Maria Schrader Interview: ‘Unorthodox’ director
Director Maria Schrader strove “not to manipulate too much” esthetically on “Unorthodox” in service of a sense of realism. She elaborates in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above), “It’s always the actors who lead the camera. The camera never knows more than the actors. It’s almost, in part, a documentary style of being there with what’s happening.” Schrader explains about the visual style, “It’s a humble camera.”
“I also would call it authenticity as far as being truthful to this specific world we are portraying,” adds Schrader. The miniseries has received much praise for its attention to detail in depicting the Satmar Jewish community, which Schrader says required “incredible research” and “intense collaboration” behind the camera. She also notes that she “couldn’t have been happier with the cast” led by Shira Haas and Amit Rahav, who learned Yiddish for their roles. Shrader explains how they contributed to the show’s realism, “Specifically in front of the camera, it was very hard to find people being able to treat this language as a mother tongue, so a lot of them were connected to this language biologically, so for most of them, it meant a lot also personally to be able to act in Yiddish and they came with their family history.”
“Unorthodox” is now nominated for eight Emmy Awards, including Best Limited Series and Best Movie/Limited Directing. Schrader’s celebration has been limited, as she is currently directing a romantic comedy film in Berlin, where “Unorthodox” shot last year. She will be seen next month reprising her on-screen role of Lenora Rauch in “Deutschland 89,” another series that was co-created by “Unorthodox” co-creator Anna Winger.