BONES AND ALL is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter; a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.
For the wide theatrical release of BONES AND ALL, Nightmarish Conjurings’ Dolores Quintana spoke with Taylor Russell. During their conversation, they discussed how Russell related to the character of Maren and what it was like working with director Luca Guadagnino.
From your standpoint as an actor, could you tell me how you related to the character of Maren?
Taylor Russell: I haven’t had experiences like hers in my life in obvious ways, but I think the connective tissue of humanity, that’s definitely something I relate to in Maren, and what binds us is this sense of feeling like am I alone? Am I the only one who feels like this? And these are themes that run through being young and also carry through into being an adult and perhaps into old age. Who knows? But I felt a kinship to her in that way, and definitely, there were other things, but those other things are a little bit more mysterious to me and that one is the one that’s more [readily] understandable.
It’s a film that has some really scary parts of it like cannibalism and such. But your character, in particular, is very innocent, and when you’re watching it, you feel an almost instantaneous sympathy for her. This is something that she didn’t ask for. How did you work with the director to craft your performance?
Taylor Russell: Luca gave and created. As incredible directors do, [he] carved out the space for the people that they’ve assembled to come together and do their best work and feel free to move in that space, in a way that obviously is respectful to everybody else, but also that feels very truthful and very creatively authentic to them. I think the mark of a really special director is the ability to be an alchemist, of bringing the right people together and knowing who’s gonna mesh really well. That’s a testament to him and his genius and foresight and bird’s eye view.
So, I think that’s a really big part of it. He made me feel very included and loved from the very beginning, and that everything that made me who I was was exactly what needed to be present there. Having that sort of ground to bounce off from and spring off from, regardless of whatever challenges were coming up, gave me calm at the end of the day. So I think that’s what he did for me.
BONES AND ALL will be in theaters nationwide on November 23, 2022.