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Welcome to Cailee Spaeny Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress and singer Cailee Spaeny. Cailee has been in films like "Bad Times at the El Royale", "Pacific Rim Uprising", "Vice", "The Craft Legacy", "How It Ends" & "Priscilla". She has also been in TV Shows like "Devs", "Mare of Easttown" and "The First Lady". This site is online to show our support to the actress and singer Cailee Spaeny, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.

Los Angeles Times

Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny on the nightmarish ‘Civil War’: ‘No nation is immune’

“Civil War” is a purpose-built powder keg of controversial talking points and hot-button ideas. In the near-future world depicted in the film, California and Texas align to take up arms against a fascist, corrupt third-term president who has disbanded the FBI and turned the military against U.S. civilians.

The movie joins other evocative dystopian portraits by Alex Garland, whose previous work as writer-director includes “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation,” as well as the screenplays to “28 Days Later,” “Never Let Me Go” and “Dredd.” Garland’s latest is also a tender, emotionally complex look at legacy and what we leave behind, driven by the performances of Kirsten Dunst and Cailee Spaeny as two photojournalists, a veteran and a novice, trying to process all that they see in a climate that has become deeply skeptical of the press.

“Civil War” had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film and TV Festival last month in Austin, Texas, just a few blocks from the state Capitol building. As the movie ended and the destabilized audience recomposed itself, Garland and cast members Dunst, Spaeny and Brazilian actor Wagner Moura, who plays another reporter, took to the stage for a Q&A.

It speaks to the knife-edge the movie exists on that, when the SXSW premiere played in two separate theaters, a specific moment in the film elicited triumphant cheers in one crowd and stunned silence in the other.

Attempting to process the film’s anxiety-inducing sound design and disorienting sense of intense, imminent danger will be difficult for anyone, so the idea of immediately standing in front of an audience and coherently speaking about it seems near impossible.

Someone noted that it was Spaeny’s first time seeing the film. With a mix of quiet concern and shocked incredulity, Dunst asked, “Why would you do that to yourself?”

In the film, a group of journalists make their way from New York to Washington, D.C., hoping to get what will likely be the last interview with a besieged president on the brink of being violently deposed. Photographer Lee (Dunst) and her reporting partner Joel (Moura) have reluctantly agreed to give a ride to an aging New York Times correspondent, Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson), when they also take on Jessie (Spaeny), an aspiring, camera-clad shooter.

Their journey takes on an increasingly hallucinatory quality as they travel through a broken America, repeatedly encountering situations where it is unclear who is fighting against who and why. It all builds to a staggering battle sequence in Washington and the White House. Along the way, Lee seems less and less sure of why she is doing this work, while young Jessie is drawn closer to the flame of danger.

It’s only a week or so after the Austin premiere when Dunst and Spaeny join The Times on a video call, with Dunst at her home in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley and Spaeny visiting family in Springfield, Mo.

After they both take a moment to admire the brown vintage jacket Spaeny is wearing, Spaeny recalls what it was like seeing the film for the first time.

“I felt really shaken,” she says. “It’s very immersive. It’s a film that sort of grabs you and never lets you go until the very end. There’s no real room to breathe.”

Recognizing the potentially divisive nature of “Civil War,” Spaeny adds, “There are a lot of purposes for film, but I think one of the great things about film is that we can sort of process our deep fears and emotions through cinema. And I think that’s what this film did. And I hope people can work through their thoughts and feelings through this movie.”

Garland finished the script in 2020, ahead of the violent events of Jan. 6, 2021, in the United States and Jan. 8, 2023, in Brazil, or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 — incidents of political unrest that would have seemed obvious inspirations for the story, had they not come after it was written. As unfolding news in the real world uncomfortably mirrored developments in the script, it’s easy to wonder whether the film ever began to feel like a live grenade waiting to go off.

“The implied question is: Is this wise or not wise?” says Garland on a recent Zoom from England. “And I do not know the answer to that. I do feel that there is a responsibility that exists when you put something into a public space. That responsibility absolutely does exist. So for example, if this did not feel like an antiwar film, if it had all the same subject matter, but was in some ways slightly celebratory, I could imagine that being problematic.”

Volume from either side of the political divide can potentially drown out other points of view, Garland says. “I think on balance, I am more concerned at the moment with conversation being silenced than I am with it being had. The voices that are making loud, insistent assertions — to me, acquiescing to that feels more dangerous. I could be wrong, but that’s my gut feeling.”

Garland’s father, Nicholas Garland, worked as a political cartoonist in England, and so Garland’s childhood was surrounded by journalists. (Both he and his brother have foreign correspondents as their godfathers.) So telling the story of an America torn apart through the eyes of a group of journalists made sense.

If the onscreen dynamic between Lee and Jessie forms the emotional core of the movie, a comparable bond seems to have grown between Dunst and Spaeny. Dunst, 41, has been working since the age of 3, making her film debut at 6 years old. Spaeny, 25, previously worked with Garland on the 2020 television series “Devs” and won the Volpi Cup for best actress at last year’s Venice Film Festival for her depiction of Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla.”

Spaeny got that role after Dunst recommended her to Coppola, having met on “Civil War.” Dunst has a relationship with Coppola that goes back some 25 years, having previously worked together on “The Virgin Suicides,” “Marie Antoinette” and “The Beguiled.”

“There are certain actors you work with and you just feel free and present and on the same page of how you approach things, and I immediately felt that with Cailee,” says Dunst. “The camera, the crew goes away and you’re really in something with somebody. And that’s the most magical feeling on set. Cailee was such a present actress, and there was so much going on with her. We really looked at each other and responded to each other. And that doesn’t always happen.”

All of which made Spaeny seem particularly well-suited for entry into the exclusive club of actors working with Coppola. “Sofia is somebody who captures the most intimate moments,” says Dunst. “And I know that Cailee and what she expresses is subtle but full, full of whatever’s inside her. She can say a lot without saying much, which is a lot of what Sofia likes to capture in her films.”

