Director and Austinite Richard Linklater just released his new film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”
Based on a 2012 novel by Maria Semple, “Bernadette” has already garnered positive reviews from critics. Linklater says a producer brought the book to his attention, and after reading it, he was determined to make it into a film.
“It’s a really complex portrait of this woman,” Linklater says. “This kind of genius architect who hasn’t done anything in 20 years … that’s very interesting to me.”
Linklater says he used his experience as a brother, son and father of three daughters to craft the intense mother-daughter relationship in the film.
“That mother-daughter thing – I’ve had a front-row seat to that,” Linklater says. “It’s not equal largely in our culture that the transformation of being a parent is much greater … for women’s lives.”
Linklater says actor Cate Blanchett used her own experiences as a mother to play Bernadette.
Directing an adaptation was challenging, Linklater says, but no more so than an original screenplay.
“By the time I’m making the movie – i.e., casting, rehearsing and doing all that – it’s going through the exact same process,” he says.
And getting the chance to develop Bernadette’s character was unique and rewarding, Linklater says.
“Bernadette is just one of those fascinating characters that’s such a pleasure to have as a lead in the movie. … Bernadette’s case is kind of pushing the boundaries of likability at times,” he says.
The film is being released widely across the U.S. starting Aug. 16, and Linklater says he’s happy that more people will get to know the character he’s been so intimately involved with in this project.
“Some of the films I do are indie films … that they show kind of slowly and eventually,” Linklater says. “But this is one of those bigger releases I get every now and then.”
Written by Hayden Baggett.