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Quint's brief chat with WIN WIN's Melanie Lynskey!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with more of Quint’s Weekend of Interviews! I’m going to begin a run of Sundance chats with the Win Win people since the flick sees a release this weekend.

I’ve already shared my chat with star Paul Giamatti (read it here!) and now I’ve got a little run of brief interviews with director Tom McCarthy and actors Bobby Cannavale and Melanie Lynskey.

I’ve you don’t have a mad crush on Melanie Lynskey you’ve never seen her. Peter Jackson cast her as the co-lead of Heavenly Creatures back in the day and since then the Kiwi actress has become a very busy character actor, appearing in flicks like Up in the Air, Leaves of Grass, Shattered Glass and Detroit Rock City.

In Win Win she plays a pretty horrible woman, an addict that’s also an unloving mother to her teen son and a money-grubbing daughter to her elderly father (played by the great Burt Young). The interview is brief, but I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed conducting it. Beware of some spoilers!



Quint: It’s one of my favorite accents in the world, just incredibly cute.

Melanie Lynskey: Aw, thank you. That’s nice. (Laughs) It’s a very unassuming accent.

Quint: Well, what’s not cute is your character in this movie.

Melanie Lynskey: Oh, I know!

Quint: I assume that must have been something that attracted you to it though, because it’s a challenge for you to find a place to actually show her humanity. With the way you do play it, I really do feel like this is kind of a tortured soul who feels abandoned by her father, who feels abandoned by her son and you do make the character sympathetic and I think that is an incredibly difficult task.

Melanie Lynskey: Thank you for saying that. The way I felt about her is I really felt like she took rehab seriously this time. Tom [McCarthy] and I had a discussion about the fact that it probably wasn’t the first time she went to rehab, but that she really did take it seriously and she came out and she wanted to repair that relationship with Kyle and she wanted to make things better, but at the same time there’s this thing from her past that she can’t let go of that happened with her father. I feel like if you are holding onto an old resentment like that, you are never going to truly get healthy and I feel like a lot of people who struggle with addiction, that’s a big step. You have to let go and stop looking at yourself like a victim.

I think Cindy’s big problem is she just can’t stop feeling so had done by him, so she just can’t help it. She’s just like “I want to get something from the fucker before he dies” basically. She’s so angry. It’s funny, because these reviews are starting to come out and everyone seems so angry at Cindy and she’s like… I read this review that said “She’s the Wicked Witch” and I was kind of like “What?!?”

Quint: I don’t know, that might say a little more about the reviewer not paying attention. It’s subtle, I’ll give them that little bit of leeway, but what’s great about it is that ultimately the fact that she lets her son go shows that she’s able to let go and make an unselfish decision. It actually shows her humanity and shows that she is, for once, thinking of her son’s best interest. If you don’t see that, then I guess you can just look at her as an evil person.

Melanie Lynskey: I don’t think anybody is all good or all bad, you know? That’s what I love about Tom’s movies, everyone is just human. Everyone feels like real people.

Quint: So, you got to work with some of the best American actors in the business here. Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and… You didn’t have any scenes with Jeffrey Tambor, did you?

Melanie Lynskey: No, there was that one scene where I’m standing near where Alex (Shaffer) is about to do his wrestling match and they are all walking in… He is so funny. He just looks funny and I know that sounds stupid to say that, but I’m a huge ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT fan, so…

Quint: Who isn’t? Did you watch THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW?

Melanie Lynskey: I did. I didn’t watch it quite as religiously, but yeah, it was so amazing. Amy, and I’m talking quietly because she’s just right there and I don’t want her to be like “What are you saying about me!?!” But there have been a few times in my career where I have worked with people that are just coming from some other place that’s beyond good. Like I’ve worked with so many great actors and then ever so often there’s someone that just makes you reevaluate like “Why am I doing this? Why do I even feel like I can even be in this scene with you?” where it’s just so good. Katrin Cartlidge, I worked with years ago who is my all time favorite actress was the first person and I feel that way about Amy and I just worked with Campbell Scott and I feel that way about him. And the whole cast of this movie was amazing. Every scene I had with Paul was just so fun.

Quint: To your credit, I don’t see that nervousness at all in your role.

Melanie Lynskey: (Laughs) That’s good. It’s more like when you go home at night and you are like “Oh my God…”

Quint: “What am I doing here? They are going to find out about me…”

Melanie Lynskey: (laughs) Yeah, exactly! You try to not do that.

Quint: Alright, well I think they are pulling you away already…

Melanie Lynskey: Aw, that was so quick!

Quint: Yeah, but thanks for taking the time. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.

Melanie Lynskey: It’s so funny. I read so much… I keep thinking it’s funny how I’m running into people I only know on the Internet and you feel very close, that’s lovely.

Quint: Good, I appreciate it. I’ve been a fan for a very long time.

Melanie Lynskey: Me, too. I think you are a great writer. I’m a huge fan.

Quint: Oh, thank you.

Melanie Lynskey: Are you having fun?

Quint: I’m having as much fun as I can. There’s a lot of stress, but it’s fun. I mean, it’s still a stress watching movies… I’m not shoveling coal or anything… (Laughs)

Melanie Lynskey: (laughs) Yeah. That’s true.

Quint: Well, have a good rest of the festival.

Melanie Lynskey: Thank you. You too.



That interview was way too short, but I hope you guys got at least a little feel of just how lovely Ms. Lynskey is in person.

Still have many more interviews hitting in this big weekend of Interview Catch-em-ups! Stay tuned!

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