In her window of the video call, Spaeny is visibly taken aback by all that from Dunst, who she describes as “one of my heroes,” adding, “That was really special to hear.”

Dunst diffuses the moment by adopting an exaggerated Valley girl sing-song, “I basically fell in love with Cailee and I was like, ‘She’s the best, you need to work with her.’” Switching back to her natural voice, Dunst adds, of her recommendation to Coppola, “It was so deserving. I just said what I felt.”

“Well, you sort of changed my life by doing that,” said Spaeny, “so thanks.”

For his part, director Garland says any extratextual relationship between Dunst and Spaeny was a fortuitous byproduct and not by design.

“First and foremost, those two are terrific actors,” he says. “And there’s something very simple about that. However, Kirsten, as we know, has grown up in this zone and in this world, and she carries all that lived experience with her. And that’s a journey Cailee is starting. So there is a kind of correlation. The people in that industry, in that space, are under strange pressures, very intense pressures that can lead them to become jaded unless they find a way to negotiate it.”

Since much of the story is about journalists on a road trip to Washington, so too did the four main actors spend a lot of their time together in a car. It gave Moura a chance to see the relationship between Spaeny and Dunst develop up-close.

“I think that’s the heart of the movie, the relationship between Lee and Jessie,” says Moura during a phone call from Los Angeles. “And I think that Kirsten took the role of having Cailee under her wing in a very nice, beautiful way. Off-camera, too, it was all very gracious and nice. In spite of that, it was a very hard shoot. Every day we were dealing with violent and horrible things, but the dynamic between us, the actors, was great.”

For Spaeny, the strength of the connection that formed with Dunst was unexpected.

“A lot of the times I meet other actors, especially actors who have been working in the industry for a while, they have a sort of wall up,” says Spaeny. “Kirsten doesn’t have that. She wears her heart on her sleeve and it makes you feel like you can be your 100% self around her. It’s like, how am I going to do this scene with this person? And I knew that we would always figure it out.”

“It kind of happened naturally, don’t you think?” responds Dunst. “We didn’t really need to force anything in that way. And it’s written in the script, that’s the journey of these two, me recognizing myself within [Jessie], but also: Don’t do this because you’re going to become something that is not easy to handle in life. Those parallels are not how I feel about acting. Those parallels aren’t at all how I feel I would talk to Cailee about being an actress or something. But it wasn’t something I was thinking about while we were making it because it’s kind of corny to think about in that way. Like, ‘I’m the mentor and you are the mentee.’ It’s so much deeper than that.”

Dunst mentions she did make one addition to an early scene with Spaeny — “This is some of my woo-woo stuff that I do,” Dunst says — suggesting that as an undercurrent to the scene, they imagine that Lee was Jessie’s long-lost mother.

“I like to think of things a little bit more unconscious,” Dunst says. “I never while making the film was like, ‘You’re little me.’ Because Cailee’s her own woman.”

“I felt protected by you outside of the movie, outside of our characters,” says Spaeny. “That felt genuine. But it didn’t feel like an actory thing. It just felt like, ‘Hey, we get each other. I see you, you see me,’ and we didn’t need to talk about it. The best stuff comes through the stuff you don’t talk about.”

Though “Civil War” seems built to jump from the entertainment pages to the editorial section, providing fodder for various perspectives across the political spectrum, Garland and his collaborators intend it first and foremost to get people out of their entrenched ideological positions and back to a place of listening and sharing ideas.

“I said to someone way back when I was first doing this, ‘I want to do a film where journalists are the heroes,’ and they said, ‘Are you crazy? Everybody hates journalists,’” says Garland. “It actually really jolted me. Journalism is 100% required. A free, fair press is an absolute necessity. It’s like saying, ‘I hate doctors.’ What are you going to do without them? And at the same time I was interested in why is journalism not trusted in the way it used to be?”

To that end Garland was careful in how he depicted the journalists at work. “One of the things I tried to do was show journalists as reporters, intentionally keeping bias out of their reporting. They even have a conversation about it at one point, like, our job is to record this and send it back, in order to make other people ask questions. And then the film is echoing that by functioning like a reporter.”

The relationship between the characters played by Dunst and Spaeny feels like the essence of what Garland was trying to explore against the larger canvas of the movie’s politically-charged events. At a time of deep division, connecting has become more vital than ever.

“This is a movie about anti-polarization and that’s not just happening in our country, but all over the world,” says Spaeny. “If we can start having conversations, if we start listening, there is a version of this where we don’t end up in a position where this is possible.”

With a sense of both curiosity and deference, as if she doesn’t want to be the one giving the last word, Spaeny asks, “Kirsten, what do you think?”

“It’s a warning of what happens when you don’t treat people with humanity, stop listening to each other,” says Dunst. “At the end of the day we’re all people with families and different religions and a democracy and that is something that we should be very respectful of.”

Being released into the pressure-cooker atmosphere of an election cycle makes the film feel all the more vital and necessary. “This film, it’s hard to talk about because you want it to really help open up conversations — real conversations,” Dunst stresses. “It’s like, what are the consequences? The plausibility of a modern civil war unfolding in America is pretty f—ing scary and it shows you no nation is immune to war. So get your s— together.”

Source: latimes.com

Posted by Veronique on Apr 9, 2024
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots



From Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla to Alex Garland’s Civil War, Wonderland Spring 2024 cover star Cailee Spaeny is carving a path of pure independence.

