I don’t know what you generally wear for a mid-morning coffee rendezvous, but if you’re Brie Larson, it’s apparently a high-shine, high-waisted skirt in rainbow colours and matching pastel patent pumps.
For context, this was just pit stop one of many on a full day at the Toronto International Film Festival, where later, Larson’s feature length directorial debut would make its world premiere. It’s called The Unicorn Store, and to an intimate gathering of selected press, hosted by Nespresso as part of their Coffee With Creators series, Larson (accompanied by her co-star, Mamadou Athie) told us all about it.
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
On making what she calls “an aggressively positive” movie…
“It was a choice that I made selfishly. I had made a lot of films that were about showing the darker colours of the world, and that’s a really important task, but in all that, I was losing a part of me. It’s that inner child who needed to not feel like the world is totally falling about. I think we need to have available to us at all times a child-like play, an innocence, so that in the face of things that are scary, it’s still there. I was making this movie to restore my faith in myself, and in the experience of the movie. It wasn’t so much about, ‘Gosh, how am I going to get through crying for eight hours a day?’, but ‘Who can make each other laugh the most today?’”.
On making a film about a different kind of “strong” woman…
“I’ve played, and will continue to play, complicated, strong female characters, but I started thinking a lot about the concept of strength. A lot of it comes from physical strength or using your voice to get in people’s face, but I also think strength is vulnerable, innocent. I’m often asked about how I feel about how I’m proving myself as a female director, and I’m like, you know what? Women having been proving it for a really, really long time and the numbers aren’t changing much. So I’m going to make a film that’s extremely feminine and soft, and I’m going to ask men to step forward and enter my space.”
On her favourite childhood memories…
“I would wake up early, before my parents, and my mom didn’t want me to wake her up. I had my own bowl with Coco-Pops in it, and a little carafe of milk, and I would pour the milk into the cereal and I’d watch TV. I watched a lot of Ninja Turtles”.
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