“Christine” stars Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall and Tracy Letts stopped by TheWrap’s studio at Sundance to discuss the well-reviewed journalism drama with director Antonio Campos and writer Craig Shilowich.
Shilowich was researching another project about a South Korean teen who died after playing video games for three days straight when he stumbled upon the bizarre story of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida TV reporter who killed herself live on the air in the 1970s.
Shilowich worked on the script for two years before he met Campos, who was more interested in Chubbuck’s journey than her final destination. “The film ends the way it ends, and we all knew that was the way it was going to end, but the journey to get there is what the film is,” explained Campos.
Hall stars as Chubbuck, whose inconsolable depression struck a chord with the British actress.
“There was something really extraordinary about this character on the page. She never struck me as maudlin,” said Hall. “She’s someone who’s desperately trying to live and get out and be the person that she is, and she keeps on coming up against problems and she doesn’t have the tools to deal with those problems, and it falls apart from there.”
While Chubbuck felt she had to sensationalize the news in order to advance in her career, Hall made it clear that the film isn’t out to sensationalize her tragic story.
“The film is about a lot of things. There’s no inherent interest in making a piece of art about someone who did something shocking and unpleasant for the sake of that, because that’s exploitation and that’s precisely what this isn’t. This is trying to understand circumstances, and has ramifications for society on a larger basis. It’s not just sensationalism,” said Hall, whose eye-opening performance anchors the film.
Watch the video above and let us know if you plan to see “Christine” in the comments section below.