In Studio With ‘Phantom Thread’s’ Vicky Krieps: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Thomas Anderson & More! | THR

In Studio With ‘Phantom Thread’s’ Vicky Krieps: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Thomas Anderson & More! | THR

(upbeat percussion music) – Hi, this is Marya Gullo,
from the Hollywood Reporter, and I’m in studio with Vicky Krieps today. Hi Vicky, how are you? – Hello, good. – We’re here to talk about
the the “Phantom Thread,” which is getting a lot of attention. I just wanted to say that
I’ve seen it three times. I feel like, the first time,
you see it for the plot twists, which there always will be
with a P.T. Anderson movie. The second time, you
get to really get into the performances, because now you know what’s going to happen. And then the third time,
it’s just, like, taking in the set pieces and all the
beautiful camera angles. – Yeah, and I would say, the
eighth time, you’ll understand. – (laughs) Yeah, right, by the
eighth time, you understand. Yeah, I mean, it’s so
amazing to try to get into the head of your character, Alma. Like, she’s so interesting. Like, you go into this
movie, and you’re like, “Oh, there’s another very
powerful man and his new muse,” and you just think, “Oh, I know the way this is gonna go,” and it doesn’t, it doesn’t. This is a character who really kind of commands a lot of attention in the movie. – Yeah, she’s, even for
me, and I know Alma, but even for me, Alma is so, I realize now when I
talk about her, you know, what she actually is as a whole. She’s so out of the box, really, like out of any kind of
way that you would think you could define a woman, you know? It’s almost as if she exists
in between being a woman and a, not a man, but a not-woman, you know? It’s like, I don’t know,
she’s, yeah, she’s just, free. – If we get to talk to her, talk about her character as a whole, right? Just knowing that we
have both seen the movie and know what happens, is there,
like, a mission statement? Is there, like, a core
definition of who she is that you really feel you tapped into? Did you have, like, you
know, a definition for that? – No, I think what I just said is closest, that she’s, she doesn’t
need a definition to be. And because she doesn’t need a definition, she can be so strong. If I ever understood her
as some kind of figure, then it was only due to the
time she lives in, you know? Or the social upbringing she had. – Right, okay, so like,
her backstory, basically. – And who she is according to, yeah. ‘Cause it was different back
then than nowadays, you know? As a woman, you, when you
were a woman in the ’50s, that meant many things. You couldn’t just be who you wanted to be, in a way, you know? You had to apply to very,
many rules and, you know, expectations, and so
what’s interesting is that she does apply to all of this, or, like, not apply, I always look
for words, I’m sorry. – Oh yeah, she fits into
the mold of a ’50s woman. – Yes, and, exactly, and even very, she’s good at it, you know? She’s like a good school
girl, like, I mean, she’s not questioning
to be this ’50s woman. That’s what she is. She’s a waitress. She’s learned to be a waitress
and to serve other people and to, you know, as
a working-class woman, to have her position, she’s
not questioning this position, but she doesn’t need to because she doesn’t need this definition, so it makes her free, and
this makes her strong. Not her background, or
her money, or whatever. – Right, right, and a lot
of, a lot of her backstory was kind of stripped away by editing. – Yeah.
– Which kind of gives her even more of a very present character. – Yeah.
– And then also, with P.T. Anderson’s filmmaking style, you didn’t meet Daniel
Day-Lewis until the first day that you filmed with him, is that correct? – Yeah. Well, I met him in London. We met to read the script once. – Oh, okay, right, but
you didn’t rehearse. – We didn’t rehearse at all. I just had to trust
Paul, that’s what I did. I really don’t feel like
I did anything, really. I just trusted Paul, I
listened what was happening around me, and I tried to answer as honest as I could, in a way. And everything, what I
knew, was what I gave Alma as a backstory, in a way. She came from, and for
this, I really took it from my grandmother, you know. I tried to understand what
it means to be a young woman in the war, you know, and then
seeing people die around you, close family members, and
having to leave your country, go to a new country, be
an immigrant, you know. All of this explains why she’s how she is. – How adaptable she is. – Yes, and ready to be
submissive, in a way. ‘Cause in the beginning, she
is submissive, as you say. You know, you watch the
movie and you think, “Oh, another one like
this, poor, poor girl, and she’s going to be lost. What is he going to do to her?” But keeps her own strength,
like a secret almost. – And you said before that when you were creating her character or
trying to get into her, that you filled her with emptiness. – Yeah. – What did that entail? – I did it intuitively on one hand. I did it because I knew
I would meet someone who’s a method actor and didn’t know much about method acting, and I
didn’t want to know much, because I knew Alma has to be very free, so I tried to become empty. And it’s like meditation, almost. You know, when you try
to forget who you are, but more who you want to be. So, I had to try and forget
what I want to be as an actress or who I want to be as an actress, what kind of movie I would like to do, or, you know, what it
means being an actress in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. All these ideas, I tried to get rid of and create, like, a silence. – Did that work more on
