‘What Maisie Knew’ Directors Scott McGhee & David Siegel On Julianne Moore, Alexander Skaarsgard, Onata Aprile [EXCLUSIVE]
What Maisie Knew, through the eyes of its six-year-old title character, examines the divorce and ensuing ugly custody battle between Maisie’s (Onana Aprile) father (Steve Coogan) and rocker mother (Julianne Moore). Directors Scott McGee and David Siegel discussed the film and the actors that assumed the film’s pivotal roles in an exclusive interview with Uinterview.
The most pivotal role for McGee and Siegel to cast was undoubtedly that of Maisie. “She really is an amazing kid. She really has an ability to be as natural as anything you’ve ever seen in front of a camera,” said McGhee. “In terms of understanding the subject matter, she understood the broad terms of the story quite well."
Moore may have seemed like an unlikely choice to play Maisie’s rock star mother, as she’s not exactly known for her vocal talents. But taking on the character was less about the voice and more about the swagger, according to the directors. “She did rock star training, I think,” McGhee told Uinterview exclusively. He added that they hired a couple of people in the music industry to coach her. “They worked with her on, you know projecting vocals a bit I think, but before they worked just kind of on getting, a rock star attitude so that she could you know feel like a rock star.” Siegel added that Moore performed all her own vocals in the film.
Before casting Alexander Skargard in What Maisie Knew, neither McGhee nor Siegel were particularly familiar with him. “We didn’t know much of his work,” Siegel admitted. “We’ve seen a little bit of True Blood and we remembered him from Zoolander doing that funny scene in the gas station where they poured gas on each other [laughs]. That he was kind of funny and light on his feet that way."
“When we met him, he’s such a gentle, sweet guy, you know we just loved the idea and the fact that he was so big and Onata was so teeny," Siegel continued. “The two of them together was just kind of adorable.”
What Maisie Knew came out on DVD Aug. 13.
– Chelsea Regan