‘Seberg’ Director, Benedict Andrews, Gives an Inside Look at Jean Seberg’s Complex Legacy

by Jeremy Spirogis
Kristen Stewart in

Seberg tells the true story of actress Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) being on the middle of an FBI operation to destroy her popularity. This is after she has publicly supported the civil rights motion and had an affair with Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie.)

Jamal was Malcolm X’s cousin and was a part of the Black Power Movement. The rumor that he had an affair with Seberg was unconfirmed. Seberg director, Benedict Andrews talked to Showbiz Cheat Sheet concerning the film’s tackle a few of the historic occasions on the telephone on Feb. 19.

Benedict Andrews on displaying Jean Seberg’s trauma

Kristen Stewart in 'Seberg'
Kristen Stewart in ‘Seberg’ | Amazon Studios

The director’s introduction to Seberg is one which many film lovers might relate to, given it was her most well-known efficiency. “I, like many individuals, had a picture of her sort of mounted in my creativeness from seeing her in that unbelievable efficiency in [Jean-Luc] Godard’s Breathless,” stated Andrews. “I had seen the movie after I was 16 years previous and it was a revelation however such a life power in that film. And it’s one of many actually sort of shiny, fashionable, groundbreaking performances in cinema.

He later realized about Seberg’s activism, equivalent to donating to the Black Panthers and different occasions in her life. The film acknowledges these occasions. One of them was Seberg being burned from filming a scene for Saint John directed by Otto Preminger.

“He had cruel and tyrannical working methods towards her beyond that instance where she got burned,” Andrews stated. Stewart portrays Seberg nonetheless dwelling with a few of the trauma from that occasion.

“I’m very proud of all of the performances in this movie, and especially how Kristen puts herself stuff on the line and I don’t believe as a director in doing that through bullying like Preminger did,” stated Andrews.

There is nearly an sudden love story within the film

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Seberg isn’t simply portrayed as an individual sufferer of harassment from the FBI. She additionally hurts different folks along with her personal privilege. FBI agent, Jack Solomon (Jack O’Connell) can be engaged on the corrupt mission of ruining her popularity but has sophisticated emotions about it.

The FBI character isn’t primarily based on one individual however is created after utilizing obtainable paperwork and drawing from the FBI’s playbook from the ’60s.

“Deliberately, they’re complex characters and deliberately it’s not a simple moral lesson,” stated Andrews. He talked about Seberg’s distinctive place within the story.

“She was very young joining the NAACP from Iowa at age 14. Which was kind of quite unprecedented in for a young white girl in Iowa in the ’50s,” stated the director. “But we also deliberately tried to acknowledge and problematize that sense of privilege. That house that she lived in is kind of up in the Hollywood Hills, just like a kind of glass castle that she had, she lived in.”

The director talked about Seberg and Solomon’s journey all through the film. “Well, I think the motor of the movie, in a way, is this dance between those two characters. And at times it almost does feel like a love story,” the director stated earlier than including, “Jack’s a bit like us in the cinema. He’s watching her through his zoom lens and kind of peering into her secret and private life and that experience changes him.”

Seberg and Jamal’s affair is a break for each characters

The precise affair proven within the film is between Seberg and Jamal. The director talked about how Jamal can be taking a break from his life to be with the actress.

“The Hakim Jamal character, has enormous kind of power and presence and swagger and kind of huge responsibility in his community,” defined Andrews. “And he’s kind of on a holiday from that reality up by hanging out by Jean’s pool. And he has a kind of glimpse of her world when they’re messing around and he’s helping her prepare for that audition.”

Stewart has talked about desirous to vindicate the actual Seberg, who died in 1979, via this challenge. Andrews answered whether or not that was his objective too.

“That’s sort of a consequence of it, I think,” he stated. Andrews later stated, “But the real motivation for me as a filmmaker is, is to get close to her and to the lives around her and to draw the audience into that deeply vulnerable space.”

Seberg shall be obtainable on Amazon on Feb. 21, 2020.

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