Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jane Campion / This much I know / I thought I was a sarcastic bitch

Jane Campion

I thought I was a sarcastic bitch.

This much I know

The director and screenwriter, 59, on hating life at 14, losing a baby son and the Charles and Camilla tapes

Eva Wiseman
Saturday 6 July 2013 19.00 BST

My advice to young female filmmakers is: please do not play the lady card. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Just do your work and let someone else deal with the politics.
But we should mandate that 50% of films produced are made by women. That would be possible with public money. Instantly the culture would change. It can be done.
It feels like TV has the smart audience. You can be more adventurous in TV than you can in film, as viewers know the world's a strange place and don't mind seeing it. You can be as ambitious as you want.
I hated life as a 14-year-old. It's intense when you're a teenager: so much feeling and no experience of managing it. "Just grow up" is cruel advice. Getting older is the best cure.
I'm not an adult. If I feel good inside myself, I'm ageless.
I mix old and young friends consciously. Ben Whishaw [who played John Keats in Campion's film Bright Star] has become my new son, and I've recently been adopted by a woman younger than me as her daughter, which is fabulous.
Nobody is ever really speaking the truth. It's always relative.
Politics brings out my madness. I just want things frigging solved. The complexities of it both exhausts and bores me. A more adult response would be deep compassion.
Everyone likes you more when you're unsuccessful. Success is better than failure, but it doesn't teach you as much.
You have nothing if your cast isn't happy. I know that a crew can be alienating. We have to make ourselves small so the actors can be large.

Losing my son [at 12 days old] was a total blessing that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I didn't know if I was going to survive it. But I didn't know I had that much love in me. I thought I was a sarcastic bitch. I didn't know something could get me in guts to that extent. It brought me to my knees.
Personality gets in the way. It's a reaction to the world, a way of managing. When you're young you think you have to develop your personality; as you age you can't wait to get rid of it.
Prince Charles's tapes with Camilla still make me laugh. Scandal reminds us we're all the same.
A church in Provence brought me to floods of tears recently. Then I found out it was a chapel where dead babies were brought back to life long enough to be christened. I immediately thought of my son. But everybody was lighting candles and you realise that everyone has somebody who has gone.
I don't know what I'm like. It's the only thing we can never know.



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