Category: News

Sharp Objects Star Elizabeth Perkins says her character knows all the secrets!

As HBO’s Sharp Objects continues to expose the many secrets of Wind Gap, Missouri, one thing has become perfectly clear. The majority of the residents conform to Adora Crellin’s (Patricia Clarkson) way of doing things and those few who don’t are often either shunned or eliminated altogether. This week Adora fired one man—Taylor John Smith’s John Keene—and threatened another—Matt Craven’s Chief Vickery—effortlessly flexing her control over the town. On this week’s episode of Vanity Fair’s companion podcast, Still Watching, everyone’s favorite Wind Gap rebel, Elizabeth Perkins a.k.a. Jackie O’Neele, explains how her loud, brash, boozy character may be the key to unlocking the show’s many mysteries.

Towards the end of “Ripe,” Chief Vickery visited Jackie’s house to get some background information on Camille (Amy Adams). While the old family friend may have stayed quiet in the moment, audiences can bet there is a lot going unsaid. “Jackie knows everything that’s gone on in the [Crellin] house, what’s going on in the house,” Perkins tells Still Watching co-host Richard Lawson. “She absolutely knows everything.” Continue reading

Elizabeth Perkins on big hair, big wigs and why pounds of makeup can’t compensate for a life lived hard!

Even if you’re only somewhat up-do-date with the stockpile that is TV’s most binge-worthy shows, you’ve probably noticed that Elizabeth Perkins keeps popping up. She plays funny in Curb Your Enthusiasm as Marty Funkhouser’s new girlfriend; serious and stoic on This is Us as Mandy Moore’s mother; and “over-the-top” in Netflix’s Glow. Now, the new HBO mini-series Sharp Objects with Amy Adams also gets to count Perkins as a costar. Always the chameleon, the 57-year-old recently sat down with us to dish on behind-the-scenes beauty and style secrets from her most noteworthy roles.

Big
It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Big debuted and, according to Perkins, the single-word title is also synonymous with her hair in the film. “‘Big’ was all about “big” hair. I have very curly hair naturally, but this was back in the day when Julia Roberts was queen and we all wanted the full-haired, scrunched look that she made so popular,” she says. “So, not only did we scrunch it with firm-holding gel, with my head upside down with a hair dryer, but I was also given a ‘root perm’ prior to shooting to get it as large as possible. The higher the hair, the closer to God.”

The Flinstones
Perkins says since she was playing an animated character in the cartoon-come-to-life, all of the hair had to follow suit. “It was all about the wigs and getting them as high as possible to match the cartoon Wilma. They were heavy and fell over several times! We weren’t allowed to wear shoes though—even though we had cars, satellite TVs and shopping malls, shoes somehow hadn’t been invented yet.”

Weeds
“I loved playing the evil Celia Hodes. Amoral, ruthless and conniving, her hair and makeup always stated exactly where she was emotionally. Long blond hair when she was successful, a harsh wig following her chemo therapy, and dirty, matted hair when she was in her downfall. Each morning in the makeup trailer we would assess where Celia was psychologically and style accordingly.”

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Elizabeth Perkins would have played the gardener to be on Sharp Objects!

Sharp Objects | Sunday, 9 p.m., HBO
When newspaper reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) returns home to report on a double murder in Wind Gap, Mo., in the HBO limited series “Sharp Objects,” she meets a lot of people who have known her since she was a child. One old friend, Jackie (Elizabeth Perkins), becomes her confidante. She weaves in and out of the story, intimating that she knows everything about how Camille’s sister Marian (Lulu Wilson) died so young. Seeing how she is also the town drunk, Jackie doesn’t present the most respectable image. As we get closer to realizing that Camille’s mother, the high-fashion monster Adora (Patricia Clarkson), has been plagued by an illness that fatally affected her judgment, all of Jackie’s secrets spill out.

Elizabeth Perkins, 57, who memorably played Mary-Louise Parker’s neighbor on “Weeds” for many seasons, spoke to The Post from LA, where she is filming her new Apple TV series, “Are You Sleeping.”

This is a pivotal role in a very disturbing story. Why did you want to play Jackie?Because it was Patricia Clarkson and Amy Adams. I would have played the gardener to share the screen with them. And the whole project was female-centric. [Author] Gillian Flynn. [Screenwriter] Marti Noxon. We’re showing a lead character who’s deeply flawed. The [movie] studios will only make films where the female is heroic or totally positive. The good side of the female psyche. It’s rare to be involved in something that goes into the underbelly.

