The interview consists of emails between author Jonathan Safran Foer and Natalie. Here’s what she shared…
On finding freedom as an actress: “It’s strange to have an art that’s largely an instinct. People would argue that there’s plenty of technique to learn, but we all know actors we love who’ve never studied, and actors who drive us nuts with too much technique. Acting is not like music or dance or drawing, where there is clear technique that you need to work obsessively to master, and then your individuality makes you more than just a computer who’s learned a skill. You’re basically trying to be un-self-conscious and use your imagination and lose yourself. Of course there are techniques to help you do these things, but often times thinking about things gets in the way. So searching for freedom in that can be self-defeating. But it’s a challenge I love and am thrilled by when I have a rare moment of overcoming it.”
On how motherhood is like being like a director: “I think being a mother made me realize how maternal the role of director is. It made me much calmer under stress because there’s that weird parent thing you develop, that when things get really bad, your voice gets calm and your blood pressure slows and you can make everything okay again. And things get bad and stressful easily on films.”
For more from Natalie, visit NYTimes.com.