“Blue Jay” will available to stream on Netflix early next month, and writer/star Mark Duplass wants you to watch it — specifically to see his co-star Sarah Paulson’s performance. Duplass has penned a For Your Consideration letter to journalists about to vote in year-end awards (which, full disclosure, includes this writer) urging them to take a closer look at Paulson, whom he says “may be our generation’s greatest actress.”
Duplass begins by noting that he never expected her to agree to appear in the movie, as “The People v. O.J. Simpson” had just debuted, she was sure to win an Emmy for it and “it was time for the world to finally realize what a true talent she was.” She surprised him by saying yes, however. Here it is in full:
“When I called Sarah Paulson and asked her to star with me in my tiny, black and white film BLUE JAY, I already knew the answer. The answer would be ‘no.’ Why? Because the first episode of THE PEOPLE VS. OJ SIMPSON had just aired, and because everyone knew she was about to win the Emmy for Best Actress. Because it was time for the world to finally realize what a true talent she was, and being to shower her with the accolades and big movie offers that she deserved.
“And all those guesses of mine were correct. Except for one. She said ‘yes’ to my movie. In the time when she had every option waiting on her doorstep, she signed up to do a tiny relationship drama for no money. Moreover, when I told her that the film would be shot from an outline and that much of the dialogue would be improvised, she told me that not only had she never done that before but that was terrified of the prospect.
“Yet, she still said ‘yes.’ And I’m still not sure why. Maybe it’s a simple as the fact that she is a true artist. Maybe it was because she was so frightened by the process that she felt compelled to try and push herself. Or maybe it’s because she is a fantastic human being who only picks projects based on their artistic merit and not their promise of fame or a large paycheck.
“Regardless, I feel so lucky that she graced our movie with her presence. It’s a film about realizing we have not become who we have hoped. That our first love may have gotten away from us, and that may have been our greatest chance at happiness. I find her performance bold, vulnerable, emotional, and impeccably honest. And she raised me up as a performer to try to match what she gave to the film.
“Sarah Paulson may be our generation’s greatest actress. Now is certainly her time. I hope that you can see that in our film. And help bring the attention of the film world to her immense talent.