“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is Richard Linklater’s latest film based on the best selling novel by Maria Semple. Bernadette is a mom that is well out of place among the other parents at her daughter, Bee’s school. Bernadette is frustrated with her house, life, and absence of her career as a celebrated architect. Emma Nelson co-star’s as Bernadette’s daughter, Bee. Bee must go on an adventure of her own after her mother disappears one afternoon. Recently Culturally Obsessed & Muse TV’s Jennifer Ortega talked to Emma Nelson about her role.
Jennifer Ortega: It’s so lovely to talk to you. I loved the film. I just adore your character, Bee. You are phenomenal in the film. How were you approached for it?
Emma Nelson: Actually, it was my first movie ever. It was my first project. I sent off an audition tape. It happened to get some traction with the casting director, and I was asked to go to New York to do a callback. About a month later I was told that I had gotten the part and then five days later I was on a plane going to rehearsal.
JO: I mean that’s amazing. I am such a Richard Linklater fan from Slackers on. What I love about this movie and what I think he’s so good at is the characters, like in life, are very three dimensional. And especially your character. I think she’s such a relatable character. The dynamics between the family, the dysfunctions and the love, I just love the charm of some of it kind of in the vein of a film like Harold & Maude. How how did you get into your character?
EN: At that time I was a bit younger. I felt I really found myself in Bee. When I was getting into character, it was more about how can I find something in myself and what have I experienced that was similar. I also felt very safe on set. It was a safe and comfortable environment. That allowed me to really feel comfortable and get into my character.
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Working with Cate Blanchett & Billy Crudup
JO: How was working with the whole cast? I mean the three of you (Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup & Emma Nelson) are so amazing. But how was working with Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup? They’re such amazing actors.
EN: I mean there is no better actors that I could have asked to work alongside. It was like a master class. I learned so much from both of them and Cate especially. Our relationship is so important in the film and she definitely helped me. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to embody as an actor that mother-daughter relationship because it’s so special. It’s a wonderful thing because I don’t see that a lot. You know you don’t see the relationships between teenage daughters and their mothers often. So it was amazing working with Cate and Billy. I learned so much from both of them and Richard Linklater.
JO: I love the mother-daughter aspect of the film. I’m in my late 30s now, but even as a teenager, my mom has always been like she’d always say I’m your best friend whether you like it or not and it’s true. I love all these moments between Bernadette and Bee. You stick up for your mom in the film. There’s a scene in the movie where she says something about how like you’re so much cooler than the other girls and Bee is really cool. I love the dynamics between Bernadette and Bee. And like you said there’s not a lot of movies that show those mother-daughter relationships so it’s such an essential relatable thing. I think growing up and seeing this movie; Bee would be a character that I really would love because she is very different than most. She’s not like a bad girl or a good girl or this or that stereotype. She is just who she is. It comes across like it’s from an authentic place.
Location, Location, Location
JO: Where did you guys film this?
EN: We actually had many different filming locations. We filmed mainly in Pittsburgh and then we went to Greenland to protray Antartica.
JO: How is Greenland? How was filming there because those scenes are amazing?
EN: Thank you. I mean it was spectacular, and I think one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in my life. I got to do what I love in this beautiful setting. It was very cool. It was amazing because I got to experience this whole environment that I’ve never seen before. It was great. It was really emotional for me because it’s such a beautiful place and you’re bound to experience some sort of emotional revelation going to a place like Greenland.
Advice: Be authentic, Be Yourself
JO: I love that in the film instead of wanting like a typical teenager present like I want a car because I’ve got good grades, Bee wants to go to Antarctica. I love that. What is some advice you would give to young actors?
EN: Well I think that I learned a lot of technicalities from being on set. And I think that the one thing I took away from it was it just confirmed that acting is really what I want to do and this is what I love and what I’m passionate about. I love acting. You can say it confirmed my love. Everything about it, I just felt so right in my place and advice that I would give to young actors is that I think the most important thing you can do is to have a say in not only your talent and your abilities, but you know yourself. I think that that’s something I had to have a lot of patience with. I was trying to be an actor. I was trying to break into the industry and I had to you know really be my best supporter. At the end of the day, I was the one person who only knew that I was meant to do this and so I think the advice that I would give is to people is to have to know what you want to do and believe in yourself.
JO: I love that you said that and I think it just shows how mature you are to know that already because I think whatever age you are that is something that gets to people. They start doubting themselves. I think you have to be your biggest supporter because especially in the entertainment industry, there’ll be a lot of people along the way people will try to derail you for whatever reason that has nothing to do with you. So I love that you said that because you absolutely have to believe in yourself. And just know that along the way there will be rejection and to keep on going.
EM: Rejection is something that I know and I will for the rest of my life. And it’s something that is always going to be hard and it’s always going to be there. So it’s just something that you have to take in stride. And I still work on it to this day.
JO: Have you been acting your whole life like since you’re a little kid? I know it’s your first film, but I’m just curious, have you been acting long? Did you do theater in school?
EN: I always did community theater. I did do musical theater when I was younger. My fourth play was when I was nine-years-old. So I wasn’t super young, but it was always my idea to get into it. My parents always supported me even though they never were the ones to push me into acting. It was my idea.
JO: You’re phenomenal in this and after the press screening of the film, some of the other journalists there, we all we’re talking about your performance because you were so amazing.
EN: Oh, that’s so nice to hear!
JO: I can’t wait to see what you do next. I love auteur filmmaking and I love those kinds of directors and I could just see you in all of those kinds of films.
EN: That really means a lot. Thank you so much.
JO: I really appreciate that you took the time to talk to me and I can’t wait till this comes out. I will be following what you do because you really are an exceptional talent and I’m so glad to talk to you, Emma. Thank you so much.
EN: Thank you! And have a lovely rest of the day.
Bernadette hates people, she hates leaving the house, and more than anything, she hates the other parents at her daughter Bee’s school. When she disappears, it’s Bee’s mission to find out where she’s disappeared to and what really happened to her.
Director: Richard Linklater
Writers: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent & Vincent Palmo Jr.
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Emma Nelson, Billy Crudup, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer
Release Date: Aug 16, 2019 Nationwide
Rating: PG-13 (for some strong language and drug material)
Running Time: 104 minutes