March 4, 2024

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Lily Gladstone seizes the moment – ​​and makes history

Lily Gladstone seizes the moment – ​​and makes history

When Lily Gladstone was growing up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in rural Montana, acting in plays was an escape from bullies, who targeted her for being “verbose and goofy.” The idea came from her father, a Native man of Piegan Blackfeet and Nez Perce heritage, whom she describes as “a bit of a wizard” who “convinced me when I was younger that he could move clouds.”

“My father saw early on when I was on stage that I was blossoming,” Gladstone says. “When I was nine, it was the worst of it. I was struggling to maintain friendships, and I was bullied a lot. He said matter-of-factly, ‘Oh, it's okay, honey.’ They'll all be your friends one day when you win the Oscar.” .

She laughs. “Like I said, my father is a bit of a wizard. And when you're a kid and your father who can move clouds tells you something like that, you think it's true.

Now, all these years later, Gladstone may become the first Native American acting winner in Oscar history for her quietly powerful turn as Molly Burkhart, an Osage woman preyed upon by her husband, Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his greedy uncle, William Hale. (Robert De Niro) in Martin Scorsese's film Moonflower Killers. Adapted from David Grann's best-selling nonfiction book, it is a harrowing portrait of the Reign of Terror, a period in the 1920s when the Osage were systematically murdered by white settlers for their rights to their oil-rich lands. Gladstone's Molly is the beating heart of the film, reflecting the pain of her people through her eyes.

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It's this ability to evoke empathy that first caught Scorsese's attention in Kelly Reichardt's 2016 film. some women, Where Gladstone played a lonely farmer who finds a relationship with her law class teacher, played by Kristen Stewart. the Scene of Gladstone and Stewart in a car parkthe character of Gladstone who yearns for something more between them and Stuart who is confused by the depth of her feelings, is still spoken of glowingly in film circles.

“There are very few actors who trust stillness and calm, and that confidence comes from a very acute understanding of their own existence,” Scorsese says of Gladstone. “Actors used to call it 'their instrument' – and some probably still do. Lily takes complete control of her instrument. That's rare.”

Skip to 2019 and Gladstone, in her mid-30s with a few independent films and small TV roles on shows like Room 104 And Billions Under her belt, she was about to call it quits. This landmark turn opposite Stewart Certain women This wasn't the big break in Hollywood I thought it might be. As she sat at the computer ready to enroll in a data analysis course, she received a notification for a Zoom meeting with Scorsese, who had begun acting. Moonflower Killers.

Lily Gladstone and Martin Scorsese on the set of Killers of the Flower Moon.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon.

“I first met her on Zoom, and then in a follow-up meeting with Leo DiCaprio,” Scorsese recalls. “I pretty much made up my mind at that point, but we had a test and that was it. It was Layla.”

When Gladstone found out she got the role, she lost it.

“I screamed and threw my phone into my parents’ living room,” she says. “That's my response when things are overwhelming. And it was Molly Burkhart's birthday. No one planned it that way. The idea that it was Molly's birthday meant that this was bigger than me.”

The next thing Gladstone did was go back in front of the same computer to connect to the Internet and start researching the Osage language. She took classes for seven weeks, studying with consultants Christopher Coote and Janice Carpenter.

She gained such ease through language and culture that Scorsese entrusted her with rewriting several scenes involving her character, including the scene in which she calls Ernest a “coyote” during a car ride, which came from an Osage story about “hustlers” that she said “ She heard from Cote, and another where Molly and her sisters were talking about white men in their orbit. Gladstone credits Cote and Wilson Pipsteem, an Osage lawyer who invited Scorsese to dinner with Osage elders in Oklahoma before production, to educate him about their people, and with helping her portray Molly. According to Gladstone, In the version of the script she tested in 2019 before Scorsese and DiCaprio met the Osage, there were three scenes between Molly and Ernest. The script was eventually changed to focus less on the FBI's investigation into the Reign of Terror and more on Molly and Ernest's relationship. Gladstone explains: “Their voices, especially Wilson's Pipsteam, did a lot to inform Molly, and a lot of the rewritten scenes and lines came from him sharing the stories. “There's an Osage saying that if you have a sister, you have a fortune, so that became a line in the movie. It's the last thing Molly says to Anna: “You're my fortune.” The way many cultures rejoice about the birth of a boy, the Osage feels that way when a girl is born.

This is something the Osage and Blackfeet have in common: women are paramount.