certain days than others? Did you have your good
days and your bad days? ‘Cause it feels like the
idea of kind of emptying out all of your expectations–
– Well, the emptying out– – Could be tough from day to day. – Yes. The emptying out was for
the beginning really. And then, as soon as
Alma enters the world, you know, it was filling
up, and, you know. And then it was, very
soon, it was very full. And then it meant more trying to move around all of the stuff. So what I mean by what
she was filled up with, his life, his, you know, his house, his clothes, his art,
you know, his everything, like the world he was
living in as this creator. And she had to live in this world, and so she had to move
around all these little, like on a checkboard, you know? Do you say “chess”? Chess.
– Yeah. – Just little chess figurines. And then it was more being
someone in a room that’s so full that you cannot breathe, you know? It was, it took, most
of my energy went into being so submissive and,
you know, restrained. You know, really almost holding my breath. And just telling the story
in my eyes, you know, because there’s no way I could move or go being with Reynolds Woodcock. So, that’s interesting
that I made her empty in the beginning, and then it was so full. – Yeah, and that way, the tension is kind of showing in the later scenes. – Yeah.
– That’s so interesting. So, I saw, like, a parallel
between your character and, like, what was actually
going on for you as an actress. Your character is, like, an ingenue, the new muse, the new person,
and the House of Woodcock is this brother, sister who work really closely and tightly together. And I felt like there was kind
of a parallel between that and P.T. Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, and their partnership
is so interconnected. How did it feel to kind of
start working with a team that’s so interconnected already? – Hmm. Look, when I first met them,
the great thing that happened between the three of us,
I would say, is we met and it didn’t feel like
getting to know someone new, but more like seeing someone again, you know, haven’t seen for a long time. I don’t know why that was like this. So, this helped me to try and trust that it’s going to be fine. But then going to the set,
because we didn’t rehearse, and then being at the set, it was very, like for Alma, it was very hard also to work in a
place where people are so, you know, I don’t know how, I wouldn’t say they are
sure of what they do, because I think Paul and
Daniel are both open to defect that as an actor or as a creator, you never really know what you’re doing. You’re always in a quest for something. You’re always searching. But still, you know, only by the fact that they’ve been doing
it for such a long time, it gives them a whole different approach and, you know, that’s
something I could feel and, I don’t know, I just
pretended that I wasn’t scared. (both laugh)
– That’s good. It’s funny that Daniel
Day-Lewis has such a reputation. But then every time you
see him in interviews, he seems so warm and nice. What experience did you have with him? – Well, as Reynolds
Woodcock, he was, you know, very intense, because
Reynolds is very intense. But I didn’t have a, I didn’t have the experience
everyone expected to. I mean, it’s not like he
didn’t break character. I mean, of course, that’s what he does, he doesn’t break character,
so he is Reynolds Woodcock, but once you find your way
with Reynolds Woodcock, it’s fine, and in between
the takes, it’s not like, you know, he’s going to be mean to me as he would be mean in the scene to Alma. See what I mean? – And you, a couple of times, you went and asked Reynolds, off camera, questions. There was one story about a costume that you wanted to wear, or? – Yeah, I, you know, I
started to realize that Reynolds Woodcock had,
because he was very intense, people were, you know,
behaving around him, you know? Like this, “Ooh, he said
this,” or “We cannot,” and very early on, I wasn’t
ready to accept, you know? I was like, “What?” You know, I have to know
it by myself, you know? I’m not going to accept
just knowing it like this. So, there was one thing, was
that he was always in his room and people were always whispering, “He’s there,” or “He’s
coming,” or “He’s…” And I was like, what? What are they all whispering, you know? Why, is he sick or what? And, “No, but he’s in his green room.” Yeah, but I want to ask a question. “No, but you cannot go.” What? So, I just went over the
grass and went to the house, up the stairs, knocked at the
door, and asked my question. So, you see, everything,
a lot of it was rounded. So the same thing was, one day
I asked the costume designer, why do we not have strapless
dresses in the whole movie? It’s so ’50s, it’s so nice. “No, Reynolds Woodcock wouldn’t do that because he would find it vulgar.” I wasn’t ready to accept it,
so I went to Reynolds Woodcock and I asked, “So, you find that vulgar?” And then he said, “No, I didn’t say,” or, I don’t remember what he exactly said, but what came out was that he said, he didn’t mean it for Alma. He said, “It would be different for you.” So, I went back to the
costume designer and I said, “Yeah, we can do strapless.” – Yes, Reynolds says it’s okay. – Yeah, exactly.
– Yeah, it’s okay for Alma, she’s a true lady.
– Yeah. – (laughs) That’s so great.
– It’s funny, yeah. – What was it like getting costumed for all of those dresses? I assume it must have been a very intense period of costuming. I mean, have you ever
worn that many changes of clothes for a job?
– No. No, not nearly. I mean, I have done period drama, but there was never a movie that only had the possibility
to do this, you know. And all my characters, I
think many of them were poor, so when you’re poor,