Pixie-faced powerhouse Cailee Spaeny was the obvious choice to play an intoxicating, glammed-up Priscilla Presley in the pastel-splashed world of Sofia Coppola. For long-time Coppola collaborator Kirsten Dunst (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) who suggested Cailee for the part in Priscilla, the 25-year-old was the one and only answer anyway. They were on set for their upcoming A24 thriller, Civil War, which tracks a polarised, near-future America descending into war stricken chaos when Cailee bagged the role of Priscilla and was applauded by an enthusiastic shower of Kirsten’s
tears. Now, bound forever through gutsy characters championed by Sofia’s cinematic femininity, and their knack for role picking done right, they’ve swapped being ‘the sad girl in the bathtub’ for the blistering battlefield as seasoned war photographer Lee, played by Kirsten, and aspiring young photographer Jessie, played by Cailee. Two generations of journalists, played by two generations of actors. On their visceral search for the truth, they embark on a roadtrip of survival across a lacerated web of fractured states in a subversive bid to land a final interview with the President before the brutal militia storm the capitol. Directed by Oscar nominated legend Alex Garland, expect a film overflowing with ear-rattling explosions, airstrikes and punch-in-your-gut peril which, as Cailee tells her co-star, was a savage, adrenaline-fuelled rollercoaster ride they’ll never forget.

Cailee Spaeny Hi! Are you gonna show your face?

Kirsten Dunst Hi Cailee! I will if you want me to!

CS I always wanna see your face. It’s very chill, I’m in sweatpants.

KD I did therapy before this and I had a moment of dealing with [my kid] James. He was so mad. He’s so into Spider Man right now.

CS He’s so chatty! What was he saying the other day?

KD He was saying, ‘I pound the cotton candy!’ [Imitating his voice]

CS [Laughs] Good luck – they are both such performers.

KD Let me ask you questions.

CS You must be so open post-therapy.

KD My brain is in a good place. So, when did we first meet?

CS We first met at the bar of The Four Seasons hotel in Atlanta. I was very nervous, but you were just like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ The second you said something, the second you gave me a hug, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s fine.’ You know when you meet some actors and immediately they have a weird wall up from the moment you meet them? There’s a line there and you’re not going to cross it, it’s usually the common thing that happens when you meet actors – and it’s totally fine – but immediately you just don’t have that. I don’t know if that’s something you intentionally think about?

KD You know what, I don’t intentionally think about it. But we were going to do this film together that’s very intimate and in order for it to be good, you want to be on the same team. That’s how I see it. It’s not like I’m thinking, ‘Cailee must be nervous – I want to put her at ease.’ I like working with people when you have that trust in each other and also it is who I am. We’re about to start an adventure together. It’s not like it’s ‘fun’ making a movie all the time. It’s very hard. I mean Civil War was very real. It was a very difficult movie to make together.

CS Yeah it was rough at times. But I think we had fun and I do think that approach was the best way to go about it. I mean, I haven’t seen the film yet, you have…

KD You haven’t?

CS I just always feel anxious. I also want to watch it with somebody – I don’t want to be alone.

KD I watched it with [my husband] Jesse [Plemons] and we were alone in the theatre and I could talk through the whole thing.

CS That’s the best way to do it.

KD I’d be like, ‘I don’t know about that scene baby!’ [Laughs]

CS [Laughs] Does the ending work?

KD The ending was amazing, it was moving. The last shot, what he does with the end credits, is very beautiful to me and says a lot about photojournalism and how everybody puts their lives at risk to capture the truth. For the people that have seen it that I know, you’re on the edge of your seat.

CS It was really intense filming it, having those real guns and those flash blanks going off the whole time…and I just have a memory of us being in the back seat of that car with that stunt driver and our whole bodies flying across the backseat. There’s no acting involved. We were just like, ‘Arghhhh!’ [laughs] Remember we just started laughing…

KD Because it was like we were on a Disneyland ride. I feel like we were smiling on the first take.

CS We were cracking up, we were enjoying it too much. But then at the end when those flash blanks hit our skin it would burn.

KD I remember when we were in the White House set on stage in the dark during the day, and then there was constant gunfire.

CS I think we permanently have hearing damage.

KD Well, I wore earplugs. You didn’t.

CS That’s the difference between the pro on the set and the new kid on the block. I felt like you did really take care of me though. But you never talked down to me, which you could have, you’re a master at your work. I don’t know, older people sort of love being able to be like, ‘So the thing is, I’ll let you in on a little secret…’ They sort of get a high off of that. You could be like that if you wanted to, you have every right to be. Even though I definitely felt like you took me under your wing, I felt like in terms of acting you took me seriously.

KD You’re so naturally good at it. The way we both like to work is very similar.

CS I was thinking about that too. I don’t know what you would call it but I definitely felt like whatever that was, we just connected.

KD I think it’s a soul connection that you can’t really explain. I remember I told you while doing that first scene, that my connection with you felt like a connection with a daughter in a past life. You can act that, and I had that in my own brain just to have something that would tie us together. But that naturally kind of was there anyway, and the way we act together was so effortless.

CS Yeah you know, sometimes when you’re in a scene you’re like, ‘I can’t act with this person’. I have to stare at their nose or something [laughs].

KD [Laughs] Oh my god, I just make up things in my brain like ‘I’m acting with someone different.’

CS Sometimes I do scenes and pretend I’m a different actress. Do you do that too?

KD Oh yeah.

CS ‘I’m De Niro.’

KD I haven’t been De Niro yet, but I’ve definitely done that. I’ve pretended when I’ve been on a set where I’ve had a director I didn’t like that I was working for somebody else.

CS Someone else who you had already worked with or someone else you would like to work with?

KD Someone I’d like to work with. I always pretended I was working for someone else because I was so frustrated and I just wanted to get the day done.

CS I’ve been in a situation where I got into the bad habit of making everything a battle with a director and I quickly learned that was not the thing to do. I felt like I was trying to fight the big fight or something [laughs].

KD Like stick it to the man or woman in charge?

CS Yeah, exactly. I’m sure you’ve navigated every kind of situation.

KD Yeah, I’ve never felt like sticking it to the man because I feel like it would shut me down.

CS Well, that’s what happened. That’s so smart. Were you nicer to them when you imagined them to be someone else? I love that you were acting on-screen but also acting off-screen…

KD [Laughs] Right! I never thought of it like that. Just before a take I’d be like ‘You’re working with PTA [American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson] right now.’ It made me act better because the stakes were higher, because in my brain I was in a better film or TV show. I don’t want to specify [laughs].

