Five Favorite Films

Felicity Huffman's Five Favorite Films

by | June 26, 2015 | Comments

We know her as the charming, strong-willed housewife (Lynette Scavo, Desperate Housewives), the passionately driven mother of a murdered son (Barb Hanlon, American Crime), and the inspiring transexual parent of an estranged runaway teen (Bree, Transamerica). This week, though, we get to see Felicity Huffman as a CIA director who must work with the Vice President (played by Victor Garber) to find the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) when he goes missing in Big Game. Huffman, one of today’s most lauded TV and film actors, gave us her list of five favorite films — movies that not only have entertained her but have served as inspiration for her ever-thought-provoking acting work. Here is the list, along with an astute explanation for each selection. Enjoy!


 

Romeo and Juliet (1968) 95%

The one [film] that made me want to be an actor is [Franco] Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. I went and saw it and, because there might have been some sex scenes, I had to sit in front of my mom, and any time those beautiful young people took off their clothes, I would feel her hand clamp down on my eyes [laughing]. But that’s when I went, “Yes, that!”

RT: So it was the sex scenes that inspired you?

No, no! It wasn’t the sex scenes obviously, I didn’t see them [laughing]! It was just so romantic and so beautiful and I thought, “Oh my God, I want to be Juliet!” And of course I’ve had a career that is not about being the Juliet but I’m still in the business so I’m grateful for that.

RT: Have you played Juliet?

Never. Never. I think I would have been cast as the Nurse long before Juliet. Even even when I was sixteen, I still would’ve been cast as the Nurse. But, we can’t all be Juliet.

Dead Man Walking (1995) 95%

I think the next one was Dead Man Walking. One, it was a brilliant film with brilliant performances, but I thought the filmmaker put forth the question without giving us the answers. And I thought he did it masterfully. You know, it’s a question of capital punishment. It wasn’t preachy, it wasn’t didactic, it wasn’t sort of a polemic that you kind of go, “Let’s investigate this like an English class.” It was telling you a great story because, you know, all the audience wants to hear is what happened next. So it was telling you a great story, and based on the story telling I found my perspective changing. I had great sympathy for Sean Penn’s character and then suddenly I didn’t. And I thought he deserved exactly what he got. And then in the next fifteen minutes, my point of view would change. That’s why I thought it really involved you on an emotional level on the question of capital punishment. But even more than that I think it showed what film can do and what really great storytelling can do.

Rudderless (2014) 64%

People might question this but Rudderless, which was directed by my husband [William H. Macy]. But I say Rudderless because of two things. One is because of the way the movie was structured, and the way Bill directed it. The audience got to experience in a small way, I think, what parents get to experience when their child does something horrific. That you’re going along with one experience of your child, which is, “He or she is like this, and this is the kind of person they are, and I love them dearly.” And then they do some horrific, incomprehensible action and it pulls the rug out from under you. And Bill did that and the movie Rudderless does that; it pulls a rug out from under you. Your breath gets knocked out of you, you go, “[Gasp].” And suddenly you are reevaluating Billy Crudup’s relationship with his son from a completely different perspective and, again, I just think that’s masterful storytelling.

The other reason is Billy Crudup’s performance. And, acting with Billy Crudup, I mean, what, did I do two scenes with him, maybe three? It really changed the target for me. I went, “Oh that’s what good acting is.” Really, and it really informed my work on American Crime. So for me it was a clinic on great acting. So for those two reasons.

Foxcatcher (2014) 87%

[Number] four is Foxcatcher. And again the two performances for me were — well, I guess the three performances — but one is the director. First of all, it was just so visually beautiful. And I felt like it was visually beautiful for a purpose, not just like, “Look at this lovely shot, and now we’ll get back to storytelling.” I mean every shot moved the story forward in some way, and yet was beautiful, or horrific. I thought Mark Ruffalo was just amazing, and Steve Carrell. So I watched it two or three times. I just thought it was just brilliant.

RT: That was such great character work.

