a very spontaneous thing and it was a lot of fun.
Marcey: Wow that’s really cool, it’s one of my favourite shows and you were memorable for your stint.
Melanie: Thank you, yeah it was a lot of fun.
Marcey: Thank you so much for taking the time out to have a chat; it has been a real pleasure. Good luck with everything, looking forward to spreading the word about the film.
Melanie: Thank you so much, it was such a pleasure talking to you.
Hello I Must Be Going is available to order on DVD, click the pictures below for details