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Julia Louis-Dreyfus On Going Dramatic For 'Enough Said' and Working Opposite the Late James Gandolfini

Indiewire By Ohad Amram | Indiewire September 16, 2013 at 10:18AM

Writer/Director Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give") was joined by her cast, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and Toni Collete, for her new film "Enough Said" at the Toronto International Film Festival which wrapped yesterday. The film centers Louis-Dreyfus as a recently divorced mother in pursuit of a new lover. When she encounters James Gandolfini, who is also recently divorced, the two take a liking to each other. However, when Louis-Dreyfus comes to realize that her best friend (played by Keener) is Gandolfini's ex, things get interesting.
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Writer/Director Nicole Holofcener ("Please Give") was joined by her cast, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and Toni Collete, for her new film "Enough Said" at the Toronto International Film Festival which wrapped yesterday. The film centers Louis-Dreyfus as a recently divorced mother in pursuit of a new lover. When she encounters James Gandolfini, who is also recently divorced, the two take a liking to each other. However, when Louis-Dreyfus comes to realize that her best friend (played by Keener) is Gandolfini's ex, things get interesting. 

The press conference felt less of round table discussion and more of an intimate conversation between four women who are comfortable in their own skin and very passionate about their craft, whether that be writing and directing or acting. Holofcener, who has worked with Keener in the past, stated how eager she was in working with these "smart, funny, wonderful actors." 

The cast and director became so heavily involved in their discussion, that the audience only began asking questions during the second half of the press conference. Questions ranged from the passing of Gandolfini and how it was to work with the actor, to the film's many themes.

Here are the highlights of the Conference:

On how writer/director Nicole Holofcener formulates her stories:

NH: "I start with general ideas like what if I knew then what I know now. I write that down and if it still interests me in a few days then I'll work on it. I start creating a character that is usually someone like me, which is why I cast these people."

On how it's like for Catherine Keener to work with Holofcener again:

CK: "Nicole makes me feel very familiar with things I don't know anything about and when I met her I felt like she was familiar to me. You bypass a lot of preliminary stages when you work with people you know. I started with this really competent level that you just have fun."

Julia Louis- Dreyfus on how it was working with mature/gender specific themes:

JLD: "It feels very familiar and authentic. It seems natural to me. I went to an all-girls high school and there's a lot of value to that. That said though, I don't feel that this film is a very gender oriented film at all. I think this is a film on human behavior and it's not necessarily gender specific."

On working with James Gandolfini:

NH: "I met him a few years ago and he told me he was a fan of my movies and I thought 'what, you?' We've got a really similar sense of humor. We started teasing each other right away. He's got this cheekiness about him. He just came to this part with a lot of seriousness and good intention."

JLD: "It was just a dream. He's one of the great American actors, I think that's not an exaggeration. I had a couple moments, working with him, where I thought 'I can't believe I'm working with him, cause you know, what a face.' And he was incredibly hard working, very, very self-effacing. He had certain insecurities that I thought were really endearing and perfect for the part. It was a really exciting and creative journey to take with him and I'll never forget it."

TC: "When anybody dies it's a reminder how short life is and it really just contextualizes life."

On what this film means to them:

KC: "It's a fact of contemplative shit for me. This passage, and things breaking up. It's something that is this phase, but it's also beautiful having your child be well, and letting go."

NH: "I just write about what I know, and embarrassingly, all of my characters grow old with me. I guess at some point I'll have to stop when it becomes less attractive." (laughs) 

On Toni Collete's Australian accent and why she doesn't play an American in the film:

TC: "I'm so used to playing American characters with other American actors so I always dip back into my American accent. It's always kind of jarring."

NH: " I felt like, when you're acting in an accent a certain amount of your acting has to go into talking properly and I saw no reason for you not to be who you are so I thought why focus on anything more than what i wanted you to do."

On how Julia Louis-Dreyfus enjoys acting in more dramatic roles:

JLD: "It feels incredibly fortunate and fabulous and I'm thanking all my lucky stars because there's so much fortune and fate built into all of this. Particularly with this film, I was able to do a lot of dramatic scenes which I haven't been able to do in quite a long time. So that was really, really fun. And the tone of the film was extremely exciting to play because it walks a wonderful line between drama and comedy, so well, due to Nicole's voice. It's the kind of film I love, to be honest. If I weren't in this film, I'd be seeing it opening night because it's the kind of comedy where you can laugh and cry, and it all works."

Watch the entire Press Conference here:


This article is related to: James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicole Holofcener, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, TIFF, Toronto Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Enough Said