It was great character work and I never saw the seams. I never went, “Oh, it’s a person playing a character.” It was just so beautiful. I love that one.

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) 65%

Finally, I think I’ve got to say Pitch Perfect 2. Because I think, one, it’s an incredibly enjoyable movie. I love it. I love the singing. But also because I think it moved forward… I think it helped the cause of women behind the camera. And I think those things are really important and must be supported.

RT: Absolutely. Do you have the soundtrack? Do you sing along?

Actually we do! [Laughing] We drove into town the other day– we’re out in this ranch in the middle of nowhere — we drove into town and put it in — my girls and I, we’ve now seen it now three times — and put it on our iPhones and sang all the way in. And I think Elizabeth Banks is just kick ass.

Kerr Lordygan for Rotten Tomatoes: Congratulations on Big Game coming out this week. What a fun movie. I mean, it’s fun for everybody, all audiences.

Felicity Huffman: That’s what I think, It’s just a fun family action movie, you know? It’s quirky, it’s humorous, it’s just entertainment. It’s pure entertainment.

RT: And you got to work with Victor Garber who is awesome.

Huffman: Oh my God, I have such an enormous crush on Victor Garber.

RT: I think we all do. It was a lot of fun and you’re playing a CIA operative which is a little different, right?

Huffman: A little different. A little. And I got to act with Jim Broadbent who is fantastic. And the director Jalmari [Helender] was really funny. He would literally go into hair and makeup and put on wigs and make everybody laugh as he danced around and made faces. It was a really fun set.

RT: And to have such a young hero [Onni Tommila starring as Oskari] —

Huffman: Totally, a young hero. Also, he’s so sweet to look at with that face. Yeah.


Big Game opens in limited release, digital HD, and On Demand Jun. 26, 2015.

