'Motherless Brooklyn' actor Katy Davis glad movie was set earlier than book: ‘50s all the way, I don’t need to go back to 1999’
Katy Davis, an Irish-born actor, gained popularity with the role of the Valkyrian Prime in the CollegeHumor 'Star Wars' parody series ‘Troopers’. Davis recently spoke to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about her latest role in the film ‘Motherless Brooklyn’, a neo-noir crime film written, produced and directed by Edward Norton.
The film was adapted from a 1999 novel of the same name, written by Jonathan Lethem. The film’s story is set in 1957 in New York City. Working with Norton, and also working with someone who was both behind and in front of the camera, Davis said, was fascinating.
She said, “What I really admired was how present he was. He was fully present as a scene-partner, an actor in the scene. They would call ‘cut’ and he would step out and go behind the camera, check with his DoP, check the lighting, make sure they were getting everything they needed. Also checking the dialogue, because he adapted it from a novel. He did everything. He wore every hat on this.”
Talking about future career prospects, especially in terms of donning multiple roles in the making of a film, Davis said, “I never… I should never say 'never'. But I have not been drawn to writing. But certainly, producing a directing, yeah.”
While the book was set in the 90s, Norton decided to tweak the story a bit and changed the era to the 1950s. Davis spoke at length about how much she loved the costumes and the film crew’s attention to details.
"I showed up and my nails were a little more square, and they said, 'Oh no no no we can't have that style in the 50s — they were rounded.' So they took a nail file... You know something that I wouldn't have thought of in a million years," said Davis, adding, "And you know, I don't think that you can see my nails in the scene but that's what I am talking about. The level of detail that they went into was just incredible."
On being asked if she would have preferred the film to remain in the 90s, Davis said she loved that it was set in that era. “50s all the way. I don’t need to go back to 1999,” she said.
Going back to ‘Troopers’, Davis confided that she had never been a ‘Star Wars’ fan. “I had seen like one or two ‘Star Wars’ films. I didn’t watch Star Trek. I had no idea… but I’m an actor. I was like just give me the material and I'll do what you need me to do. And I did it — it was so much fun.”
Of course, she found it a little tough to get the 'Star Wars' jargon in the beginning. But things went smoothly for her from there onwards.
Davis also said that while she has already worked with comedy — ‘Troopers’ — she would love to do sitcom in front of a live audience. “I’ve done theater and I feel like it’s just the perfect combination of getting energy from the crowd, but you’re also on camera … I think It would just be such a cool experience,” she said.
'Motherless Brooklyn' had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival August 30 and was released worldwide on November 1.