CS I’m putting that in my back pocket for next time. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

KD I hope it doesn’t either, but it’s a fun trick. Well, because we’re both Sofia [Coppola] gals, how was it for you working with her?

CS It was so weird that whole experience. You had worked with Sofia when you were younger. You did Marie Antoinette when you were 23, and I was 24 when I got cast as Priscilla. It was like the
second to last day on the [Civil War] set and I remember jumping out of the car, and you were standing right outside of your trailer. I just went, ‘I got it!’ You just immediately burst into tears and you gave me this huge hug. It was so funny because Civil War was so intense. We were really, you know, down and dirty. And you were like, ‘It’s gonna be the complete opposite of this, you’re gonna look amazing and you’re probably gonna be sad in a bathtub.’

KD And you were! [Laughs]

CS [Laughs] And I was! It was the complete opposite experience. But it was so cool to have shot a whole movie with you having grown up watching a lot of your work, but particularly your work with Sofia. I must have been, you know, 14 or 15 when I had seen those films, and something inside me, in my soul just clicked. The story she was telling and also the performance you were giving – I just went, ‘Oh my god, this is it!’

KD And I’d never seen anything like that in my life as a young woman. I mean, even my best friend Molly, she’s like, ‘The Virgin Suicides is one of my favourite movies.’ You’re younger than
us, but even at her age, there weren’t any movies like that. [The Virgin Suicides] was like a Three Women of our time. I think it really speaks to the melancholy you feel when you’re a teenager that you don’t even know the word for yet.

CS Exactly! There weren’t words to put to that feeling. Especially growing up in a sort of Biblebelt area, I think there were certain expectations for young girls even more so where I came from. Watching those films, it was like I was fully being given permission to be who I was. So, those films are so special to me and your performance in those films was like something I’d never seen before – how you could do so much with so little. I was growing up doing small town theatre and doing like Seussical the musical and it was my only outlet. I was so curious about the truth and subtleties of a film, but there was no outlet for me to explore that. And that was really when I decided ‘This is what I’m curious about and trying to do.’ That was really the floodgates opening inside me to then go, ‘I need to find a way to get to Los Angeles’. It was really those films! I didn’t ever feel like I got the chance to express that to you when we were on set because it was all just so hectic and we were filming.

KD I am so touched. I didn’t know any of that. How did you even find those movies when you were there? Were they at the Art House theatre?

CS We didn’t even have an Art House theatre. I was terrible at school, I ended up dropping out and basically what I would do is lock myself in my room and just find films. I stumbled across The Virgin Suicides and it was the first time I’d ever asked myself, ‘Who’s behind the camera?’ I had pinned
myself as ‘I’m a Sofia Coppola girl’, like that is my filmmaker, and then started watching her whole filmography of work. I mean it sounds like I’m putting it on but it was genuinely the key that opened the door for me.

KD Wow, I didn’t know that Cailee.

CS I know we were working so I didn’t say any of this to you. But it was so strange to have this experience with you, just to get to work with you and to have that time together. I mean, every scene in Civil War we were with each other. I got to watch you act and take it all in. And then at the end of that experience, to then work with Sofia..

KD It’s so witchy, so kismet.

CS So witchy!

KD But I also feel like when we’re acting together, you do feel like you’re riding on a different plane and that’s what you always want to feel like when you’re acting. That’s kind of the goal, you want to feel like you’re not acting. That’s why I love it, you just want to get to that place.

CS Those are the nuggets of gold that are so rare to find.

KD Because of the technicalities of it.

CS I used to try to shove the technical things aside and not think about them but I think the more you work in the world, you just have to sort of embrace it, and actually, understanding the technicalities serves you as an actor. But when you have those moments where you do feel like you’re floating or you’re sort of not thinking about what you’re doing, it’s so rare. I felt we had a lot of those actually, to be honest.

KD We did. I just love working with you, Cailee. I just love it so much. So, you’ve worked with Sofia, who are some of the directors that you would love to work with? You know what I would love to see you do? I would love to see you do a dark comedy.

CS I would love to do a comedy – that is next.

KD I want to do a dark comedy too! I want to have a good time, I don’t wanna be sad.

CS Well, you always want the opposite of the thing you just did. First it was Civil War, a war movie, so all I wanted to do after that was run around in dresses and be the sad girl in the bathtub – and then I did that. Then, I went and did Alien: Romulus and ran around town and shot aliens with a machine gun. Then, you want to do a drama around the dinner table, and then you want to do a comedy. You try to be selective, but it’s so hard. You have opportunities coming your way and you just try to sit and wait, but what if the ones you want don’t come? So, It’s tricky. The thing that I’m always looking for is diversity in the roles, and also longevity. And I feel like you’ve done that immaculately. You’ve done sci-fi, you’ve done comedy, you’ve done drama, and you’ve done a thriller…

KD It’s definitely not seamless. Listen, I haven’t worked since Civil War. Jesse has been working. I’ve been taking care of the kids. It’s, you know, starting to get to me a little bit. But…

CS I haven’t worked in seven months, like seven months just hit me. Things have come my way but I want to be super thoughtful and careful. But it really takes so much confidence in yourself that something will come. There’s no guarantee.

KD No, it will because you’re talented and there’s no way to deny talent. So that’s not a question, but it’s just like, you start to think, ‘Am I too picky?’

CS I know, like ‘Should I settle?’ But then I’m so unhappy when I’m on a set and I’m doing something I don’t believe in. And I’m like, it’s just not worth it.

KD It’s soul crushing.

CS Yeah, some actors just want to work and I totally get that and I really admire that. They’re just like, ‘I just love working.’ And I’m like, I feel so uncomfortable when I’m working and the only thing that gets me through working and having a camera on my face is going ‘Oh, this is a good project and I believe in their story, you know?’ So I guess you do just have to sort of keep your head down and trust the process.

