Q. Did a lot of scenes end up on the cutting room floor?
A. If he used everything he shot, it would be a 10-hour movie. He shoots so much. He never stops. I’ll bet he shoots more in one day than a normal production does in a week. Most productions move so slowly because they’re always setting up and getting ready. Terry walked in one morning and said to me, “We don’t need any hair and makeup; you look good just like that.” The poor make-up and hair people were so upset. They didn’t know if they still had a job (laughs).
Q. What does he have against hair and makeup?
A. Terry likes natural. He likes things as they are. In the scenes, we just walked around and he filmed us. No set-up. No long instructions.
Q. Did you understand this movie?
A. Because I knew my character from what Terry told me and from what I read, I kind of understood what was going on. Don’t forget, I did voice-over narration for the character for almost a year after we stopped filming. I probably read 400 pages of voice-over dialogue. I really got to know this character.
Q. That sounds like a time-consuming project?
A. I did voice-over in Ukraine. I did it in Miami. I did it in Paris. I did it in London. I did it in L.A. Terry would call me and ask where I was, and he would send me the new pages. I would read for three hours and then wait until the next call.
Q. Is all that effort worth it to you as an actress?
A. I admire Terrence Malick. I admire his movies, and I admire him as a person. He is a very special person. There is something about him — about the way he speaks, the way he thinks and his vision of the world. His movies are special, and to be part of one of his movies makes it worth it. Yes, a lot of work was cut out, but we knew it would. You don’t do a Terrence Malick movie for commercial reasons. You do it for the heart. You do it for the soul. You do it out of respect for the filmmaker. I consider myself lucky to have been a part of this movie.