I haven’t seen Jake Scott‘s American Woman (Roadside/Vertical, 6.14), a hardscrabble child-rearing drama starring Sienna Miller. But I know that an erroneous impression about the film is conveyed in a 5.12 Miller interview by Indiewire‘s Kate Erbland.
The headline reads “Sienna Miller Explains Why She Finally Tackled a Lead Role After Acting For 20 Years.” The article begins by describing American Woman as “a smart and progressive film rooted in the female experience…more than that, it stars Miller as the eponymous American woman, marking the first lead role for the actress in a 20-year career.”
In the third paragraph Erbland quotes Miller as follows: “I’ve never carried a film…to be in every scene was really daunting and really challenging, without having a bigger male costar to hide behind and blame things on or being a vehicle for someone else’s film.”
In fact Miller carried a film 13 years ago when she played Edie Sedgwick in George Hickenlooper‘s Factory Girl (’07), which I found sad, striking, richly atmospheric and pretty much the cat’s meow all around.
You could argue that Factory Girl is a two-character drama with Guy Pearce costarring as Andy Warhol, but my recollection is that Miller’s Sedgwick was much more substantial. Factory Girl was her story, her arc — Sedgwick was the one who experienced all the hurt.
I was seriously taken with Miller’s acting, and in fact interviewed her one January afternoon at the Chateau Marmont, focusing on what I regarded as a breakthrough performance. Miller was only 25 at the time.
Here’s an HE piece (posted on 6.19.07) about the three versions of the film, and about the final version being released on DVD.
Excerpt: “The saga of George Hickenlooper‘s Factory Girl will be reshuffled once again with a third version set for release on July 17th. The cliche would be to call the film’s arduous shape-shifting ‘a long strange trip’ but it really has been that.” The film had basically been through the Harvey Weinstein meat-grinder process.
“I was lucky enough to see the first version — ’60s Andy Warhol-ish, instinctual, somewhat raw and downtownish — last summer, and I raved about it soon after, and particularly about Sienna Miller‘s tragically fluttery performance as Sedgwick.”
You can stream an HD version of Factory Girl on Amazon.
Here’s one of the shots I took of Miller when we did our January 07 interview at the Chateau Marmont: