Elizabeth Debicki had ‘zero camera craft’ when making The Great Gatsby
Elizabeth Debicki observed her co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan.
Elizabeth Debicki had no idea how to act in front of a camera when she made Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
The Australian actress had just graduated from the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, where she studied drama, when she was cast as Jordan Baker, the best friend of Carey Mulligan’s Daisy Buchanan, in the 2013 movie.
The big-budget Hollywood film marked her second-ever on-camera role and she had no idea what she was doing.
“I had zero camera craft. I had no idea,” she admitted to Britain’s The Observer. “I was such a baby when I made that movie. This is the first time I’ve ever really admitted that, but I was 20, and what did I know? … I just kind of jumped on that Baz machine. I had nothing to compare the scale of the movie to because I had never really made anything before. The size of it, the madness of it, the number of extras and the detail… It was a wormhole, it was an alternate reality.”
Instead of being worried because of her lack of experience, the 29-year-old had “the best time possible” because she had “nothing to be afraid of yet”, and she spent her time learning from her co-stars, which also included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Clarke, and Tobey Maguire.
“(I discovered that) Leo was maybe even more in a scene when he wasn’t even on camera – he really held the psychological space of the work for everybody,” she praised. “I really remember observing that and thinking, that’s so interesting. That’s really how you do it. He’s deeply generous as an actor and I was fascinated by it. Best masterclass ever.”
Debicki has since gone on to star in films such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Widows, the TV miniseries The Night Manager, and will next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
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