New Photos for Ocean’s 8Posted by Catherina Gioino
June 5, 2018
“In Summer 2018, the tide will turn as (from left to right) Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Debbie Ocean is the sister of George Clooney’s character Danny Ocean from the popular “Ocean’s” trilogy.
Her first stop is to assemble the perfect crew: Lou (Cate Blanchett); Nine Ball (Rihanna); Amita (Mindy Kaling); Constance (Awkwafina); Rose (Helena Bonham Carter); Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway); and Tammy (Sarah Paulson).”
Held at the The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art, all of women were present except for Rihanna
Gary Ross is directing from a screenplay he wrote with Olivia Milch, with Steven Soderbergh and Jon Kilik producing, Michael Tadross, Susan Ekins, Sandra Bullock, Diana Alvarez and Bruce Berman executive producing, and Milch co-producing.
But did you ever think that taking a small role would end up leading to a role in this kind of film?
Awkwafina: No. That was pretty cool. And scary. We got on Facetime one night and Gary told me I got the role. And I said I’ll just die of horror right now.
How hard was it to decide what works and what doesn’t end up making the character?
GR: Well that’s the dub, right. Well, there were many cameos as you guys know, but I think in this movie, your job is to move the movie each step until they have the dynamic that this movie wants. There were references to previous stuff, but we tried to keep those references to a minimum and it just thrived.
There’s a certain connection you have here that isn’t as evident in the Sinatra or Clooney Ocean’s films.
SB: We were able to bond and connect in the way that we could. In that we were working crazy long days, we were draped all over each other on a couch until 12 at night. Once we let our guard down and realized we’re all safe people, I think we just left our guard down and began the vomit fest. Well I did, I threw up first. I think continuously we managed to connect on a level that we never get the chance to because women, we’re just trying to work together and here we were. But I feel very lucky. I feel really lucky because there’s no more stones that I have to turn over and I really feel that I came out with so much more than what I can imagine.
It’s so refreshing that you were a cast of women not talking about a guy.
SB: Well I was.
MK: What I think is so great about this movie is that it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. The fact that we’re fighting about crime as opposed to a man. Our conversations aren’t about that and I think that’s really exciting and not something you see all the time.
CB: And we also had a director that’s sympathetic to that, he wanted to make a story about women. And I think all of us on this table wants to see more female directors and that absolutely has to happen. At Cannes, there were 21 award winning movies and only three female directors. Here we have a director who loves women and wanted to make a story about women doing their job. And that’s also great.
GR: Thank you.
AH: There’s also power in visual representation and I think there’s something that says you can do what you want, there’s space for you, and you can do it with your friends, there’s space for you. I think that when there’s an “everybody in” mentality that works best.
GR: One of the things that we’re saying is that even as Sandra says, there’s an eight-year-old girl out there who wants to be criminal.
AH: Yea, as a 28-year-old woman on that set, I thought it was great to see I was getting to see these eight distinct, older–
AH: No! Women, that we’re getting to see that representation and that’s all that matters, that we’re getting to see not that archival female characters. We’re getting to see how complex the people are and that’s what really matters.
What was it like as actors to convey your roles to the public during this time?
GR: I think that something that Olivia and I focused on is that these are eight distinct women with eight distinct character backgrounds and that hopefully looks like what the world looks like. And that diversity was intentional and important to us and made it look like the world. Olivia and I talk about this a lot.
OM: I think one thing, this movie was shot in New York City, and it showed the world as it is. That’s what it feels like to walk down the street and there are so many people with their own experiences. And that felt very palpable and important to us to tell that kind of story. And I think anyone who has had any interaction with women knows that women are smart and funny and sometimes complicated and vulnerable. But I think that we have to start taking care of one another!
A: Especially for the people of color in this movie, that’s not going to define our characters. I am a New Yorker from Queens, that’s Asian and that has nothing to do with it. I think that’s representation and I think that’s where we’re going, and this movie is a step in the right direction.