KD [Gestures at her bookcase] I don’t have time to read all these books, but find a book and bring it to somebody. Just try and find a book or something you could start to develop for yourself, because that’s the way it’s going now. Especially for someone my age. When you get older, the pool gets even smaller. The pool of not just being a sad mom, you know? But back to the directors you want to work with. My number one is PTA.

CS Yeah, it’s always PTA, right? He’s always number one. I mean, he is the ultimate.

KD Also Jonathan Glazer.

CS He’s amazing. I met him recently and I just thought, ‘Oh, you’re the real deal.’

KD I loved Anatomy of a Fall. I liked that director a lot, Justine Triet. I just love that actress, Sandra Hüller.

CS She’s had a great year.

KD I want a career like that. Do you want to talk about your process of getting into roles?

CS I feel like all I do in the process genuinely – it’s different for every role – is basically open up a pot and put all the information I can in there from every direction. Then, I like to sit on that, meditate on that, journal or whatever, and see what comes out of me. I think you have to have an element of believing in magic or being a bit hippy about these things if you’re an actor.

KD Totally! That’s the school of Greta.

CS [Laughs] It is the school of Greta. But yeah, it’s just basically like, what can I read? What can I watch? Who can I talk to? I think about the parallels between my own personal life and also the story because I think scripts come to you and the right ones come to you at a time in your life when you need them. I basically just put it all in one big melting pot, and then hope that you know, I’ve had enough time to sort of sit and think on it that once I get to set on day one, I’ve got enough in me that something will come out that’s interesting.

KD I always think of it like a witch’s brew too, like a big cauldron you keep cooking up. Actually, Greta just gave Jesse a really good sensory meditation that I actually want to try. He has to teach it to me because Greta never told me about that. It helps you get in touch with all your senses, which completely frees you of anything that’s about to happen in the scene. So, you’re deeply in touch with other things, I guess that makes you very present. I don’t know, some Greta magic.

CS I want in on that. I just sent her a last minute text right before I had to do Alien reshoots and I was like, ‘We’re working with green screens and I just stare at them and I don’t know how to…’ and she just whipped something together and condensed it into something that was so straightforward and simple.

KD She’s the boss, she’s my Bruce Springsteen.

CS I need more music recommendations from you and Jesse because I felt like when we were on Civil War I just got such gold – that Nina Simone cover album is precious to me now.

KD I still can’t believe you haven’t seen it. We definitely don’t look as good as we look in Sofia Coppola movies. I’ll tell you that! Girl, we got range.

CS [Laughs] It was nice to do Civil War and then do Priscilla because I felt like ‘Oh, I can look good.’ I clean up real good. The lighting on Civil War…

KD The lighting on Civil War does not care about a woman.

CS And it’s gonna be in IMAX!

KD I just remember there were so many cameras in the car.

CS There were like 10 cameras on us. I mean, it made a lot of sense in terms of filming. It was nice to do those scenes, when most of the time we didn’t have to have a camera guy in place for one of the actors. We did it a couple of times. But most of the time, we just started the car and drove. It was like a play in the car because no one was there.

KD Yeah, that’s true. And also, I had never seen one of the references for the movie, Come and See before – Oh my gosh.

CS I will never watch that again. It was an incredible, incredible film.

KD Yes. And also that Marie Colvin documentary Under The Wire was really powerful to watch for this film. Are you still taking pictures?

CS Yeah, I’m not taking them with the manual camera anymore. But I have two point and shoots actually sitting on my side table right now. One that actually Sofia gave me, she gave me a little Contax as a wrap gift. And then one that I bought on my own. They’re just easy, like on a night out, but I try to always have a camera on me now post Civil War which has been a nice thing to take away. Okay, I just want all the wisdom and advice from you. I think that the ultimate question in terms of career is: What do you
base the roles you decide to do off of? Like, if you had an amazing script but an unknown director? When do you roll the dice? When do you take chances?

KD I’m always director-based – I’m not about the part or the scripts. It’s all director to me. If they’re a first time director like Sofia was, when I met her I just knew. She comes from a family of
filmmakers and I knew the stakes for her were even higher because of that, too.

CS It’s true, she really had to prove herself. In terms of scripts, Sofia’s scripts are pretty bare bones when you get them, and then there’s so many of the in-between moments that you find on set or that she has in her head, that you wouldn’t know when you’re reading the script.

KD That’s what she’s the best at, those feelings of in-between. She’s best at capturing those moments which no else really pays attention to. Those private moments with a character are mostly my favourite moments in film and television, when you get to sit with somebody and understand what’s going on internally, rather than just lines, lines, lines, you know?

CS You’re very good at that.

KD I should have been a silent actor, as soon as I talk – it’s over [laughs]. Do you know what you’re going to do next?

CS I’m in LA right now just hustling for a month. I’m taking every meeting. I’m doing every audition.

KD Auditioning? What are these idiots doing? It’s Cailee!

CS [Laughs] Well, why don’t you direct something? Let’s make something together. You’d be such a good director.

KD I will one day but with two small kids. It’s such a big commitment.

CS Put them in the show! What does [James] say again?

KD [Imitating his voice] ‘I will pound the cotton candy!’


Posted by Veronique on Feb 22, 2024
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots

Miu Miu SS2024

Cailee is photographed by Zoe Ghertner for the Miu Miu SS2024 Campaign. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

Posted by Veronique on Jan 29, 2024
Gallery - Photoshoots

Golden Globe Portraits

Cailee was photographed by Elias Tahan for the Golden Globes last week. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

Posted by Veronique on Jan 17, 2024
Gallery - Photoshoots

Elle France January 2024

Cailee is on the cover of the current issue of Elle France. Photography by Ben Hassett.

Posted by Veronique on Jan 5, 2024
Gallery - Magazine Scans - Photoshoots

i-D Magazine

Cailee Spaeny is Sofia Coppola’s new muse
The actor’s strong, quiet stint in Hollywood is paying off: she’s winning awards for her role as the titular character in the director’s ‘Priscilla’.

