It’s been a great week for New Zealand television director Jessica Hobbs following her big Emmy win for her work on The crown.
The London-based filmmaker was born into the industry and joined her mother, director Aileen O’Sullivan, on set for a role in a local miniseries. The governor when I was little.
After becoming an assistant director in films like Dame Jane Campion An angel at my table, Hobbs went to Australia, where he directed shows like Heartbreak high and The slap, which invited her to the UK to work on Wide church. The rest, as they say, is history.
Hobbs said awards ceremonies are always “pretty busy occasions” and that he didn’t expect to get an Emmy.
“And then I had the strange feeling that time was traveling backwards and I was like ‘oh my gosh I think they just said my name, now I have to do something.’
She said before the announcement that she was quite relaxed, but when she found out that she had won, she uttered an expletive of surprise.
“I had no idea that the fact that I had sworn was captured on camera until my family happily sent me the clip, so I was very embarrassed.”
Hobbs said The crown he has an extraordinary level of resources that he initially found terrifying.
But he said it was a generous and supportive production team.
“The best producers I’ve worked with to be honest, and maybe it’s because they have that budget scale to support them and they assign a personal producer to each director, which is unusual on TV but it means you feel great.” . supported from pre-production to end of publication. “
Hobbs said before the show that she was not a royalist or even a real follower, but that allowed her to “perhaps examine what humanity was like to them.”
She said The crown he increased his respect for the breadth of royal experience, particularly for the Queen.
“I have extraordinary respect for this woman and what she does and what she represents and her duty above all to her country is something that I cannot help but admire.”
Members of the royal family can offer a lot as individuals, such as Prince Charles’ environmental work, and they are doing a job of representing an institution that the public hopes they will champion, Hobbs said.
“There is a duality there, it is easy for us to get caught up in them and yet we hope they are there and are those representative figures.”
Hobbs said the royal family is in a particularly challenging time right now, but has also had challenges in the past that they have overcome.
The changing cast of The Crown
He said one of the things that was initially scary but now he likes. The crown is that every two years they change the cast.
“It allows you to jump through time in a way that is sometimes more difficult when you’re aging actors … you know that there is a life lived in the energy of someone’s body that is more difficult to portray just through aging makeup.”
Emma Corrin played Princess Diana in the fourth season of The crown but she has been replaced by Elizabeth Debicki for her fifth season.
Hobbs said Corrin did a fantastic job playing Diana, but it was when she was 24 years old.
“And then when Diana needed to jump into someone who is really going to travel another decade and become a much more woman, someone who has been in a marriage for ten years, someone who had two children, you know Elizabeth Debicki has a different feel. , a different level of maturity and energy for her. “
Hobbs said Debicki “is a wonderfully complex and sensational Diana” who has less innocence than Corrin when she played Diana.
Often times, the director’s job is to “get out of the way” and let the actor do “what’s bubbling inside of them,” Hobbs said.
He said there was an example on the scene involving then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, where she realizes that if she stops fighting, she doesn’t know who, if anything, she will be.
“I thought it was very important that the Queen did not empathize with that, she sees it as a job and when the job is done, you leave.”
Hobbs said she was very touched by the way actress Gillian Anderson pushed Thatcher through that scene.
Hobbs said there is a necessary diversity that comes from living in a city the size of London that can give you the freedom of anonymity.
She said that one of the positive things that has come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is that Londoners are now checking on each other more often.
“There is a type of connectivity that was born out of the pandemic that I am incredibly grateful for.”
He said many restaurants now have outdoor seating, which has traditionally been more common in New Zealand and Australia than London.
“And yes, it will be colder, but the idea of having a more outdoor life has never been a very London thing and has exploded with it.”
Hobbs said that she and her family are very happy in London and that she would like her teenage daughter to be able to finish her studies there.
But he said he still misses New Zealand.
“It would be difficult for me to put into words how much I miss New Zealand, how much I miss the people, how much I miss the land and the light.”
Hobbs said that has deepened knowing they cannot return to New Zealand due to the pandemic.