you only have one dress. – Right.
– You know? – So, no, that was the first time. And it was a job on it’s own to learn how to wear the dresses
and to behave like I should and, you know, like in
the ’50s and (sighs). It was very tiring. I couldn’t really, like (groans). – Did you pick up any good tips
for how to present yourself when you’re wearing something
like a strapless gown? Is there a certain– – No, I think it was the
dress itself that was always telling very strongly
how you should wear it. – [Marya] Ah, I see. – ‘Cause, you know, some dresses– – [Marya] They’re so structured. – Yeah, exactly, you have, like, a corset or you have a suspender belt or, how does it feel to wear lace or silk? It gives you different feeling, you know? Like, if you have a bodice like this and you’re going to do like this, then everything’s going to be– – It’s gonna spill out the top. (laughs) – You know?
– Yeah. – Yeah, or the same with shoes. You know, you cannot just walk
like you walk in trainers, or it will just, it won’t look very good. (both laugh) Yeah, so I think the clothes themselves, they were telling me what to do. – Amazing. So, I wanted to talk to you a
little bit about the reveal. I know, we don’t wanna ruin
anything for the viewers. They should go out and
see the movie themselves. But there’s, a lot of
people, I don’t think, will, when they see this movie,
they’re gonna think, “Oh, it’s a period piece.” But there is a, (sighs)
how would you call this? I wanna say it’s, like,
metaphorically kinky twist. (laughs) – Yeah. – I mean, how did you feel to, like, take on a roll like that? I mean, this is, like,
unique experience to kind of go into the world of,
like, I don’t know, like, twisted minds, or a… – Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
– You know? – Well, I didn’t know how– – [Marya] But there’s
nothing vulgar about it. – No. – [Marya] As Reynolds
Woodcock would say. (laughs) – Yeah, so I think I was
just trusting Paul, again, and that it would be
right for some reason. And it was difficult to understand how you could come to such a twist. Why would someone come up with this? Why would someone go this
way and actually do this? You know, I really had to understand, because I would never
do it, you know, myself. And then I just accepted
that I wouldn’t understand. And then I just accepted that
I don’t have to understand. Okay. And I just went with my intuition, trying to feel why someone would do this, and I found that, you
know, if you love someone, I think, you do the weirdest things. – (laughs) Yeah, that’s true.
– Alone or together, you know? And I think that’s only
what it’s portraying. It’s just saying, you know,
how weird it can become when you’re in love, but also
how beautiful it can become, but also how difficult it can be. And, you know, there’s
no rule, there’s no, there’s nothing that doesn’t happen at home when people are alone. – Yeah, that’s true, that’s true. And it does allow people to kind of draw their own conclusions. – Yeah, and I think this is just a playful way of telling this. – (laughs) That’s very lovely. So, I have four more questions
for you before I let you go. This is our “First, Best,
Last, Worst” questions. So, the first job that made you think, “I’ve made it, now I’ve finally made it.” And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the job where you actually made it. – It hasn’t happened yet. – [Marya] (laughs) Always looking forward. – This is the first movie
I did where people tell me that this is, “How does it
feel that now you are…” Well, it doesn’t feel anything except that you keep asking me. So, I haven’t had this, no. – You haven’t had the moment. Best costume you’ve had to wear for a job. Is there a particular
costume, or maybe a dress, from this movie, that really… – In this movie, there were
many beautiful dresses and, I don’t know, what, best
costume I ever wore? Maybe, I think, the clothes Alma’s wearing when she goes on the mountain. – Ah.
– The mountaineer clothes. I think that was the best costume. – Nice. The last time you made a
mistake, and how did you fix it. – Oh God. Probably two minutes ago,
sitting like this on the chair. How did I fix it? Like this. – (laughs) Good. Worst audition experience. – Worst audition experience. Oh, ah, oh yeah, once
I went to an audition, I will not tell you what it
was, but I honestly realized, while I was there, that
I didn’t read the script. – [Marya] Oh no. – I’d honestly sit down and realized, “Oh, fuck, I didn’t read the script.” But I think it wasn’t meant
to be, so maybe that’s why. – Definitely. Vicky Krieps, thank you so much. – That was good way of saying my name. – Oh really?
– Yeah, Krieps, yeah. Krieps, Krieps, yeah.
– Thank you so much. Well, the movie is “Phantom Thread,” and thank you so much for joining us, and we will see you during award season. – Thank you. (boom)

36 thoughts on “In Studio With ‘Phantom Thread’s’ Vicky Krieps: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Thomas Anderson & More! | THR

  1. She's not a method actor? It seems like she is still Alma! The set story also shows how much it mirrors the film and how she herself was behaving like Alma towards DDL. How disarmingly charming.

  2. LOVED Phantom Thread! Hope it wins some awards but especially costume design! As DDL last performance he went out with a bang!

  3. In my opinion, one of the two most beautiful actresses in the world. Very very very sexy and a perfect woman. Her beauty is unique especially without makeup . I have become her no 1 fan!

  4. It is refreshing to see someone actually pause and search for the right words in her mind. Also, kiss me my girl, before I'm sick.

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