Meeting the Meyerowitzes

Rebecca Miller on working with Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)

by Anne-Katrin Titze

‪Rebecca Miller‬ on being in Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected):
‪Rebecca Miller‬ on being in Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected): "It's not like I'm going to start acting now. I just did it because of Noah." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected), a highlight of the New York Film Festival, has a terrific ensemble cast including Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Ben Stiller, Grace Van Patten, Judd Hirsch, Candice Bergen, Michael Chernus, and Rebecca Miller.

Rebecca Miller, whose documentary on her father, Arthur Miller: Writer, is also screening during this year's festival, took on the role of Loretta (named after Loretta Young or Loretta Lynn, we wondered, and if Maureen came from Maureen O'Hara) in her friend Noah Baumbach's latest. Adam Sandler is Danny, one of the Meyerowitz sons.

Rebecca Miller‬:
Rebecca Miller‬: "It was great to work with Adam Sandler. He is just such a wonderful performer, such a good actor." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

One evening, he accompanies his father (Dustin Hoffman) to the opening of an exhibition at MoMA of an old friend's artworks. The, needless to say, very successful colleague L.J. Shapiro (Judd Hirsch) is happy to see them - as is Loretta Shapiro (Miller), his daughter.

Danny seems smitten with the friend from the past and while his father - later that night and in the weeks to come - tells everybody who asks (or doesn't) how Sigourney Weaver (playing Sigourney Weaver) introduced herself to him at the museum, the son can't get Loretta out of his mind. In a story where chaos reigns in the most venturing of souls, the Shapiros flicker like a stable lighthouse on distant shores.

Anne-Katrin Titze: You are also acting in a film in this festival. I loved it and your performance in it.

Rebecca Miller: Thank you. But I loved the film, I thought it was really really good and I was happy to do it. It's not like I'm going to start acting now. I just did it because of Noah. I've gotten a few inquiries over the years and always thought, well, if it's a friend of mine and it's two days and it's in New York … And it was all of those. And I figured I couldn't mess it up too badly. Because I was just worried because I hadn't done it in so many years.

AKT: When was the last time you acted before that?

RM: Gosh, I mean, over 20 years ago. Once I really started making films I never looked back and I didn't want to do it again. Just because I didn't think it was the main thing I was good at. But it was really nice. It was great to work with Adam Sandler. He is just such a wonderful performer, such a good actor. It was fun. I really liked working with Noah.

Danny (Adam Sandler) with his father Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman)
Danny (Adam Sandler) with his father Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman)

AKT: The scenes with you are beautiful moments in the film. Adam Sandler's character is just so in awe and he doesn't know how to react to you. And you're just taking it in stride at the opening at MoMA. The audience reacted full of joy at the press screening.

RM: Really? That's so nice. I think you're just happy that she is sane.

AKT: Yes. That's it.

RM: Everybody else is mad and she's just sweet, sane, welcoming …

AKT: The father too. They are so surprisingly nice. Do you know why you got the name Loretta?

RM: I have no idea but I love it. I love the name Loretta.

AKT: I wondered. There's a Maureen, there's Loretta. I was wondering if they were going through lists of movie stars - as in Maureen O'Hara and Loretta Young.

RM: Or Loretta Lynn.That's funny. I don't know. I love the name Loretta.

Public screenings of Arthur Miller: Writer: Monday, October 9 at 6:30pm - Walter Reade Theater; Tuesday, October 10 at 8:30pm - Walter Reade Theater; Saturday, October 14 at 3:30pm - Walter Reade Theater - Expected to attend: ?Rebecca Miller?

The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected) opens in the US on October 13.

The 2017 New York Film Festival runs through October 15.

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