From the continuing series on the people who made Crossing... this week’s focus is Eleanor Langthorne.
I was about to call action on the second shot of the entire production. John and Eleanor had rehearsed the scene, they'd been made up and dressed, and we'd done as much preparation as we possibly could. It was time to go. And just as I was about to say the magic word, I looked through the viewfinder of the camera and saw the actors... doing Sharpay’s warm-ups from High School Musical. A barrage of "Brrr Brrr Brrr Mah!" followed by a duel between Eleanor's ridiculous laughs and a confused but characteristically happy smile on John's face.
That's the moment I knew Eleanor was going to be a great fit on our team. And coincidentally it's one of her favorite moments from production.
Strangely, months earlier, I wouldn't have expected to be in that position. I recall being incredibly nervous asking Eleanor to be a part of Crossing. I knew she'd be great as Alison and that she would bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the set. She is a professional, after all. A professional whom I doubted would even respond to an invitation from someone she barely knew from college to audition for a film that had a slim chance of taking off.
I guess I said something right in that invitation, because she did respond. We're all very lucky she did: Eleanor is a brilliant collaborator and a talented performer. She delivered a truly fantastic performance, despite not having as much screen time as her fellow actors.
On developing her character, Eleanor said, "When I first read the script, I immediately felt a lot of empathy for Alison... Her story was one that I felt like I could portray truthfully, which I think is such an important aspect of acting." Alison is arguably the most difficult character in the film to portray, but Eleanor was up to the challenge, and had a "delightful" co-star in John to help the process along. "It was really such a great experience all around... Filming scenes with John was a lot of fun. Plus, everything was so organized and ran really smoothly! Pretty much every project is destined to have some hiccups during shooting, but we were really fortunate that everything went as planned." I guess Eleanor didn't get the memo about the production-stopping rain during Ryan's scenes!
Eleanor cites Meryl Streep a large part of why she decided to pursue acting, and notes that her favorite film is Scott Pilgrim vs the World. A winning, if unusual, combination, to be sure. Eleanor spends much of her free time writing lyrics for and recording with her band. If all goes according to plan, their first album is due out by the end of 2020!
Eleanor says that on premiere night, she's most looking forward to seeing the scenes that she had nothing to do with: "There’s something really cool about reading a screenplay and then seeing how it translates to the screen without knowing or being part of any of the in-between process." Until then, a weekly mini-article about the film will have to suffice.
Eleanor's band is Vices Inc. Follow their page linked below and support their music! And see Eleanor as Alison in Crossing on December 11.