As POTUS Elizabeth Keane on Showtime’s hit series Homeland, Elizabeth Marvel has become pretty well acquainted with the concept of female empowerment. But while he was casting his Netflix film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), director Noah Baumbach surprised the actress by offering her the role of Jean, the quiet, dowdy but laconically funny youngest sibling of the Meyerowitz clan.
“You know,” she mused at Deadline’s seventh annual The Contenders awards-season event last month, “normally I play the President of the United States, or I’m asked to play women that are very commanding, [but] Jean is a completely different kind of animal. When Noah asked me to do it, I was so shocked, because it’s not the kind of person that anyone would ask me to play.”
To immerse herself in the character, Marvel spent several weeks getting to know her onscreen brothers, played by Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler, and exploring the chemistry of a close but dysfunctional family. “Noah is amazing,” she told the DGA Theater audience of AMPAS and key guild members. “He gave us a month ahead of shooting to come to his apartment and rehearse, and just organically spend time getting to know each other, creating that family dynamic. You have to give people time to make that happen.”
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