To set the scene: It’s a snowy Saturday in Park City, Utah and I’m making my way up a large, icy hill to try and reach a small cottage in which I’m supposed to meet Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood to talk about their new Sundance movie, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. While this is going on, just a few feet away, the Park City version of the Women’s March is happening, which is very audible during our upcoming conversation – to the point it’s impossible not to talk about it and the political motivation that surrounded the marches that happened here, Washington D.C., and around the country. Let’s just say it was a very unique interview atmosphere for all of us.
Macon Blair’s I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a hard movie to sum up in just a few sentences, but here’s my best try: Lynskey plays Ruth, a women who had her house burglarized and feels violated and doesn’t necessarily want “revenge,” but would like it if people stopped being assholes. She enlists her eccentric neighbor Tony (Wood), and the two go on a rampage through town in an effort to get her stuff back. The film starts as a slow burn, but the audacity and violence keeps ramping up as we go along. It’s something to behold. Throwing stars are involved.
Ahead, we talk about a lot of things. Somehow Two and a Half Men, Back to the Future Part II and The Good Son are all discussed. And we also debate if dentists get yelled at on Twitter for having political opinions.
I’ve never done an interview with a protest march going on right outside.
Lynskey: I keep hearing it and feeling very invigorated.
Wood: Yeah, Chelsea Handler was just speaking. You could hear her. It feels weird to be doing interviews and not being part of it.
Wood: Or just standing in solidarity.
Being from New Zealand, how invested can you get in this?
Lynskey: But I’ve lived here for 16 years. I mean, I care about New Zealand politics as well and I’m curious about what’s happened, but I don’t live there. So this feels more sort of, it’s affecting me. And this is where I pay taxes. There are a lot of people on Twitter being like, “Shut the fuck up. You don’t get to say anything about it.” And I was like, “Um, I pay taxes here. I’ve lived here for a long time.”
Wood: Are you a citizen?
Lynskey: I’m not.
Wood: Oh, funny. I thought you would have been a citizen by now.
Lynskey: I get called for jury duty all the time. Like twice a year, I get a thing in the mail. You have to call a number and you say, “I’m not a citizen.” But I don’t know, there’s part of me that’s like, because when Hillary was the nominee, I thought she was a great nominee and I really wished I could vote for her and as really being like, “Shit, I really wish I was a citizen.” I wish I could have voted for Obama, too.
Does something like this election inspire you to be a citizen? So you can vote against it?
Lynskey: Yeah. I mean, if I lived in Texas or if I lived in North Carolina I would have been a citizen years ago. I feel irresponsible. I’m going to do it.
Wood: You should.
I grew up in Missouri, but live in New York now and it does feel like my vote doesn’t count as much now, which doesn’t seem fair.
Lynskey: That’s how I feel. Everyone’s like, “You’re fine, you’re in California.” But…
Wood: I voted in Texas, because I’m actually a Texas resident, technically, so that felt good. Not that it helped…
Lynskey: I feel bad. I do also want to do jury duty. I’m very curious.
I was on a murder trial once in New York.
Wood: Were you really?
Lynskey: How long?
Wood: Wow. Not to sound morbid, but isn’t that kind of what you hope for if you do jury duty?
That’s the way I looked at it, if I’m putting in the time I want to decide something important.
Wood: Was it cut and dried? Was it obvious?
It was not obvious. It was very complicated.
Lynskey: Oh, I would hate that.
Wood: That responsibility?
Lynskey: It would give me so much anxiety. Yeah.