In Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow,” survival within the 1820s Northwest takes the type of a felicitous friendship between itinerant baker Cookie and Chinese immigrant King-Lu. For their portrayers, John Magaro and Orion Lee, respectively, that meant residing like frontiersmen and trusting the imaginative and prescient of their acclaimed director. Over a video name that discovered Lee at residence in Perth, Australia, and the New York-based Magaro having simply put to sleep his 7-month-old daughter, the pair spoke to their expertise making a film steeped previously however with a well timed message concerning the sensitivity of human connection.
Before taking pictures, did you two discuss out how Cookie and King-Lu seen one another?
John Magaro: Kelly leaves a component of thriller about precisely the character of their relationship, so we trusted one another to have our opinions and that factor of thriller. I’m blissful we by no means set that in stone.
Orion Lee: We simply knew we had been going to go on this journey collectively. It wasn’t this instantly effusive bonding. It was a quiet attending to know you.
But Kelly Reichardt did set you up with a survivalist as preparation. What was that like?
Magaro: He’s extra of a reenactor. He lives primarily within the Lewis and Clark period. We had been in a farm exterior Portland for 3 days or so. We took on our roles. I did the nesting and cooking, and [Orion] the searching and gathering. I’d cook dinner meals, we went foraging, and Orion had enjoyable skinning muskrats.
Lee: I used to be a bit nervous. I’m from the U.Okay., we don’t actually do that form of factor, like Americans going deep of their character. [Laughs] But once you’re residing in that day and age, you need to work on a regular basis. And within the movie, they’re all the time doing one thing.
Does filming in nature like that assist as properly?