2021 brought some incredible acting to the screen.
On Wednesday, W Magazine shared the second roster in their new Best Performances Portfolio, featuring actors Dakota Johnson, Kirsten Dunst, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ruth Negga, Anthony Ramos, Alana Haim, Saniyya Sidney & Filippo Scotti.
Talking about shooting “The Lost Daughter” during the pandemic, Johnson says, “We did hardcore quarantine. But we were in Greece, which was not hardcore at all. Everyone in the film was in a bubble, on an island, and luckily, we all loved each other. We had all sorts of parties: dance parties, hide-and-go-seek parties, lots of games.”
For much of the film, Johnson is in little more than a bikini, nearly nude, which wasn’t always easy for her.
“It is difficult. Some days, I don’t want to take off my clothes on set,” she explains. “Just because I look a certain way doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings. And my character Nina is almost bored by her appearance. She has reached a point in her life where her hotness doesn’t match who she is anymore.”
Johnson also reveals how young she was when she caught the acting bug, following in her parents Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith’s footsteps.
“Zero old. Nothing old. I couldn’t wait,” she says. “I grew up on sets. My parents were always working with these amazing artists and I just loved it. I wanted to be a part of it.”
Dunst, meanwhile, shares what it was like having to act drunk in Jane Campion’s Oscar frontrunner “The Power of the Dog”.
“There are a lot of different phases in her drinking,” she says of her character’s descent into alcoholism. “At first, it’s courage, and then it gets very bad. People who are drunk try not to talk drunk. For scenes where I had to be really stumbly, I’d spin a bunch in circles and close my eyes so I would be off-balance. That makes you feel out of control, which is perfect for playing drunk.”
The actress also talks about getting to meet Canadian music icon Joni Mitchell.
“I’ve seen her twice. I was like, ‘Haha, hi, umm. I can’t really speak,'” she recalls. “I love Joni Mitchell. When I was younger, I thought, If I ever get a tattoo, I’m going to shave my head and have ‘BOTH SIDES NOW’ tattooed on my head. And then when my hair grew back, no one would know it was there. But I never did it.”
Gyllenhaal, whose sister Maggie wrote and directed “The Lost Daughter”, delivered his own stellar performance last year in “The Guilty”.
Sharing his favourite films growing up, Gyllenhaal says, “Initially, I was forced to watch ‘Gigi’, and so it slowly became my favourite film. But then it was ‘Point Break’. Doesn’t that sort of encapsulate me?”
He also talks about what it was like for him as a young actor, earlier in his career, when he got to meet Brad Pitt.
“I was definitely starstruck when I first met Brad Pitt, on the set of ‘The Good Girl’. I was working with Jennifer Aniston, who was his wife at the time, and there were a lot of racy scenes,” Gyllenhaal says. “I remember putting my hand out to shake his, and accidentally hitting the door. He said, so confidently and kindly, ‘Well, you have another one. It’s all right.’ It was a really lovely exchange, but I was definitely starstruck.”
The issue of W Magazine hits shelves February 8.