Julianne Nicholson Q&A: ‘Black Mass’
"I had the advantage of being from that area," says Julianne Nicholson as we chat about her co-starring in the crime drama "Black Mass," which centers on the infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger (played by Johnny Depp). "I grew up there in the '70s and '80s, so I had a familiarity with the place and the mood and the sound of that area in time."
Nicholson is a native of Medford, Massachusetts, just a few miles outside of Boston, and she admits she had been "wanting to do a Boston story for years. I'd go to movies and see these trailers for 'The Fighter,' 'Conviction,' and I was like, when's my turn? So I was very excited to be included in this, one of the ultimate Boston stories."
Nicholson plays Marianne Connolly, whose husband John (Joel Edgerton) is an FBI agent using his position to empower Bulger's criminal organization. It was a climate in which Nicholson grew up, though she had little awareness of it at the time. "I knew a little bit about it growing up, and then of course when Whitey was captured in Santa Monica everyone was reminded of that story and how crazy it was," she says.
"It's funny because my dad came with me to the Boston premiere," she adds, "and we were talking after the fact, and he said, 'Don't you remember … you used to go trick-or-treating at the Angiulos'?'" The Angiulos were members of the rival Italian crime family that Bulger and John Connolly conspired to defeat. "There were all these things around me at the time that I was blessedly unaware of."