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David Poland

By David Poland

Lunch With… Amy Ryan

The Oscar nominee sits down to talk about the work in Gone Baby Gone, her next film (for Paul Greengrass and with Matt Damon), and life as a working actor turned media phenom almost overnight.

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13 Responses to “Lunch With… Amy Ryan”

  1. Mr. Gittes says:

    Really looking forward to Imperial Life in the Emerald City ( or is it called Green Zone?). We all know films about Iraq are failing financially and critically but if there’s anyone that can do it “right”, it’s Mr. Greengrass and Mr. Damon. Come this time next year, Amy Ryan might be making the Oscar rounds again.

  2. Hopscotch says:

    It doesn’t have a tilte at the moment, “Green Zone Thriller”.
    Loved the book. great book.
    Can’t wait to see GBG.

  3. I’m still a bit miffed that, as of right now, Gone Baby Gone won’t even be released here by the time the Oscars come around.

  4. JB Moore says:

    God I love her. Had a crush on her since season 2 of The Wire. Talk about doing a 180 from Beadie Russell to Helene McCready. I really don’t give a damn about the Oscars, but I’ll be pulling for her. She deserves it.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    She cleans up nicely.

  6. 555 says:

    Is that The Dude over her left shoulder?

  7. frankbooth says:

    It’s either The Dude or Joe Eszterhas.
    I watched the entirety of GBG without realizing I was looking at Beadie from Season 2 of The Wire. Just kept thinking she looked familiar. After looking her up on imdb, I had a completely different impression of her talent.

  8. lazarus says:

    Her character certainly has the most depth of the five nominees. While Blanchett’s work can’t be slighted, I think Ryan had a very difficult job that couldn’t be measured by how close she was getting to a well-known icon. She had to play totally despicable, and then somehow still make us care by the end of the film.
    I really think she deserves this, and it will help her career more than any of the others as well.

  9. RP says:

    If only everyone had the grace and good nature of this amazing actress (another fan of “The Wire” here). Thank goodness she’s finally getting the recognition and film roles that will bring her work to a wider audience.

  10. MarkVH says:

    I still can’t quite fathom the love for this performance. Beadie Russell is freakin’ awesome, but Ryan played GBG like a cartoon character. If she wins then fine, but you’ll never be able to convince me that this was a great performance.

  11. David Poland says:

    Yes, 555… it’s a limited edition The Dude circus punk by Reuben Rude… one of my favorite things.

  12. 555 says:


  13. Hopscotch says:

    If that item is owned by Ms. Ryan…she just became one of the hottest women of all time!!!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon