‘Newbie’ Halina Reijn isn’t worried about possible prizes
She lives in New York most of the year, but Halina Reijn (47) is currently in Los Angeles for the Independent Spirit Awards. The Dutch actress and director has a shot at winning the American Film Award in two categories with her film Bodies Bodies Bodies. Still, she’s not nervous, as she doesn’t expect to win between movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once and Tár. “I wondered for a moment what I was doing in this list”, tells the director to the ANP. “I didn’t expect it, but I’ll take it.”
The Independent Spirit Awards are American film awards honoring the best independent films made on a modest budget. With eight tracks, the most nominations are for Everything, Everywhere, All at once. Reijn’s film, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, is about a party of a group of wealthy twenties that spirals out of control. The lead roles are played by Pete Davidson, Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova and Myha’la Herrold.
In the Netherlands, Reijn already had her breakthrough years ago, but in the United States she says she is still a “little newbie”. His film became a hit in American theaters, but most Americans still don’t know who Reijn is. “It’s actually very relaxed, because I don’t feel a lot of pressure,” she says. “In the Netherlands, I could sometimes be embarrassed by this familiarity, because then I wanted to meet expectations. Here, I am more open-minded.”
Bodies Bodies Bodies opened many doors in Reijn in America. “Here I can be creative without limits, I’ve found a home for my ideas here,” says the director, who saw offers and scripts flood in after the success of her second film – following her directorial debut Instinct. For now, however, she is focusing on her own projects. “I want to make my voice heard. It’s the best thing ever.”
Yet life in America, in addition to the possibilities available to it, also has less pleasant sides. “When I come home at night, I miss my friends and family,” says Reijn, who regularly feels quite lonely. The presentation of the Independent Spirit Awards therefore feels like “a school trip”, because everyone from its distributor A24 (known for films like Everything Everywhere All At Once, Moonlight, Uncut Gems) is there. “Since living abroad, I see even more the difference between the Dutch’s grounding in the land and American positivity and openness.” So what does Reijn ultimately choose? “My heart is in the Netherlands, because that’s where the people I love the most are. And that’s what it’s all about in the end.”
“Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator.”