Hey guys! Just a quick follow-up on the news we shared last week about My Days of Mercy and Chappaquiddick (Can anyone type this title without looking it up? Seriously) – it has now been confirmed that Kate will be attending Toronto International Film Festival this year! We don’t know if she’s going to the premieres of both films, but it seems highly likely. Along with the list of confirmed artists, TIFF has also released its complete lineup, which includes some information about each film. You can read more about Kate’s below.
USA / 107 minutes / 2017 / STC / Colour / English / World Premiere
This suspenseful historical drama examines the infamous 1969 incident when Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) accidentally drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara).
Among the most morally murky episodes in late-20th-century US politics — and that’s a crowded field — was the drowning of campaign specialist Mary Jo Kopechne in what would become known as the Chappaquiddick Incident. Kopechne was trapped in a car that Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, following a night of festivities. This sombre, suspenseful recreation of the accident and its aftermath, directed by John Curran (TIFF 2013’s Tracks), invites us to speculate on how this shameful scandal came to be.
The Kennedy dynasty had lost three heirs apparent by 1969, and Ted (Jason Clarke) was, at the time, the family’s last hope to carry their name and ambitions into the upper echelons of US politics. Kennedy patriarch Joe (Bruce Dern), however, always considered his youngest son a ne’er-do-well — and he never let Ted forget it. The party on Chappaquiddick reunited the “Boiler Room Girls” who had served on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, among them Mary Jo (Kate Mara). Ted whisks Mary Jo away for a reckless moonlight drive that ends in tragedy. But the more profound malfeasance begins after the drowning — itself dramatized here in harrowing detail — when a battalion of spin doctors gets to work on covering up the incident, using the Apollo 11 moon landing as a distraction.
What makes Chappaquiddick such a brilliant historical drama is the way Curran and company focus on moment-by-moment choices instead of suggesting some overarching conspiracy. This is an unsettling film about the way power strives to protect itself while bystanders are left by the wayside.
TIFF has announced earlier today its Gala Presentation lineups and Kate had two film selected to present its world premiere at the festival: Chappaquiddick and My Days of Mercy (previously know as Mercy).
Chappaquiddick, directed by John Curran, tells the recreation of the infamous 1969 drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, who was trapped in a car that Senator Ted Kennedy drove off of a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, following a long night of festivities.
My Days of Mercy, directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer, tells the story of the daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row that falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.
The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 7 to 17, 2017 and the festival schedule will be released on August 22nd.
Kate is currently on cover of Haute Living, for its July/August issue. Photographed by John Russo, she talked about Megan Leavey, her love for animals – and the work she and Rooney do on Humane Society, growing up watching musicals, football, the upcoming Chappaquiddick, her friendship with Ellen Page and their movie Mercy and, obviously, Jamie.
You can find the full interview below, and also on Haute Living website. Also, the pretty photoshoot is already added in our gallery. Scans will be added as soon its available – the magazine is set to be on stands next July 4th!
Kate was on Popcorn With Peter Travers this week to promote Megan Leavey! Before the interview even began, Peter stated that this is the performance of Kate’s career, to which she hilariously replied “This is actually the perfect review, I will leave”. Kate explains that many aspects of the script attacted her to the project, like the fact that the story was about a female in the military, which is specially rare. The beginning of Megan’s journey sounded relatable to her, seeing as “she didn’t really know what to do with her life. […] Everyone can relate to that”. She describes Megan, her character, as a “kind of weak human who finds her voice, and finds her strength through joining the Marine Corp and also through finding that she’s really quite gifted at dog handling and forming this bond with this incredible canine Marine”. The video is about 20 minutes long, so they talk a lot more about the film. In my humble opinion, it is definitely worth the watch.
We have updated our gallery with another portrait made during Kate’s current tour promoting Megan Leavey. This time is one she did for The Globe and Mail.
On the article that accompained the portraits, Kate and Gabriela Cowperthwaite talks about working with animals, specially comparing this current work with A Dog’s Purpose (and the behind the scenes video that caused comotion due the mistreat the german sheppard was receiving). For Kate and Cowperthwaite, the dogs’ welfare was “the most important thing at all times.
Mara credits Blackfish with turning her into an animal activist; that’s why she urged Megan Leavey’s producers to hire Cowperthwaite, though the director hadn’t made a fiction feature before. Mara’s gaze is level and her manner friendly, but there’s something flinty about her, something wary. She’s believable as someone who becomes a U.S. Marine “to get away from my life,” whose status as the sole woman in camp sets her apart even from her corps, and whose key relationship is with her dog.
“Megan starts off lost,” Mara says. “She doesn’t know what her purpose is in life. Everyone goes through that at some point – they need some guidance or passion. Through Rex, Megan finds her reason.”
There’s a strong outsider streak in Mara’s filmography. “I’m intrigued by that in a person,” she admits. “I like stories about people who don’t feel like they belong. I think all of us have a bit of that.”
Although she grew up in tony Bedford, N.Y., in a family that ran two football dynasties, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants, as a kid, Mara yearned for escape. “School to me was a problem,” she says. “The social aspect was really anxiety-ridden for me.” She graduated high school a year early and dived into work, landing roles on TV (Law & Order, Nip/Tuck) and film (127 Hours, The Martian). Now, she says, “I’m able to wait for things that move or inspire me.”
Last week while promoting Megan Leavey in New York Kate did an interview to The Associated Press, in which she told one of the best things about starring in the movie was Varco the dog.
“He and I trained together, so by the time we started shooting we were very comfortable with each other. I loved working with a dog. They’re unexpected and constantly doing things that you’re not expecting them to do. If you want them to just sort of sit there during a scene they will, but then they’ll do some genius little movement or sound or whatever that will make the scene that much better.”
Mara also said it was refreshing to work with a woman at the helm as well.
“I’ve been acting since I was 14 and I would say in the past three years I’ve worked with more females than I ever have in my entire career, and that’s directors but also actors. And we had so many females on our crew as well, so I definitely think that’s changing. I think it’s slower than we’d all like but it makes me so happy that something like ‘Wonder Woman’ is actually proving that fact. It’ll make it easier and easier to make more and more films.”
Megan Leavey is out on theaters, and you should go check! We have added portraits Kate did to The Associated Press in our gallery, thanks to our friend Emily.