Cailee Spaeny hasn’t seen a list of past winners of the Volpi Cup, the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Best Actress prize that she won for her portrayal of Priscilla Presley. She laughs when I ask if she wants to know the names of the others (among them: Sophia Loren, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Emma Stone). “If you want to tell me,” she says politely, pouring me a glass of water. “I’ve heard some [of them]. I try not to look at those things… Good attention can be just as damaging as bad attention.”

It’s a perspective that’s very telling of Cailee Spaeny, the actor. She has been working for well over a decade now, with roles small and large in films such as On the Basis of Sex, Vice and Pacific Rim Uprising – films which had louder selling points (Ruth Bader Ginsberg; director Adam McKay; John Boyega) that overshadowed her integral involvement. But with her lead role in Sofia Coppola’s pristine and lovelorn Priscilla, the 25-year-old Missouri native is navigating an entirely new level of stardom and an industry that is raring to take and take from stars like her – the Faustian pact of it all. But she is determined, with a fierceness that belies her gentle demeanour, to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground.

That isn’t to say that Cailee isn’t delighted by her whirlwind adventure as the queen of rock ‘n’ roll – she is, she tells me, “so lucky” to have experienced the film’s reception both at Venice and elsewhere. (After we speak, she’ll earn a Best Actress – Drama nomination at the Golden Globes.) But for Cailee, Priscilla holds an unshakeable place in her heart not for what it has become, but for what it always was: an opportunity to pour herself into a character, to excavate the untold side of a young girl’s story, to work with one of her most admired directors. “It’s literally everything I could have ever wanted wrapped up in one, with a beautiful bow on top,” she says, breaking momentarily into a breathless gush. “Sofia is my dream director. Her films changed me when I was 14 years old.”

As a director, Sofia – who speaks so universally to women’s most intimate worlds – makes this mark on so many people. “She gave permission for me and for young women to be complex; to have a dark side and needs and yearnings,” Cailee says. “To be sexual or angry…she just sees them how they are. Especially growing up in the Bible Belt of America, there’s definitely a certain way you feel you need to be.” The first of Sofia’s films that entered her world was The Virgin Suicides, a film that grapples with the impossibility of burgeoning sexuality amidst suffocating religious strictures. “When I watched her films, even though it stayed internal and private, I felt that side of myself could be explored,” Cailee says. “I didn’t have to be afraid of [it] anymore.”

Priscilla is, in this regard, an archetypal Sofia Coppola endeavour, ripe with the impossible contradictions of girlhood: the simultaneous accretion and deprivation of agency, the consuming drive and vulnerability of first desire, the elision between one’s private world and the public sphere. It is also the first cinematic portrayal of Elvis Presley (played in the film by Jacob Elordi) and Priscilla’s relationship to pay wary, steady attention to the troubling age gap between the two – they began courting when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 27 – laying bare not only its embedded violence, but the complex language of sexual awakening that articulated it. “It is such a grey area,” Cailee says. “It’s shocking and uncomfortable, but at the same time, [Priscilla] is initiating a lot of the sexual moments.” She met the real Priscilla before filming. “The thing [she] said to me is that there was real love there. She would still consider him to be the love of her life. And that’s complicated, but very human. I just wanted to take her truth and put it on screen, and let people decide how they felt after.”

Navigating the complication of the age gap was just one of many conversations that the real-life Priscilla and Cailee had in the months the latter spent researching the role, and Priscilla’s thoughts on the film remain one of the few external markers of success to which Cailee pays attention. Yet there was a tension, Cailee explains, that she felt within her own acting process; in wanting to both remain true to Priscilla’s story while retaining the creative autonomy that comes with creating a role. “I really struggled with it,” she says. “I spent a lot of time talking to her but when I started filming, I stopped having contact. We only had 30 days to shoot, and I think if I was going into each scene thinking, ‘Oh, she was having this thought’, it would have [become] too controlled. Sometimes Jacob and I would feel lost, and we’d have to remind ourselves that we’re doing a marriage story in a Sofia Coppola film, just to come back to the actual core of the scene.”
30 days is, in the grand scheme of things, a short shoot, but it is a long time to inhabit another person’s quiet longings and heart-dropping fears; their entire, tangled coming of age. Over 30 days, and over the 110 minutes of the film, Cailee blooms into and out of Priscilla – the eyeliner-slicked, backcombed, frail slip of a girl who comes to learn the heavy price of fame and glamour, the shadowed underworld of everything that had once drawn her in. Inhabiting her so entirely might have taught Cailee much the same thing, if she didn’t already feel it immutably: she has, she tells me, always been wary of the insatiable, vampiric nature of fame, something that no amount of lead roles or prizes can shake.

“I’m pretty cynical about this industry, and I feel very protective of actors and their lives,” she says, guarded and firm. “I don’t think they get treated fairly – this industry can be completely exploitative. [Playing Priscilla] just amplified it, the more I looked at their lives and things that affected them. A lot of the pain came from his fame – he didn’t know how to wrap his head around [it].”
I tell her how surprised I was by the cult of personality that still surrounds Elvis and she agrees (although, as a Southerner who visited Graceland multiple times as a child, it perhaps came as less of a shock). “It is bananas!” she says, echoing my words back to me. “There’s a real sort of subculture. I find it all very odd when people are that fascinated by people’s lives that they don’t know. Which is also why this story needs to be told, I think. Because in all the countless versions of his story that we’ve received, we’ve [never] really been in this interior world with her.”

It’s a difficult line to tread for any young actress – navigating the fine line between the demands of fame as a monster and the possibilities of fame as opportunity. Yet Cailee is confident – and determined – to get it right. “I don’t feel like my personal life is getting mixed in,” she says of her skyrocketing success as Priscilla. “I feel I’m keeping that separate – the attention feels like it’s coming from my work. It’s coming from this movie and my performance and whether people like it or not, from the research I do and the acting that I put on screen, and that’s completely fine.” She shrugs, and smiles. “I’m an artist and I put my art out and I have people judge it.” If Priscilla’s own story was once seen as a fairy tale, Cailee’s is the subversive retelling: the star of the year’s gauziest and gaudiest film, working in the world’s gauziest and gaudiest industry, refusing its gilded cage.

