Constance Wu interview: ‘Solos’
Each half-hour episode of the new anthology “Solos” is a theater actor’s dream, making it a fitting project for Constance Wu. “I’m a theater actor. I’ve been a theater actor since I was 10,” attests the star of the episode titled “Jenny,” in which she delivers a 20-minute monologue. “The way we shot was in five different chunks from different angles,” explains Wu in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby about the fifth installment of the science fiction miniseries (watch the video above). Amazon just released all seven episodes on their Amazon Prime Video platform in time for 2021 Emmy Awards eligibility; Wu contends in the Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress race for her guest role.
She says about this type of material, “Having to do it for a job, it’s been a while, but I hope it won’t be so long a while again because I love the theater and I really want to return to it.” She notes about learning her lines fully for the shoot, “If you worked out any muscle since you’re 10 years old, it’s going to be a strong muscle and so my memorization muscle is pretty strong and you want to have it so strong that it’s in your bones, so that you don’t have to think about the words and then you can let the character take you over.”
Although “it’s actually been a few years” since Wu had such an opportunity for filmed mass media, she reveals, “I still go to acting class every week, when I’m not working and when I go to acting class, I do Tennessee Williams; I do Chekhov. I do all that kind of stuff and I do it for fun because I love it so much.”
Wu’s one-off appearance as the character Jenny Taylor situates her alone on screen in a waiting room, “in this dream state because she’s heavily intoxicated.” Wu explains, “My character begins the episode drunk — very drunk — and she doesn’t know where she is or how she got there, so throughout the episode, she’s trying it figure that out.” She adds, “Because she’s drunk, it was a lot like a dream where it’s like in one part of the dream, you’re talking to your sister, but then suddenly, it morphs into your dog for some reason and then that dog suddenly morphs into your barista you see every day, but in a dream, it’s seamless.”
The actress explains about crafting her performance, “Since I don’t have the personal experience that Jenny has — what she goes through, I’ve never gone through before, so because of that, I can’t draw from personal experience, so you really have to have the faith and abandon to let her take over and let your imagination and empathy guide you.”