What time of the day does Jackie start drinking? Is she soused all day?
Mornings. She’s an alcoholic and a pill popper. I don’t think she walks very much. She squashing a lot of pain and knowledge. And a lot of secrets. Which may or may not be answered in Episode 8.

What is Jackie’s exact relationship to Adora? Are they friends?
They are frenemies. They grew up together. Adora has a lot of money. Adora has children. Jackie has been in Camille’s life since the day she was born. She was at Marian’s funeral. She’s been on the scene for a very long time. She was probably closer with Adora in the past until a lot of stuff went down. If Jackie could, she would expose everything.

Why did Jackie stay in Wind Gap, Mo.?
Jackie lives alone. Jackie has no husband. No children. She’s sort of alone in her pain. Adora has such a hold over her. She’s kind of trapped there. Jackie played a part in Marian’s demise or merely covered it up. She knows everything. What would propel somebody not to reveal it? Psychological blackmail.

StarryMag Interview: Elizabeth Perkins on Sharp Objects!

Q) How was Jackie in “Sharp Objects” originally described to you?

A) She was described to me as a “backwoods Barbie” who grew up with Adora (Patricia Clarkson) and has been through the years best friends, enemies and frenemies, but inexplicably bound to each other because Jackie knows everything that goes on in that house. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting. Okay…” If you’ve read the book, when I say “everything that goes on in the house” you know what I mean. Why Jackie doesn’t reveal things or secrets is a whole other story that is not really fleshed out in this series. There is some kind of hold Adora has over her, which doesn’t allow her to speak her truth until very close to the end. Jackie is an alcoholic, so things come out that she can’t keep inside anymore. I think Adora, the daughter Jackie had, I don’t think Jackie had much of a life and sort of looks at Adora’s life upon the hill with the beautiful clothing, the beautiful house and the third husband – that’s all things that Jackie will never have. I think that she’s particularly in love with Camille (Amy Adams) and maybe that’s the reason she didn’t end up getting out when Camille’s sister did not.

Q) Was it difficult then for you to get into character?

A) One of the great things about this particular group of people because you have a chance to work with people like Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. That’s a formidable duo on its own, but you put in Gillian Flynn and Marti Noxon and Eliza Scanlen (the female centricity o the entire project) and what ever you have to “go through” while you’re shooting is completely worth it. It was a rough shoot because it was hot. We were in Georgia and you’re in the woods where it was a hundred degrees. All the sweat that you see on the actors, that was real. [laughs] It was a long shoot, we were tired, and it was dark. It was difficult for Amy to inhabit that troubled a person, but we all struggled, and we were all aware that we were inhabiting troubled people. We had a conversation about it. It was hard to embrace Jackie and it was hard to live with Jackie. Continue reading

Variety Interview: Elizabeth Perkins on Her Early Film, & Stage Role!

Elizabeth Perkins has starred in numerous comedies and dramas, receiving critical acclaim for her roles in such films as “Avalon,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” the live-action “Flintstones” movie and “The Doctor.” Elizabeth Perkins has also found success on television, garnering Golden Globe Award nominations for her supporting role in “Weeds.” She continues to make guest appearances on several hit shows, including “How to Get Away With Murder,” “GLOW” and “This Is Us.” She’s co-starring in the HBO miniseries “Sharp Objects.”

Early in her career, Elizabeth Perkins worked on many stage productions in New York City, including the show “Life and Limb.” Her first appearance in Variety came on Jan. 2, 1985, in the cast credits of the show.

What were some of your early goals during your days as a stage actor?

At that point you’re just thrilled you’re paying the rent. You think to yourself, “I’ve got an apartment and I paid the rent through my acting.” You don’t think — I didn’t think, anyway — “What am I going to be doing 10 years from now?” I remember just thinking, “How long does it take me to get to the theater from my house, and can I walk or should I take the bus?” Being able to write a check and support myself through only being an actor was pretty much the only goal I had at that point. It never occurred to me that I would ever do film or television.

What was your first day as a film actress like?

I got into a car accident on the way to the set, and I was two hours late because the police showed up. But thank God our director was quite kind to me about it. The very first shot that we did was a scene that never made it to the film, where my character has sex with Jim Belushi in the back seat of a car.

Sounds abrupt.

I remember thinking as it was happening, “This can’t be moviemaking; there’s got to be more to it than this.” I’m literally in the back seat of a car with Jim Belushi, and we’re having fake sex, and I’m having to moan and scream after having a car accident on the way to work. So, it wasn’t great. Continue reading

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