26 January 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network

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I'm Thinking of Ending Things starring Jessie Buckley debuts on Netflix this Friday
31 Aug 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Jessie Buckley in I'm Thinking of Ending Things.
Charlie Kaufman’s new film I’m Thinking of Ending Things staring Irish actress Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Wild Rose) premieres this Friday, September 4th on Netflix.

The film, which is inspired by Iain Reid's bestselling namesake novel, follows a young woman (Jessie Buckley), who despite second thoughts about their relationship, takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family farm. Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world.

An exploration of regret, longing, and the fragility of the human spirit, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is directed and written by Academy Award® winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

When Irish actress Jessie Buckley read the script, she realized that playing Jake’s girlfriend would be a wild ride. “It made me question my life,” she confided. “It made me feel scared.” But she wasn’t deterred. “I thought ‘I have no idea what this is, but I want to go on this road trip that’s gonna tear me apart and put me back together, and then look at the world completely differently.’”

“I think the biggest thing it asks of you is to acknowledge uncertainty in your life,” she said. “I let whatever it gave me after each read inform a new thought, so that when I came to shoot, I would be full of different prototypes that might come out in the moment. But to be honest, what we found in shooting was that any preconceptions you had before going into a scene were completely futile because it ends up unravelling you. You don’t know where you’re gonna go!”

Director Charlie Kaufman texted his friend, production designer Molly Hughes, to brainstorm ideas about who could be a good fit for the role of the female protagonist. Hughes had just finished a film with British director Thea Sharrock, who instantly pitched Jessie Buckley for the part. Kaufman was intrigued, especially after he saw Buckley’s performance in the 2017 film Beast. She was named most promising newcomer by the British Independent Film Awards for Beast, and nominated for BAFTA’s Best Actress award for her work in the 2018 film Wild Rose. In the auditions, Kaufman invited several actresses to tackle one of the film’s toughest challenges: Eva H.D.’s poem Bone Dog. “I chose that (for casting) because I thought it was the hardest thing to do in the movie, to make that long poem work,” he explained. “Everybody was really good, but Jessie was definitely the one I wanted to cast. She was amazing.” Plemons, Collette, and Thewlis unanimously supported Kaufman’s choice.

“There’s an enormous level of trust that you hope for with a script like this,” said Plemons. “I don’t think they could have found anyone better for the part. She’s so smart and funny. I feel very lucky that she’s on this ride.”

A Kerry-born RADA graduate, Buckley had her first starring role in Michael Pearce’s critically acclaimed and BAFTA-nominated Beast, alongside Johnny Flynn. The film opened to rave reviews in 2018 and Buckley won “The Most Promising Newcomer” award at the British Independent Film Awards and “Best British or Irish Actress” at the Critics Circle Awards. She was selected to be one of BAFTA’s “Break Through Brits” and was also chosen as one of Screen International’s “Stars of Tomorrow.”

Also this fall, Buckley will star in the new season of Noah Hawley’s Fargo on FX, alongside Chris Rock and Jason Schwartzman. Buckley will soon film Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, in which she will star alongside Olivia Colman. Also upcoming, Buckley will star alongside Josh O’Connor in a new adaptation of Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre in London, directed by Simon Godwin. The play, which has been delayed due to COVID-19, will take place in present day Italy.

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