Good news! Kogonada’s drama-sci-fi ‘After Yang‘ will debut in Un Certain Regard at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
[…] Rounding out the main cast of characters is mysterious Ada, bleached-blonde and Kohl-eyed. First seen sneaking around Jake’s empty house when the family is out, Ada also appears in some of Yang’s stored memories, a cipher. She has a connection to Yang that’s best left for audiences to discover.
For this pivotal role, a Kogonada addition to the short story, he had only one actor in mind: Haley Lu Richardson, the magnetic young actress who was a co-lead in Columbus and had key supporting turns in The Edge of Seventeen and Split.
“His vibe is purely creative, collaborative and peaceful,” says Richardson. “I literally love him and I want to be in anything he ever makes.”
“Haley Lu means so much to me” says the director, grateful for their collaboration. “I have a lot of trust in her. I put Columbus on her shoulders, and she carried it with such grace and determination. There was no place to hide in that film, not a lot of plot or coverage. She had to be present at all times, and she was more than that. Haley Lu attunes you to the moment and to unspoken layers of emotion.”
Richardson admits to becoming obsessed with the idea of playing Ada, taking cues from the script but also the makeup and hairstyling. “I was really transformed by those departments, which helped me find Ada even more,” she says. “She has a desperation to find herself as her own person.”
She also has come to appreciate the rarity of an artist like Kogonada. “I knew about the concept of ‘less is more’ but I didn’t understand fully how that correlates with acting and moviemaking until Columbus,” Richardson says.
“He just completely opened my mind to how much more powerful it can be when you use restraint and get people thinking about things instead of forcing a bunch of answers down their throat.” […]