SB: And one last thing, it’s women taking care of each other. Women stepping back and letting the more gifted step forward. It’s recognizing talent and saying I got your back. And not some fighting over some jerk, but we’re fighting for the greater good, which is a lot of money. But the most important thing was how they treated each other and how they moved each other up. To me, that’s the world. It’s not the world that’s represented. There’s so much love and support that we need to show it.
There are women in Chile currently fighting for gender rights and for abortion and other marches against violence. And this film is female focused.
CB: It’s a human issue, really. And it affects the men, it’s good for change and it’s good for them as much as it’s good for women. But I think that it’s really important the media keeps the conversation moving forward. We don’t want to keep circling back to the same conversation. We don’t want to be back here in 20 years. It’s unfortunately, what should be a human issue, has to remain political. So it’s fantastic that women all over world are keeping the conversation current.
SB: And hopefully that they receive support from the Chilean men. We are a bunch of women up here saying that we want to be up here, but none of us are saying that we want to be up here without the men.
SP: We just want a seat at the table.
Rihanna is like the queen of the Met Gala and in here, she’s stuck in a halal truck.
GR: Rihanna just loved that. The first conversation we had was about her getting back to her Caribbean roots. And we’re both fans of Bob Marley and his dreadlocks and this was at 2 in the morning after her concert in Sweden. And then we decided on the green army jacket which is really against all of her public appearances and she really loved that. We did have to build—the dreads were so heavy, that we had to build this special support behind her chair just to support the dreads. But she loved doing it.
What are your thoughts on reviving traditional male ensembles as opposed to creating new female ensembles?
CB: I think it’s both. Yes, you got history from the Ocean’s franchise behind, but we wanted to make it its own stand-alone thing. So, it has an echo of what it was. And remakes are great, but if it was only remakes and there are no original stories, there’s no sense of continuity in the film industry. I think it’s not saying yes, you must do it this way.
MK: I also think that there’s oftentimes a longevity on this table with what you’re watching something that’s new or a franchise based on a comic book. And every time you think that way, you completely revitalized entire genres, and you get whole new genres, or you get roles, like Lando Calrissian is being played by Donald Glover. So, it’s a launching pad for new characters and the dialogue and relationships. I think it’s a shrewd way to get audiences in, so I’m all for it as long as there’s new envisioning.
Who do you think would be the one to actually ruin a heist?
A: Sarah. Why? Because she dances. She makes jokes. She would have ruined it and always gotten distracted.
I can’t help but notice that there are three Oscar winners on the table, and five future ones.
A: Once homeless!
And the first three entered by their Oscar status. Is that by coincidence or by design?
GR: That’s actually how Olivia and I do our outlines. It was entirely unintentional.
SB: But while we were filming, someone at the table (points to Sarah Paulson), was winning award after award. Oh look, Sarah won another award.
There’s so much style on every actor, what went in that consideration?
GR: I think being able to shoot in here (The Met) was a tremendous advantage. The advantage of working with so many great designers. We had Dolce build us a 100-foot curtain out of silk going up the stairs. That’s remarkable thing in the film. So it’s a lot for us. And all the extras in the Met Gala are famous.
GR: It was a lot of that detail.
CB: And I know that the costume designer fell out at the 11th hour and Sarah [Edwards], she had to costume us all individually and she literally worked 50 hours a day.
GR: Cate’s right. Sarah did it with a few weeks prep and I’ve never seen anyone do that with that little time.
CB: She was the most creative and collaborative costume designer I’ve ever worked with it.
GR: And when you think about it, she not only has to design for one person, she has eight distinct characters that you have to design for.
CB: She’s unbelievable.
SB: The designers were really the most generous with us. The designers were incredibly collaborative. I had thoughts that I wanted the dress a certain length with this and that, and once I saw the ornamentation at the bottom, I saw the stitch. There was a nautical theme to it, there was sand and waves. And I thought to myself. Oh, Ocean. The handiwork and craftsmanship that went into these costumes. The night of the Met ball, everyone was there and to see it, it was stunning. They went all out. It was stunning.
CB: If you’re looking at the pedigree of these films, they have a pannash, they have this style and of course at the end, you’re at the Met ball, so there is this style of fashion extraordinaire.