The gallery has been updated with screencaps of Sarah in the fourth episode of Alias Grace. Enjoy!
Sarah Gadon’s latest project was at once the hardest thing she’s ever done and a “mind f–k all the time” at that. Luckily for the actress, the shoot schedule in her native Toronto meant both the comforts of her own bed to crash into each night and, of course, some help from mom.
“I don’t think I would’ve made it through the project if I didn’t get to sleep in my own bed and have my mom help me out,” she says.
Gadon is the lead character Grace Marks in “Alias Grace,” the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, which comes to Netflix on Nov. 3 on the heels of the Emmy-winning success of the Atwood-adaptation “Handmaid’s Tale,” done for Hulu.
The series tells the true story of Marks, a Northern Irish immigrant who worked as a housemaid in Upper Canada and was convicted of a double murder and imprisoned at the age of 16.
“The trial was totally sensationalized in the media — it was that generation’s version of the OJ Simpson trial. She was made infamous because she was this young working class girl who murdered above her station,” Gadon says.
That quest for her true identity is entirely what drew the actress to the project.
Continue reading “Sarah Gadon on Becoming the Next Margaret Atwood Heroine”
In the new CBC/Netflix series Alias Grace, Sarah Gadon plays Grace Marks, a real-life 19th-century housemaid who was convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress, spent almost three decades in the Kingston Penitentiary and eventually received a pardon. The six-part series is based on the 1997 historical novel by Margaret Atwood (maybe you’ve heard of her) and came together under producer Sarah Polley, who also wrote the screenplay. We spoke to Gadon—a former TIFF Rising Star and unofficial David Cronenberg muse—about what it was like to play an infamous murderess, how she handles selfie-seeking fans and why Margaret Atwood doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to sex.
How did you get involved with the project?
My agent sent me the script. When I saw it was a Sarah Polley project, I flipped out. Growing up in Toronto, I had always looked up to her as an actress, and I’ve watched her evolve into a director, producer and writer. I’ve always carried around a secret dream that maybe one day I might get to work with her. When I read the script, I instantly knew this was going to be really special and smart because Sarah is those two things.
Did you have to audition?
Yes. I met Sarah and Mary [Harron, the director,] the next day for lunch. Sarah told me how she had read the book when she was 17 and how it was the most important piece of literature in her life. She said, “I feel like this book has informed everything I have done since I read it.” And I thought, Oh God.
Continue reading “Toronto Life Q&A with Sarah Gadon”
Alias Grace dives into the true story of Grace Marks (played in the miniseries by Canadian Sarah Gadon): a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant who finds herself accused and convicted of murdering her wealthy employer and his housekeeper.
Though the story is set in the 1800s, Gadon also considers the miniseries timely.
“It’s where we’ve come from, at a time when we are re-examining — and we should be re-examining — things like immigration,” she told CBC News on Wednesday, “how we are treating immigrants coming to Canada and what are the things that we should be changing and aware of … for women and where we are at right now with women.”
Gadon’s role is a daunting one: she portrays Marks from age 16 to 40, as the character struggles with an identity crisis and people’s changing perceptions and expectations of her.
“Playing such a complicated character is a huge gift from Sarah and Margaret,” said the Toronto actress, calling the role the most challenging she’s ever taken on.
Read the full article on CBC News.
Sarah Gadon describes the experience of taking on the role of Grace in ALIAS GRACE.
A layered historical drama based on of Margaret Atwood’s Giller Prize–winning novel about a poor Irish servant accused and convicted of murder, from screenwriter Sarah Polley and director Mary Harron.
It’s hard to not compare Netflix’s “Alias Grace” with that other streaming platform’s adaptation of a Margaret Atwood novel, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The Hulu series, starring Elisabeth Moss, debuted just this past April; “Alias Grace” premieres at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 14 and then on Netflix Nov. 3. For fans of Atwood, being suddenly blessed with two weighty productions within six months of each other is a rare gift.
Though there are obvious similarities between the two — it is almost funny, that both stories focus on one particular wide-eyed white woman wearing a demure cap — they are quite different interpretations of Atwood’s prose. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a drama, softens the brutality of the plot with exceptional, masterful visuals. “Alias Grace,” a miniseries, is much less cinematically adventurous, but much more narratively complex. This is in part due to the vast difference between the two Atwood novels. “The Handmaid’s Tale” presents a dystopia; “Alias Grace” is a piece of postmodern historical fiction — one that incorporates fragments of actual historical record with first-person narration and epistolary structure. The patchwork narrative is brilliantly deliberate, because throughout the book, Grace is piecing together quilts.
It makes for a story that is a lot more challenging to bring to life than its staid setting in Victorian Canada might appear. For a book that is essentially un-adaptable, though, “Alias Grace” presents a remarkably faithful and dazzlingly complex portrait of servant girl Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a real-life “celebrated murderess” who was found guilty and imprisoned, at 16, for the killing of her master and mistress. The details of what exactly happened cannot easily be summarized, because questions remain to this day — about her intent, her involvement, and the story’s primary concern, her character. “Alias Grace” is an attempt to understand her, but the viewer will likely find, by the end, that that attempt raises more questions than it answers.
“Alias Grace” introduces us to Grace through the attentions of Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), an early practitioner of what we now call psychiatry. Dr. Jordan’s mission is to investigate whether Grace is now insane, or was insane at the time of the murders, as that might be an avenue to pardon her. At first Grace is skeptical of his questions, but as she grows more comfortable, her story expands. But, counter-intuitively, the more she says, the less clear it is what she actually means. “Alias Grace” is built around the unrelenting ambiguity of its protagonist, and it manages the Herculean effort of making a six-part miniseries thrum with that same sense of being adrift in a woman’s story without having any idea of who she really is.
Continue reading “Variety ‘Alias Grace’ Review”