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Carey Mulligan On Being Directed by Longtime Friend and First-Time Filmmaker Paul Dano — Sundance 2018

Plus, Dano and Zoe Kazan talk about the ruthless process of re-writing their "Wildlife" script together.

Carey Mulligan Paul Dano Wildlife Sundance

Friendly collaboration is a part of independent film, but it’s always a challenge to work with your actual friends. At the IndieWire Sundance Studio presented by Dropbox, “Wildlife” star Carey Mulligan shared her experiences working with longtime friends Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan.

“There was a kind of triple threat of fear involved in working with people I’ve known as friends for a decade,” Mulligan said. “It was really amazing to be able to work with someone who understands acting so well and understands the holes that you get into when you can’t understand something or the problems that you have in the room, in the moment with that one line.”

Mulligan stars in the film as Jeanette, a mother trying to keep her family intact after her husband leaves their Montana town to fight an out-of-control forest fire. Aside from being his directorial debut, “Wildlife” also gave Dano the opportunity to work with co-writer Zoe Kazan.

“I wrote a first draft that was quite long and not in screenplay format and I secretly thought it was really good,” Dano said.

After Kazan gave Dano an extensive list of notes, the two gradually worked together on an adaptation process that spanned a while.

“I did a pass on it and we just passed drafts back and forth for about three years,” Kazan said.

“Wildlife,” which also stars Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, and Jake Gyllenhaal, is one of the 16 films in Sundance 2018’s U.S. Dramatic Competition.

IndieWire will be speaking with creators at our studio throughout the opening weekend of Sundance 2018. For more of our coverage of this year’s festival, see our annual Sundance Bible

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