Jessica Lange Says ‘Corporate Profit’ Is Overwhelming Hollywood and ‘So Much of the Industry Now Is Not About the Creative Process’

Jessica Lange spoke critically of present-day Hollywood during a recent interview with Vulture, saying “there should be a law against it” when the topic came up about Warner Bros. Discovery axing already-shot movies like “Batgirl” and “Coyote vs. Acme” for tax write-off purposes. This topic became a launching pad for some of Lange’s wider criticisms of today’s entertainment industry.

“We’re living in a corporate world, and it certainly has rolled over into the film industry,” Lange said. “So much of the industry now is not about the creative process. I mean, obviously this is not across the board, but there are many instances where I feel like the artistic impulse is overwhelmed by the corporate profit motive. You look at some of the best films of the past year — what do they have in common? They’re not from America. My favorite was ‘Anatomy of a Fall.’ How often do we get to see a film like that, where the ambiguity of things is never sewn up?”

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Lange’s award-winning career has spanned television, film and the stage. She’s currently on Broadway as the star of “Mother Play.” Younger audiences most likely know Lange from her television work on FX’s “American Horror Story,” as her film work has been more sporadic in recent years. She told Vulture that film sets are much different in the digital age.

“I remember sitting on a film set waiting for hours for the cinematographer to get the lighting right, and it was worth it because the result was spectacular. But that’s changed,” Lange said. “Cameramen don’t light anymore; they’re shooting on digital. You’re not going to watch dailies. It’s a different ball game.”

“Before the video village, where the director is sitting in a little separate room looking at monitors, there was a kind of synergy between the actors and the filmmakers,” she continued. “The director would stand next to the camera, and there was almost an alchemy, this transformation of energy between the director and you in front of the camera while you were playing the scene…you got this sense that the director was there with you in every moment — almost as if he were willing your performance. It was a beautiful way to work.”

In “Mother Play,” which hails from playwright Paula Vogel, Lange plays the troubled mother of two children (Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger) trying her hardest to maintain a home for them. The play marks the Oscar winner’s return to Broadway after 2016’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” On television, Lange recently reunited with “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy for a brief role as Truman Capote’s mother in FX’s “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans.” Lange’s most recent film credit was a supporting role in the Liam Neeson-headlined “Marlowe.”

Head over to Vulture’s website to read Lange’s full interview in its entirety.

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