It is a little weird that the conversation surrounding Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky – in which Natalie Portman plays Lucy, an astronaut who drives across the country to confront a fellow astronaut (Jon Hamm) she had been having an affair with, loosely based on the real-life events involving Lisa Nowak – is the lack of a scene. Namely, a scene involving adult diapers used on the aforementioned cross country road trip. It’s something Hawley finds “disheartening,” and he explains to us why he decided not to use that part of the story as a plot point.
Hawley is also about to start shooting the fourth season of Fargo, which puts the story in ’50s era Kansas City and features a stellar cast (with tremendous character names) that includes Chris Rock, Timothy Olyphant and Jason Schwartzman. But one project left up in the air is his idea for a Doctor Doom film. Announced in 2017 before Fox’s purchase by Disney, Hawley’s script had Doom telling his story to a journalist, blurring the lines between hero and villain. And if what we saw from Hawley’s Legion was an indication, his Doctor Doom movie would have certainly been unique. Hawley said he even met with Kevin Feige about the film, but the end result, at least from Hawley’s perspective, was vague.
It has to be a weird weekend for Zazie Beetz? She has two huge movies coming out with Lucy in the Sky and Joker.
And you know, it’s the dichotomy of what those two films are is really interesting. She’s pretty level headed though, so she hasn’t shown me any panic yet.
You’ve been asked a lot about the lack of a diaper scene in this movie. I know you have said it didn’t fit in, and also there are some who dispute it that even happened. But why do you think people care about that? Why is that what sticks out to most people?
Well, it’s interesting, I mean, I think if you think about what a tabloid story is – which is a story about human beings with dignity who make some egregious mistakes, ruin their lives, and get reduced to a punchline by our culture – then you can sort of see the reaction. The sort of, “There’s no diaper and I’m not okay with that.” I mean, I see it as, sort of, that sense of people wanting the punchline. My goal was to take human beings with dignity, and let them keep their dignity the whole way through. And to sort of say to an audience: who among us hasn’t failed or ruined their lives at one point or another? And certainly her punishment was profound. I mean, she lost everything she cared about, she never got to go to space again, she got divorced. She doesn’t need any more punishment than she actually got. She certainly doesn’t need to be mocked for a story that is, at the end of the day, a tragedy. So yeah, I find it disheartening on some level. And I know there’s a certain clickbait to it, right? The word “diaper.” So there’s something very just easy. It’s an easy click that you’ll get.
I think it’s how people remember the bullet points of this story. Basically, “An astronaut, and wasn’t there a diaper involved?”
And look, certainly making a movie, I don’t know, is this a story people remember, or is this a story people care about? It wasn’t necessarily at the front of my consciousness that that was a detail that was even really going to be interesting or relevant to people.