The Hollywood Reporter recently sat down with Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson, Amy Adams, Annette Benning, Naomie Harris, and Isabelle Huppert for an actress roundtable interview. Here are some of the highlights:
If you could put one great movie performance in a time capsule, what would you choose?
TARAJI P. HENSON Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. It speaks to what's happening today in the world, including health care. And yeah, [AIDS is] still an epidemic. We don't have a handle on that yet.
NAOMIE HARRIS I am obsessed with The Sound of Music. That is my favorite movie.
ANNETTE BENING Me too!
AMY ADAMS Can I use that answer? You and I will go do a sing-along afterward.
BENING I went to the sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl with my children.
ADAMS It handles a really important time in history about what was happening on the precipice of that war.
BENING The first [performance] that popped into my head was Liv Ullmann in Persona. But I think that was because it was one of the first serious movies I saw in the little art house in San Diego where I grew up. I hadn't seen films like that before.
NATALIE PORTMAN One of the performances I think of the most is Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves. That relationship with God and with herself and with her sexuality and all of that is so human and strange and beautiful.
ISABELLE HUPPERT Usually I have difficulty answering such a question, and strangely enough, right away I thought of Shirley MacLaine in Some Came Running, the Vincente Minnelli film. For me, she is really just the actress.
EMMA STONE John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. I'm serious. Comedy means everything to me. He just breaks your heart and makes you laugh, and he does it all so beautifully.
Who prefers theater to film?
HUPPERT Making movies is a nice ride as opposed to theater; that is climbing a very high mountain. But the view is spectacular once you are on top of the mountain, of course. I [recently did] a very contemporary version of Phaedra directed by a great Polish director called Krzysztof Warlikowski, which combines several texts, including Phaedra's Love by Sarah Kane, who was a great English playwright.
BENING Isn't it three and a half hours long?
HUPPERT Yes, it is. It's very long. It might be a big mountain for the audience as well.
BENING That's incredible.
HUPPERT Sometimes people walk away, so apparently they don't climb up the mountain. (Laughter.) They have to stop halfway through. But never mind. We are still there.
Do any of you get stage fright?
BENING Yes. But not paralyzing. I have fear all the time with the work that I do. I don't know if everyone has that. I think most people do.
ADAMS Oh my gosh, yes. Paralyzing.
BENING More than with the camera?
ADAMS I used to have it with the camera. I figured that out, thankfully. But with the stage, I didn't realize how bad it was until I was doing Into the Woods in Central Park, and there would be times where I literally thought I wouldn't be able to walk onstage.
HUPPERT I saw you.
ADAMS The worst stage fright I ever had was singing alone at the Oscars [a song from Enchanted in 2008].
HENSON Very scary.
ADAMS Emma? Maybe this year?
STONE Oh no. I forgot about that.
ADAMS You should do it.
HENSON At least you didn't have to sing about pimps and whores [a song from Hustle & Flow with Three 6 Mafia at the 2006 Oscars].
ADAMS You actually did it. That was the first year I was nominated, and I was like, "She is up there, singing at the Oscars."
HENSON It was pretty scary. I had to look over everyone's heads because it's not like what I'm singing about is the most … you know.
Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.