Tag Cloud

cancelled television criterion History renewed TV shows romance harry potter jurassic park Amazon Prime Video Netflix Christmas movies international indie Image Comics CW Seed Apple TV Plus high school football Emmy Nominations Spectrum Originals Pixar Walt Disney Pictures Crackle dc Amazon aapi TBS Columbia Pictures Stephen King Binge Guide deadpool Spike Comedy Central RT History rom-coms satire MCU reviews name the review SXSW Arrowverse book adaptation elevated horror 2018 Baby Yoda blockbusters target Trailer Sundance Now stop motion BBC One golden globe awards Pacific Islander YouTube Red Warner Bros. crossover Extras Spring TV Ellie Kemper italian Christmas dark Tarantino TruTV Universal unscripted Tumblr TCA biography asian-american Heroines Premiere Dates Awards Tour DC Universe Rom-Com Chilling Adventures of Sabrina superhero fresh Nickelodeon godzilla Lifetime Christmas movies jamie lee curtis worst Food Network finale Wes Anderson spanish National Geographic talk show Marathons Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt comiccon Sony Pictures political drama cults ratings child's play Elton John Pop kaiju TV renewals new star wars movies ABC know your critic CNN mission: impossible james bond spain stand-up comedy prank fast and furious casting New York Comic Con ID die hard Emmys Fantasy Set visit VICE animated Disney Plus boxing Winter TV Fox News telelvision E! natural history Vudu slashers DGA HBO Go vampires 71st Emmy Awards Photos werewolf worst movies mutant TV movies X-Men Winners versus Television Academy disaster Polls and Games CBS All Access rotten based on movie Biopics Sundance TV GLAAD Television Critics Association MSNBC politics Star Trek chucky children's TV Trivia game of thrones HBO TV One adventure witnail ABC Family concert Disney+ Disney Plus movies Oscars crime Turner Classic Movies classics razzies WarnerMedia Podcast Trophy Talk Showtime docudrama new york zombie tv talk Cartoon Network science fiction Box Office El Rey APB docuseries Cosplay FOX 2017 suspense E3 SDCC cars The CW Fall TV composers Ovation all-time Apple japanese zombies A&E hist Nominations video Avengers latino Ghostbusters Shudder Amazon Prime foreign TIFF Holidays FX 99% dragons new zealand 45 venice indiana jones SundanceTV canceled TV shows TCM cats Mindy Kaling canceled dogs critics Alien strong female leads BET Awards documentaries Comedy anime streaming movies scorecard Song of Ice and Fire toronto Grammys A24 franchise Hulu war quibi ESPN Rock monster movies spanish language Music YA halloween tv BAFTA NBA video on demand golden globes doctor who space documentary psycho Sci-Fi 2021 transformers black AMC spider-man The Walt Disney Company cancelled TV series TCA 2017 BBC Epix The Arrangement book spy thriller Superheroe singing competition Opinion Adult Swim CMT legend Summer Pirates PBS Women's History Month remakes lord of the rings Masterpiece TV Land Year in Review game show Rocky DC Comics historical drama Interview women Turner 2015 CBS pirates of the caribbean Tubi christmas movies Captain marvel richard e. Grant 2016 President Cannes Drama Disney streaming service RT21 television obituary Black History Month Mudbound Marvel boxoffice Pop TV YouTube Premium Calendar TCA Awards kids scene in color Tokyo Olympics GIFs Shondaland Teen Action Red Carpet NBC Esquire Fox Searchlight period drama ghosts The Academy Toys Freeform Classic Film cartoon IFC Films The Witch Comics on TV Lionsgate dceu PlayStation king kong blockbuster USA Network Marvel Television Thanksgiving Quiz Star Wars The Purge hidden camera Video Games screen actors guild Super Bowl crime thriller comedies Black Mirror scary movies The Walking Dead PaleyFest australia Peacock MTV nbcuniversal thriller popular true crime IFC Paramount Plus supernatural 2019 ABC Signature live action Syfy sitcom french Funimation heist movie 2020 hollywood Western anthology festival toy story Sundance psychological thriller screenings directors TV BET award winner Dark Horse Comics HBO Max serial killer 007 superman joker crime drama cinemax cops rotten movies we love cancelled TV shows romantic comedy Comic Book Exclusive Video movie FXX rt archives halloween LGBTQ Animation Travel Channel 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1990s news Lucasfilm parents binge Awards Rocketman First Reviews American Society of Cinematographers spinoff Academy Awards Chernobyl Disney medical drama twilight YouTube Reality DC streaming service Election marvel cinematic universe WGN a nightmare on elm street Mary Poppins Returns 4/20 ITV miniseries independent TLC TNT Legendary laika Lifetime streaming nature Holiday Hallmark Christmas movies comics what to watch festivals teaser NYCC emmy awards VH1 basketball Paramount Network comic books discovery Brie Larson OneApp japan Mystery Creative Arts Emmys Netflix series batman USA DirecTV travel theme song sequel cooking Schedule First Look zero dark thirty robots Film Festival Disney Channel universal monsters Infographic dramedy Reality Competition blaxploitation comic Superheroes Paramount Kids & Family Certified Fresh nfl Character Guide cancelled Film diversity Watching Series Mary Tyler Moore facebook south america sports best ViacomCBS See It Skip It Bravo Nat Geo Mary poppins Marvel Studios Anna Paquin reboot Britbox Broadway Discovery Channel free movies Pride Month Valentine's Day Amazon Studios trailers Hear Us Out Countdown adenture Martial Arts OWN police drama olympics Musicals mockumentary Hallmark Acorn TV archives VOD breaking bad revenge adaptation 90s LGBT 20th Century Fox BBC America 21st Century Fox FX on Hulu TCA Winter 2020 Country Pet Sematary Apple TV+ 72 Emmy Awards Starz 93rd Oscars 24 frames sequels Sneak Peek films GoT Tomatazos Horror stoner Best and Worst aliens hispanic Writers Guild of America social media Crunchyroll Musical technology saw kong Comic-Con@Home 2021 Endgame green book justice league Logo San Diego Comic-Con Family sag awards