VARIETY – Toronto-born actress Sarah Gadon has been working in the entertainment industry since she was in elementary school, but she considers her role in Netflix’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “Alias Grace” the first chance she’s had to truly express her range as a performer. “When I read this, I said ‘This is the most complicated, intelligent, difficult job I have ever been presented with, so I should chase it!’ Gadon says. “I’m really grateful for that opportunity because I know they’re few and far between.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES – Sarah Gadon is not your typical young Hollywood star.
For starters, she lives in Toronto.
She also made a name for herself not by starring in blockbuster sequels but in the idiosyncratic films of David Cronenberg (“A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises”). And she’s the type who, over a lengthy FaceTime interview, expounds not on her latest juice cleanse but on subjects like the importance of textiles to a culture and “emblems of female vanity” throughout art history.
THE LAST MAGAZINE – Actors like Sarah Gadon have the ability to travel through time, skating back and forth through the years with a level of effortless authenticity that is nothing short of transcendent. Over the course of her two decades in front of the camera for the big screen and small, the Toronto-based actor has clocked some serious mileage. But despite her predilection for traversing time zones, genres, social classes, and dress codes, the thirty-year-old Gadon is a product of the now—a realist, she will tell you, and a longstanding fan of film who regards the medium as a portal through which to reevaluate the past from a twenty-first-century point of view. “I really like how cinema gives us this new perspective to take a look back on history and reclaim it from a different lens,” she says.
Her latest venture, the upcoming Netflix miniseries Alias Grace, is based on Margaret Atwood’s historical novel of the same name and was adapted by Canadian multi-hyphenate Sarah Polley. It sees Gadon journeying into unfamiliar territory to portray the show’s protagonist, the real-life Grace Marks, an Irish domestic servant who was convicted, perhaps wrongly, of the double murder of her employers in Canada in 1843.
Sarah Gadon is a Canadian actor you might know from films like Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy or David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Mind, or maybe you remember her from the CBC-TV series Being Erica. Gadon’s latest role has her starring as the notorious Grace Marks in Alias Grace.
The character, who serves as the protagonist of Margaret Atwood’s famous book that the TV series is based on, tells the story of a real woman. Marks was an Irish immigrant to Canada who was convicted of murder in the 19th century for potentially being involved in the brutal killing of her employer and a fellow servant. In Atwood’s book, as well as the series, Marks is a complicated character with many different sides and narratives, which proved to be a rewarding but challenging task for Gadon.
Today, Gadon joins host Tom Power to talk about Alias Grace, working with Atwood and writer Sarah Polley, and finding complex, three-dimensional roles for women in film and TV.
Sarah Gadon is the lead Grace Marks in the upcoming Netflix series based on Atwood’s novel “Alias Grace.”
WWD – Sarah Gadon’s latest project was at once the hardest thing she’s ever done and a “mind f–k all the time” at that. Luckily for the actress, the shoot schedule in her native Toronto meant both the comforts of her own bed to crash into each night and, of course, some help from mom.
“I don’t think I would’ve made it through the project if I didn’t get to sleep in my own bed and have my mom help me out,” she says.
Gadon is the lead character Grace Marks in “Alias Grace,” the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, which comes to Netflix on Nov. 3 on the heels of the Emmy-winning success of the Atwood-adaptation “Handmaid’s Tale,” done for Hulu.
Sarah Gadon On ‘Indignation’, Slut-Shaming And Defying Hollywood Convention
Sarah Gadon is an actress who is difficult to pigeonhole. At 29, her resumé is impressive in both its eclecticism and its star power. In the past few years alone, she’s worked with JJ Abrams on his time-travelling period piece 11.22.63, held her own opposite the likes of Julianne Moore and snagged the lead in Netflix’s Alias Grace, a miniseries based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel.
No stranger to book-to-film projects, her latest is Indignation, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel. Set in 1951, the coming-of-age story sees Marcus (Logan Lerman) move away to college to avoid being drafted to Korea – only to find that his school is even more oppressive and straight-laced than his family home. Immediately drawn to his classmate Olivia (played by Gadon), he’s forced to confront his own conservatism, too: while she may look like the paradigm of ‘50s femininity, she soon proves to be a far more complex – and, for the inexperienced and sheltered Marcus, puzzling – prospect.
Ahead of the film’s release, we caught up with Sarah to talk about Olivia’s enigmatic character, sexual double standards and why milking a cow could be the new meditation…
In Indignation, Olivia seems so poised from the outside, but she’s dealing with so much underneath that. How did you go about getting into character?
When James [Schamus, the director] and I sat down to talk about the film and the novel, he mentioned to me that he thought that Sylvia Plath was a huge influence on Philip Roth’s writing of this character, and so that was a really good way in for me. I revisited a lot of Plath’s writing; the angst and the intensity of her work really helped me to understand Olivia.
Indignation, adapted from the Philip Roth’s novel of the same name, tells the story of Marcus Messner, who on moving to Ohio on a college scholarship in the 1950s meets Olivia Hutton. There, against the backdrop of McCarthyism and the Korean War, he comes up against the Christian conservative forces of the college whilst also trying to handle his feelings for Olivia. She too is more than she seems, and they struggle to exist within the stifling college environment. We caught up with Sarah Gadon, who plays Olivia Hutton, to talk about why Indignation is so relevant to our current times, the difficulties faced by female actors in Hollywood today, and working with Logan Lerman, who plays Marcus.
What were your initial thoughts about the film and your character when you read through the script for the first time?
Well, I knew it was going to be very special because James is just great, and I was curious to see how he would take on Philip Roth. But then I think my second reaction was just admiration for how well he had adapted it and I was fascinated by Olivia and her character, and I wanted to be a part of the project immediately.