Source: i-d.vice.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 26, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla

The Sunday Times Style

Cailee is on the cover of the current issue of The Sunday Times Style, Click on the gallery link to see all photos.

Posted by Veronique on Dec 18, 2023
Gallery - Photoshoots

The Wrap

‘Priscilla’ Star Cailee Spaeny Ignored Other Film Versions of the Presleys, Including Her Best Friend Olivia DeJonge’s

TheWrap magazine: “I just wanted it to come from my time with Priscilla herself,” the actress says
Cailee Spaeny

Cailee Spaeny has played all manner of characters, from a murderous cult member in “Bad Times at the El Royale” to the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.” But playing Priscilla Presley, wife of the most famous rock ’n’ roller in the world, in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” was a chance for Spaeny to “demystify” a woman whose story many people weren’t aware of.

But Spaeny stayed away from other interpretations of Priscilla Presley, from Susan Walters’ in the 1988 TV movie adaptation of Presley’s 1985 autobiography “Elvis and Me” to her friend Olivia DeJonge’s recent turn in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” because Spaeny feared it would affect her performance. “I just wanted it to come from my time with Priscilla herself, and the book and my own view on it and my opinion on [who] I thought she would be,” she said.

Spaeny, who was born in Tennessee and grew up in Missouri, said her family were huge Elvis fans. But it wasn’t enough just to be a fan; Spaeny was determined to find the humanity behind a woman so often relegated to the shadow of her legendary husband. The real Priscilla Presley offered herself up as a resource for Spaeny—and after a rocky start, the two engaged in several phone calls and one-
on-one interviews. “I had a whole list of questions written out and prepared, over-prepared, for sitting down with her,” Spaeny said. “And the second that she sat down they all went out of my head. There was an awkward silence until she had to then remind me that I’m here asking her questions. Then I was like, ‘Oh, yes, of course. Let’s get into it.’”

What did you ask Priscilla in order to figure out how to play her?

Cailee Spaeny: It was just like, “Take me back to the night that you first met him.” And then letting these questions flow naturally. Asking her, “So you didn’t tell anyone that you went to school with about your time with him?” And her saying, “No,” and me saying, “Well, that must have been a really lonely experience. How did you balance going to high school and also then staying up all night with Elvis and his boys?”

She would tell little details. For example, the first night they met she said she was starving before she went there. She got to the party in Germany, and he made her a sandwich. She said she wanted to eat so badly, but couldn’t imagine eating a sandwich in front of Elvis Presley. And she would laugh like she was right there, back in that moment. So it was those details that were really so essential in putting this puzzle together.

Sofia tells it like you’re entering a memory. It’s very impressionistic. We never stay on a beat too long. It’s an Alice in Wonderland- type dreamland where she’s trying to find her way and then comes out on the other side seeing things more clearly. So it was very important to talk about emotions rather than about events. One of the things she told me is, “Make sure that the love is there.” And I think that me and Jacob [Elordi] held on to that. [We] show the lows but also make sure we show the highs in their relationship because when she talks about these times, she looks back at these memories fondly.

There are so many moments where we see Priscilla surrounded by men, dwarfed by all the activity going on. How did you find a way to stand out in those scenes where Priscilla is made to feel so small?

Jacob and the other actors who are playing the Memphis Mafia were incredibly helpful to me feeling lost in this whirlwind. Those actors are from Toronto and they’re comedians, so they’re improvising the whole time. It always felt like a boy’s world on set and they leaned into that in between takes as well. So I always felt like I was trying to figure out where I fit into this world. Along the way I thought about [how] she was always sort of in character, which she felt like she needed to be in front of him. Trying to fit into this world and never quite clicking in, that’s the way I saw it.

You and Jacob play off each other so well. Did you two spend a lot of time talking out scenes?

There were scenes I’m sure we talked about beforehand, or ones that we found trickier than others. Overall, we wanted to make sure we were comfortable around each other before we went into filming this because we only had 30 days to shoot this movie, and we shot it wildly out of order. I knew I had to feel like I could trust the person [who] was going to be playing Elvis, so the second I found out he got the role I was really excited because I was a fan of his work. I messaged him right away and I wanted us to make sure that we spent time with each other.

What was the challenge for you filming a movie in 30 days?

It was shooting everything out of order and playing an age range from 14 to late 20s, making sure those ages felt genuine and distinct from each other, and that that emotional arc was clear. [That] was always my biggest fear, filming in the way that we did. I always had complete faith in Sofia, but I never wanted to let her down and give her a one-note performance.

There is a very intense sequence between you and Elvis where he throws a chair at your head. What was that day like on set?

That was a funny day because I specifically remember there was a whole thing with the chair. We only had two breakaway chairs. It was tied to a string, which was a safety precaution so it was never going to hit me. They also wanted to have a stunt person throw the chair, but Jacob felt strongly about him being the one to actually throw the chair because it would have hurt the momentum of the scene to stop, yell “cut!” and have someone come in and throw the chair at me. That switch that Jacob did so beautifully was really important. I’m so glad that he fought for making that choice because it really helped my reaction. I was genuinely scared.

The final scene between Priscilla and Elvis is not the final scene of the movie, which ends with Priscilla leaving Graceland. Considering the out-of-order nature of filming, how did you navigate filming that sequence and the finale?

The shot of me driving away from Graceland was shot on day two, I believe. That was really stressful because we only had two takes to shoot that because we were losing light. That scene was tricky to know what I wanted to be doing or saying in that moment because it’s a silent moment. It’s no dialogue but obviously that song [Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”] was so important.

