Anna Smith is joined by two fantastic actresses and now directors, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Hall, to discuss their daring directorial debuts: The Lost Daughter and Passing. Anna is also joined by the star of Passing, Ruth Negga.
First up, Maggie discusses the central themes of motherhood and growth in The Lost Daughter, starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Dagmara Dominczyk. Maggie reveals that her main goal was to portray honesty and authenticity; to create a space on screen where the audience would be able to see themselves reflected back at them, with every aspect feeling genuine, rather than a glamorised fantasy. Anna and Maggie then delve into the incredible cast of The Lost Daughter. Maggie talks about her mentality as an actress and choosing the women brave enough to learn something new about themselves.
Next up, Anna is joined by the director and writer of Passing, Rebecca Hall, along with Ruth Negga, who co stars with Tessa Thompson. The film explores racial “passing” and has a fascinating and complicated female friendship at its core.
As an actress herself, Rebecca discusses what made her turn to directing and why she wanted to tell this incredible story about the moral consequences of racial passing. It’s based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, a book that has a personal resonance for Rebecca, who reveals a family connection to the story. While the film is centred on Ruth Negga’s character, Clare, hiding her true racial identity, Rebecca reveals that her directorial intention was to go deeper than that, by examining the psychological cost of living in any kind of hiding. Ruth Negga goes on to talk about some of the touching audience reactions and discusses how the story holds relevance in today’s society, whether it’s to do with race, gender, queerness or any other form of identity.
Both The Lost Daughter and Passing are available to stream on Netflix now.