She’s the ultimate truth-seeker. What I really think is quite beautiful about the show is…in the end… the notion of self-healing. Early on in the series, she could be misconstrued as simply the “love interest” for Mahershala Ali’s lead character. It certainly seems to parallel modern times. I loved the fact that he was willing to go there, because given the critique of previous seasons, it would have been much easier – much safer – to keep her on a certain feminist track the whole way.
Slowly, perhaps sneakily, the weight of her performance and the significance of her character grows throughout the […] Maybe that’s why in some ways it’s one of the trickiest roles I’ve ever played. I feel that although Amelia is his intellectual superior, she probably had men in her family that were much like Wayne. As much as she’s the conscience, she’s got these very contradictory layers. Aside from "Candles", Ejogo appears on four songs of the Sparkle original soundtrack album from the movie of the same name, singing lead on "Yes I Do" (as a solo), and lead vocals with Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter singing backup on "Jump", "Hooked on Your Love" and "Something He Can Feel".
She plays Amelia Reardon in the HBO series True Detective (2019). Carmen Ejogo: The poems gave me the first indication of the enormity of the role of Amelia in this season. But it’s still there. Had he been as mindful as she was over the years looking after him, his personal growth, and his needs, he may have read her book and figured out the case a lot sooner.
The Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actor highlighted an evening celebrating the return of the crime drama. (Laughs). I think it’s too simple to say the case, which brought them together, is what broke them apart.
Figuring out how to layer it that way was interesting and quite a challenge. It was so time specific. That was something I got to play within this show a lot too. That’s a deep dig! It only gets better for her. I don’t think it’s a negative space by the end. I think she’s quite incomparable to the other seasons. There are fundamental differences that could never be fixed. But also knowing those sides were all essentially bubbling under the surface simultaneously.
Oh, it parallels my entire career as well! She plays Amelia Reardon in the HBO series True Detective (2019). For example: as feminist in some ways as Amelia is and becomes, there are moments in the show where she does things that are quite anti-feminist.
The back and forth over seven months of playing a couple that connects and then disconnects throughout the season was really challenging. I thought that was much the same for Wayne.
I think that’s what happens to Amelia with Wayne. Interview: Jed Mercurio On 'Bodyguard' and Why It's A Great Time To Be A Creator. I just had to trust that if I’m honest to the authenticity of Amelia’s “slow and steady wins the race” attitude, that even though it takes time to really appreciate what’s happening with my character, that she would connect. There were all these wonderful roles I was going to get to play (within the one role).
Her ambition is to be a writer, not a schoolteacher, so it’s interesting to play her over the decades as she’s self-actualizing and becoming the woman and the artist she wants to be. There’s a destiny at play. Her insight into the community and direct relationship with the children give her the opportunity to write a book with the potential to solve the case. It’s interesting, because Wayne and his partner (played by Stephen Dorff), their engagement with the case they are trying to solve ebbs and flows, whereas your character remains relentlessly – if quietly – consistent in seeking the truth throughout. But Amelia in the 1980s would absolutely be expected to use the assets in her armor. I think just allowing myself to accept that she was all of those things.
I think Amelia is so interesting because like most people she’s never one thing all the time. You really have to get to the end of the final episode to see how impactful Amelia’s story is on everyone — particularly Wayne’s. (Laughs). The poems were indicators of the fact that Nic was playing with much bigger thematics in these seasons. Carmen Ejogo: One helpful thing was the fact that the aesthetic was so markedly different from era to era. It’s telling of what people expect from the female character playing the wife. HBO: Was there anything that helped you to address that challenge? Over multiple time periods, Reardon deftly juggles the roles of thoughtful teacher, loving wife, successful author, and … He did approach the part in an honest and authentic way. I had to really avoid the temptation to do something louder, bigger, to keep up with the other amazing performances that were happening in the show.