“We're matriarchal, so women own everything,” Gladstone says. “With Blackfeet, the only thing a man has is his saddle. He doesn't even own his horses so, if he makes a mistake, the signal that she doesn't want him there anymore is that he will come home and there will be a saddle sitting outside the house.

She adds, “The Osages are also patriarchal in the sense that the men are the ones who speak and are the face of the family. But everything else is the woman. If the man is the face, then the woman is the whole body.”

Lily Gladstone L Rolling Stone.

Gladstone recently subscriber She experiences it and utters it as a way to “decolonize the genders of myself” and as a tribute to her Blackfeet heritage.

“Gender is not binary,” she says of Blackfeet. “Our language has no gender pronouns. People are only referred to as ‘they’ in our language, and your gender is implied in the name you are given.

Oscar-winner DiCaprio, who Ernest slowly poisons Molly over the course of the film, proves a generous scene partner for Gladstone, allowing her to revise scenes like the aforementioned sequence in the car. She has been a fan of DiCaprio dating back to What do gilbert grapes eat?a film she says “a lot of Native people love” because even though they are white, “the family in this movie is reminiscent of a lot of families in Indian country.”

Because Native Americans had always been poorly represented in Hollywood, Gladstone rarely saw people who looked like her on screen. So, she often found herself rooting for its Hollywood counterpart: Val Kilmer's Madmartigan Willow And Return of the JediCreatures that live in forests.

“I was just in star Wars “Because I was an Ewoks,” she says, smiling widely. “I didn't know it then, but they are a beacon of indigenous resistance. And they rocked that. They brought down the empire, I'm sorry.”

“Although I'm very disappointed in JK Rowling now and when Harry Potter “There were a lot of people who felt that the conversation about bloodlines and Muggles was a conversation about indigenous bloodlines.” “We find ways to communicate.”

While she described herself as an “Ethan Embry girl” while growing up, due to his roles in them Empire Records And I can not waitone of DiCaprio's films she enjoyed as a child, served as a point of entry into understanding the toxic union between Molly and Ernest.

Lily Gladstone holds the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

Tommaso Bodi/Getty Images

“One time maybe He had a crush on Leo The man in the iron mask – Because of duplication. “The admiration was not for King Louis, but for Philip, the gentle one. He had to put all his evil here and all his goodness there, and this gave me another way of understanding Molly's love for Ernest.

Molly ernest's relationship Moonflower KillersThe film itself was not without criticism. Devery Jacobs, the First Nations actress who played Elora Reservation dogs Writing for the series, she tweeted that she found the film “Fucking Hellfire” to watch due to its focus on “the atrocities white men inflict on us”, and while Gladstone was “carrying Molly [with] “A tremendous blessing,” she thought, “that every Osage character felt painfully underwritten, while the white men were given more courtesy and depth.”

It was a complicated situation for Gladstone, who didn't just show up Reservation dogsBut he's been close to Jacobs for years. When I ask her about it, her face falls.

“We're friends. She crashed on her couch in Toronto when Certain women Played at TIFF. I don't want to stress her out over this because I think it's unfair. “Her reaction is her reaction,” Gladstone offers. “Her reaction is a response to a lot of the trauma that Native women especially feel when they see these things for the first time. I had a lot of time to come to terms with the script. The Osage people have lived their lives to understand this history. The process of making this film gave a lot of people a chance to speak out.” Ultimately, the Osage reaction is what I care most about.

And Gladstone, who will be forever associated with the Osage Moonflower Killersand hopes to keep that relationship alive long after awards season is over.

“I didn't cut and run. Neither did Marty. And neither did the production. There are still relationships there,” she says. “Often, when you grow up on a reservation, a movie leaves, and you wonder, 'What just happened?' “The talks must continue.”

Since the film's release, Gladstone's life has changed rapidly – and she seems to be taking the “wild ride” in stride, moving from one industry event or interview to the next. After becoming the first Indigenous person in history to win Best Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, along with receiving Best Actress awards from the National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle, she became the front-runner for the Academy Award.

Recently, Gladstone was sitting next to David Fincher at a film screening at LACMA and the two had a conversation, with Horoscope A director offers her tips for navigating awards season. He compared it to his friend teaching his teenage daughter to drive on the highway: “Don't let the speed that other people want make you go faster than you're prepared to go,” she recalls, before smiling to herself. “Things move at their own speed.”

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