Sean Durkin interview: ‘The Nest’ director/writer
Sean Durkin has finally returned with his follow-up to 2011’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene” with the new film “The Nest.” The tense drama stars Carrie Coon and Jude Law as a couple living in the 1980s who move from America to a creaky country house in England and experience marital strife. Durkin drew on his own experiences moving to England as a child when writing the script, which then went into a different direction. “What started as a reflection on childhood really became more of a reflection on adulthood, marriage, career ambition, all sorts of things,” says Durkin in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “Out of that rose this desire to really make something about a complex married couple.” Watch the interview with Durkin above.
It was necessary for Durkin to find a pair of actors capable of filling the very complex roles of Allison and Rory. For Allison, Coon fit the exact criteria the writer-director was looking for. “I knew I needed someone who could be both the glamorous arm piece side and the grounded, hard-working person,” recalls Durkin. “She just has this ability to transform but is all grounded in her midwestern energy.” Meanwhile, Rory needed to be someone with heart and a desire to do whatever it takes for the benefit of his family, which is where Law came in. “He’s got the presence and the charm and the power as an actor that we’re all familiar with but the thing I was struck with in meeting him was his warmth and generosity and heart.”
While we have seen numerous domestic dramas over the years that tackle marriages going through difficulties, Durkin set out to craft the story of a couple who actually love each other and are trying to make it work. “I wanted to portray this couple that is very much in love, great partners in a lot of ways but then total opposites as well and explore that dynamic,” reveals the director, particularly examining “this fierce love and fury they can have towards each other.” He also found it fruitful to set the film in the 1980s because of where America and England were on a societal and financial level. “There was a celebrated ambition that I wanted to be deeply connected to the core of the struggle within the family.”