I appreciated all the seasons in different ways. Here, we discuss the slow, feminist burn of her role on what many have called a comeback season after the critical disappointment of the second installment of creator Nic Pizzolatto’s franchise. I think that’s the journey of women very often. Carmen Ejogo’s performance in True Detective 3 could be described as a stealth weapon. The man who plays Roland West discusses what makes True Detective different from anything he’s done before. Then we get into the 90s and I think there’s a certain swagger about her that suggests she’s more in control of her own energy and sexuality. Did you feel that was different than in the first two seasons? She’s a delightfully messy character though as well. To be honest to Amelia was to acknowledge she was all of those things all of the time, but you don’t necessarily see all of it all the time. Nic called her the “secret weapon” of the show. There’s also a very strong chemical reaction when they first meet — even if Amelia would be less inclined to admit it right away. I think Mahershala said somewhere, “It was intimate and difficult in the healthiest way.” I couldn’t agree more. Post-marriage. She steers the ship even in death. As schoolteacher-turned-author Amelia Reardon, Carmen Ejogo has captured the attention of True Detective fans, and it’s not hard to see why. That was the first time I heard about the project. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen that film, but I absolutely agree with the sentiment. She does sneak up on you though. I thought that was very smart of Nic – to have explored the female role in that way. Early on in the series, she could be misconstrued as simply the “love interest” for Mahershala Ali’s lead character. The idea that you can fix yourself if you keep working at it. I now truly believe that it was the way the writing was demanding complicated ups and downs out of us. Maybe this character is based on somebody in real life for him, that made it a more multi-dimensional portrayal on the page. I think they come to a healthy perception of themselves, and acceptance. I feel grateful that I was given the space, the license, to take my time with the character, and allow her strategy to culminate in a way that drives the men.
Carmen Ejogo: When we meet her in 1980, she’s a schoolteacher in a small town in Arkansas.
She is the daughter of a Scottish mother, Elizabeth (née Douglas), and a Nigerian father, Charles Ejogo. I think she knows she’s an artist, but she’s not sure quite what that looks like when we first meet her. Women must be perfect to get noticed, whereas men can just show up and get attention. As schoolteacher-turned-author Amelia Reardon, Carmen Ejogo has captured the attention of True Detective fans, and it’s not hard to see why. But you have to experience the full journey before you can appreciate the importance of Amelia in this show. In the meantime, she’s teaching at the school the missing children attended. I (then) realized it was going to be excited to get involved. Maybe it was an uncle who went to Vietnam, or her father. Amelia finds her voice as the show progresses.
One of the criticisms I often read was in its depiction of female characters on the show. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel comfortable when she sees (Wayne) in front of her. (Men) in a small town in Arkansas who never had the same ambition she had, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t familiar to her.
The way that time is is something we’re meditating on. “There’s an emotional experience that viewers are on that they might not ever realize until later on.”, Stephen Dorff Explores Uncharted Territory, Mahershala Ali Is the Talk of the Red Carpet.
There’s a nonlinearity to the writing that meant I had to have all time frames in mind on an any given day of filming.
I found out that Mahershala was interested in the idea of me playing Amelia. All these sorts of choices I thought were there to be played with. (2001), Away We Go (2009), Sparkle (2012), Alex Cross (2012), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), It Comes at Night (2017), and Alien: Covenant (2017). She sang vocals for the film Love's Labour's Lost (2000). Also, in death, I think there’s a contemplative space that Wayne inhabits in his older years, that again, is born out of the fact that he didn’t fully appreciate his wife while she was alive. Carmen Ejogo: His writing is delightfully colloquial. On one hand, I think he was challenged by that criticism, on the other hand, I don’t think he could care less. It was actually very complicated. HBO: What was it like to perform Nic Pizzolatto’s writing? She is best known for her roles in such films as The Avengers (1998), Love's Labour's Lost (2000), What's the Worst That Could Happen? That understanding of each other’s journey is certainly part of the draw to one another. Sometimes you feel like you have to pick and choose what your character is going to be upfront. That was how I felt about this role. I was impressed that Mahershala and I didn’t have to do any “nuancing” to the script. But I’ve never done it in this way.
My 2018 head on my shoulders didn’t feel that would be appropriate to play. Ejogo has appeared as civil rights activist Coretta Scott King in two films: Boycott (2001) and Selma (2014).
They have to emerge into their full, articulated selves over a long period of time.
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