Sofia was so relieved when she got to use that; she had written it into the script. She also had it playing in the backseat of the car when I was filming that scene, which did so much. It was such a personal song between Elvis and Priscilla. Priscilla says that Elvis was singing it to her when they left the courtroom when they were getting their divorce. Elvis always wanted to record that song, it had so many layers. Also, Sofia found it really important to have a female voice at the end of the movie.

That was a crazy day to shoot. I don’t really know how to drive a car, and on the second day of filming I was trying to impress everyone and I was like, “The car is broken.” I just didn’t have it in drive, which was very embarrassing and also really disrupted the mood, but we got there.

Then the other scene [between Elvis and Priscilla], which was the actual last day of filming, was a relief to film. It was so heavy and emotional on the actual last day because my head was swimming through all different sorts of thoughts. To come from southern Missouri, being the small-town girl growing up on Sofia Coppola movies, being such a fan of her work, and then flashing forward to me being 24 on her set and it coming to an end, lent itself to the scene. I know Jacob was feeling the same way. Everyone was emotional to be wrapping the film, and thinking about what the characters were going through at that time wrapped it all together.

Source: thewrap.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 12, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla

LA Times

How ‘Priscilla’ uncovers the vulnerable woman beneath the hairspray

“She was very kind but hesitant,” Oscar-winning writer-director-producer Sofia Coppola says of Priscilla Presley, recalling the first time the two discussed Coppola turning Presley’s 1985 bestselling biography, “Elvis and Me,” into the film “Priscilla.” “She’s very private and wasn’t looking to put this out right now. But she said she would think about it…. It’s such a personal story. She’s definitely protective of it.”

Thanks to the admiration Presley has for Coppola’s oeuvre, she ultimately agreed, serving as executive producer on the film, which won lead actress for Cailee Spaeny at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. Presley, though, made no demands for casting input and stayed away from the set during filming. Such was the trust she had in the project and its key players.

“She didn’t have any big notes or specific beats she wanted me to get right,” adds Spaeny. “She just said, ‘Make sure that the love is there between us.’ Because it was, and she looks back on those memories fondly.”

Over a joint Zoom session, The Envelope spoke to Coppola and Spaeny about doing right by Presley with “Priscilla.”

Sofia, why were you drawn to this story?

Coppola: When I read Priscilla’s book, I was surprised with how moving it was. It was so unique. I was surprised by how relatable it was [despite] such an unusual setting. I realized how little I knew about her. She’s such a famous figure in our American pop history and culture. I had no idea she was going to high school while she was living at Graceland. I was really struck with how much she opens up in the book about what her experience was like. She goes through all these experiences most girls go through growing up, but in such an unusual way…. And I thought it spoke a lot about the roles of women of that generation, which is my mother’s generation, so I thought it was interesting.

What about you, Cailee?

Spaeny: If I’m being completely honest, it was the fact that it was Sofia. The story was so daunting, and to play this character was really terrifying. With anyone else, I would’ve said no.

How did each of you collaborate with Priscilla Presley?

Coppola: I worked with her while I was working on the script. She was very open to answering questions and talking with me, so I spent a lot of time asking her about different parts of her story. And then she didn’t want to come to set because she didn’t want to make Cailee nervous. She just had a lot of respect about wanting me to do it my way but also to give input and be helpful where she could.

Spaeny: I think if she would’ve been on set, I would’ve probably rolled up into a ball. [Laughs] But she was always like, “Whenever you need to call me before a scene, you can.” We met twice in person and had numerous phone calls before filming.

Had you seen Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” and how does your film position itself against it?

Coppola: I saw it [in the summer of 2022], but it was after I’d written my script, so it wasn’t at all a reaction to that. I feel like [“Elvis”] is so different in tone and that that’s really his public life, and [“Priscilla”] is really his private life, and Priscilla’s story…. I just thought it’s even more interesting to have a film about Elvis and then a year later to have Priscilla’s story. They’re great companion pieces. I feel like I learned a lot about Elvis as an artist through her perspective of his struggles and him as a person. Priscilla’s such a small character in the “Elvis” movie that I think it’s really interesting to see another side of the story. Her side.

Spaeny: I still haven’t seen [“Elvis”] yet, so I feel like I can’t really speak on that. But it sounds like it’d be a fun double feature!

What was the project’s biggest challenge and biggest reward?

Coppola: The biggest challenge was having such a big, epic life and love story, condensing that into 90 minutes, shooting it in 30 days, covering so much time, and having [Cailee as Priscilla] go from 14 to 29 or whatever.

Spaeny: I agree with that. I feel like the greatest challenge and the greatest reward were sort of the same thing. Making this film for Priscilla. Her feeling safe with the story that we told. And getting that right for her. Because I feel she deserves that.

Coppola: She told me, “That was my life” when she saw it, and that was the most rewarding thing. To hear that from her.

Spaeny: The weight off of our shoulders was massive at that point.

What do you hope Elvis would have thought of your film?

Coppola: Oh, I never thought of that. I was so focused on what Priscilla would think about her story. I don’t know. I feel like that’s really between them. It’s her portrayal of their relationship. So, I don’t want to get in the middle of that. [Laughs]

What’s the one thing you discovered about Priscilla that you didn’t know before you made this movie?

Spaeny: Oh, well, almost everything. [Laughs] Gosh — that she put on false eyelashes before she went into labor. There were so many things I didn’t know — like her being really hungry when she first went to meet Elvis on the first night at that party in Germany. And then he offered her a sandwich — and she really wanted it — but she said no because she couldn’t imagine eating a sandwich in front of Elvis Presley!

Coppola: You just see these pictures of her looking like the perfection of a ’60s glamorous woman. [But] of course, she has this human side. I was struck with how vulnerable she was. She’s very sweet and delicate and very sensitive. I was just surprised by her sensitivity in all these situations, which makes sense when you see her real story — behind the hairspray.

Source: latimes.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 3, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla

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Sofia Coppola's take on the relationship between Priscilla and Elvis Presley.
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